Surphang Magazine Issue 1
Surphang Magazine 'From simple blanks mighty boards do grow' Welcome to the very first issue of SURPHANG MAGAZINE, the new online media that will bring you top quality SURfing PHotography ANd all the latest Gossip from around the world of this exhilirating extreme sport we like to call wave riding... nah surfing! Each issue will bring you a fresh mix of interviews and profiles with some of the most impressive up and coming surfers from around the globe alongside a variety of surf spot guides and trip experiences to tantalise the taste buds and inpsire you all to get amongst it, get out there and get shredding! So take a look at what's on offer...
Wish you were here..... Imagine that view, paddling out at El Quemao, Lanzarote Photo: Stu Gaston
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This Issue's Features
Champ Chats - on eyre In this first issue we catch up with current UK Pro Junior Champion, Luis Eyre and ask him all about his past year at the top of his game..
Winter sun - lovin' lanzarote The opening Surphangaway feature treats us to the best that Lanzarote has to offer, tantalising us all with some stunning winter sun and surf.
Pumping Portugal - Perfect Peniche Hot Spots starts off by popping over to mainland Europe and heading west to Portugal, seeing what the world renowned Peniche has to offer.
The Goss - who's in or out? Global recession has been taking its toll on the surfing world too and so we keep you up to date with all the latest sponsorship send-offs and signings.
Who wouldn't love Lanzarote with winter surf like this... El Quemao doing its thing. Photo: Stu Gaston
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Champ Chats On eyre
Words and photos: stu gaston
Luis Eyre flying high at Praia das Macas, one of his Portugese home breaks.
This could well have been another one of those zero to hero stories. Luis Eyre, born in Manchester, never seen a surfboard until he's nearly a teenager and then the family move to Portugal, he gets out amongst the best surf in Europe for five years and before you know it he's back over here and winning almost every contest he enters to become 2011 UK Pro Junior Champion. But it's not because the story isn't over yet and there's certainly no pot of gold at the end of this rainbow tour. Time for our first chat with a champ.
SM: Two Thousand and Eleven was a pretty epic year for you, and of course finally becoming the UK Pro Junior Champion must have been one of the highlights. Talk us through the other memorable moments first though? LE: The best moment had to be winning the Pro Junior at the Nike Night Surf for sure! I also made semis of the Open and semis in the the Cash for Tricks air show so it was a good comp for me!
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Punting at Peniche.
Becoming the UK Pro Junior Champ has been one of your goals for a while. The year on the tour though was a bumpy ride with a mixture of results. Talk us through the various contests and the highs and lows of the season? Well I didn't do so good at the start of the year, only getting 3rd at the Saltrock event in Croyde. But then I won the Night Surf so things were looking better. Next, after a summer of European contests, I didn't do so good surfing up at Thurso in the much colder waters of Scotland which was a bit disappointing but a week later things looked up when I got 3rd in Wales along with 2nd in the Open as well! I was up on my points now and a win in Newcastle took me to a great position so that when I then also won the last UKPST comp, I took the title! So I was really happy how it turned out in the end! How did you feel when you realised you could actually make it as tour champion then? I've been doing the tour for a few years now and I've always known I could be tour champion just like last year I couldnt make all the comps which puts my ranking down. But this year I was able to do most of the comps and even though I missed two, by the last but one I knew I was in a great place to make it this year so I was determined to go all the way! You had to overcome some solid surfing from your Pro Junior contenders? How do you rate your surfing peers over in the UK at the moment? Yeah definitely! I would say Stuart Campbell, last year's champ was for sure the one to beat!
Luis is a solid all round surfer, seen here at another of his Portugese home breaks.
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Luis will always take to the air.
Deep in thought...
You've been surfing against these guys most of your competitive life. There must be different levels of camaraderie or rivalry in the ranks. How does this affect the way you surf in a heat? It doesnt really. You have to beat everyone if you want to win but I guess it pushes me that bit more! So during the tour, which of them did you least want to be drawn up against in a heat and why? It doesnt matter to me to be honest. And now you're tour champion, does that go down as your best victory to date? Oh yeah, I would say so! Entering Twenty Twelve as a champ then, what's next? What are your goals for this year? Well obviously I want to defend my title and go for the open title as well! He's hungry for tube time too!
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Luis is always adding to his repertoire of airs.
And what about training? How do you keep on top of fitness and keep on pushing your surfing? I didn't really train that much last year if I'm honest but this year I've already started on a structured training schedule to make sure I'm on top of it all. Now you already live in Portugal with the best waves that Europe has to offer on your doorstep! But what about plans for travelling? Well I've actually stayed at home this winter for the first time in a while as we normally head to Hawaii for a few months! But this year I was so busy this summer and didn't have any real time at home, so it's great to just be surfing the breaks where I live which are really good yeah! Finally, where do you see yourself in five to ten years time? I want to be top WQS for sure! 'Eyre' time.
Luis's surfing speaking for itself with the power that claimed the title of 2011 UK Pro Junior Champion.
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Winter sun lovin' lanzarote Words and photos: stu gaston
How many of us actually enjoyed another winter at home in good old Blighty? It's all very well going on about how good the swells have been this past winter and how mild the weather's been (well, until recently!) but given the choice we'd all take the next flight out of here to somewhere warm and sunny with perfect barrelling waves on offer. It's all very well consoling yourself in the fact that wetsuit technology is the best its ever been but let's face it, really you're all just desperate to be in boardshorts in Bali! Well you would be if you could afford it! Gone are the days when air travel was cheap and you could find a last minute bargain and jet off into the sunset, leaving another wild and wet UK winter behind you. So what's the solution because suffering six months of seasonal depression syndrome is not an option! 13 -
An intrepid crew of surfers look on as some epic winter swell rolls in at Cabollo. Photo: Stu Gaston
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Getting away to warmer climes is always going to be more attractive and an option that many a copperschallenged surfer is taking nowadays is a short four hour flight to one of the Canary Islands. There's surf and sun a plenty all year round but as a winter destination for us Brits then this volcanic island chain off the coast of northern Africa is simply perfect with daytime temperatures in the midtwenties often bettering even our own summer experiences back home! But the icing on the cake has to be that the annual average water temperature of the Atlantic here lies between 18 and 24 degrees, so it's simply summer wettie at worst to just boardies at best! Now that's surely tempting! Of the four main islands, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Tenerife, each has its own character, its own identity, its own rugged landscape but most importantly its own famed surf spots! One of those famed spots is of course La Santa on the northern most island, Lanzarote and it was this renowned reef break that drew me to that island out of the four. And also knowing an island resident! One tip I have learnt from travelling is that you always gain a lot more with a local guide! 15 -
So for this trip I was heading to the north west side of the island and the small beachside village of Famara where none other than UK Pro Surfing Tour Under 16 Champion Will Davey and his family have lived for the past 13 years. And what a place to chose! Famara lies at the southern end of the 'Playa' which faces out in a more northerly direction towards the smaller island of La Graciosa lieing off the northern tip of Lanzarote itself.
Will Davey, 2011 UK Pro Tour Under 16 Champion flying high at Famara.
The beach then sweeps around for a fair few miles until it ends up facing due west, lieing beneath the towering cliffs that continue on to the Mirador del Rio. This makes Famara the perfect beach break for all conditions. With swells predominantly coming in from the west or north west, as the swell size
increases, you simply head further south down the beach for shelter nearer to the Caleta, the original fishing village, and as the swell size decreases you head further north along the track beneath the cliffs to find where the swell is hitting a perfect little sand bank.
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The only drawback to Famara is that it often seems to bear the brunt of the tradewinds sweeping in off the Atlantic which makes the climate slightly damper as any cloud tends to get stuck as it hits the cliffs but also makes it more prone to the dreaded onshores â€“ in fact Famara can often resemble any British beach on a good day in the spring or summer! That said the quality of the wave still far exceeds that of anything you'd find from Fraserburgh right down to Fistral! This being the main reason why the Davey family, originally from Yorkshire, have made Famara their home as it offers the perfect surfing training ground, proven in 16 year old Will's current title! However, they didn't move away from the UK to Lanzarote for onshore beach break surf. It was the lure of classic reef breaks that originally drew both them and now me to this sun-soaked island. It's also the reason Derby born and bred, Lewis Leadbetter who has lived on the more westerly island Tenerife for the past 10 years has popped over to join us as Lanzarote's classic reef breaks pack a much heftier punch than those of his own island. For just down the road from Famara lies the infamous El Quemao at La Santa but littered along the coast in between are other reefs such as Caleta del Caballo and San Juan. Plenty to keep 17 -
even the most eager surfer busy, especially as there's a pretty even balance of both lefts and rights, although the goofy footers tend to have a slightly better selection in most conditions as the various left handers work more consistently. That said, you certainly have to do your homework first as being reef breaks, a change in tides can certainly change that perfect barreling session into a sketchy dice with near death if you misjudge it!
Lewis Leadbetter loves popping over to Lanzarote for some La Santa barrels.
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Another reason why local knowledge is always the best bet as Luke Millington discovered when he too chose to escape the wilds of a British winter in search of some warm sunshine and pumping surf. Being a goofy footer himself, Luke was especially drawn to one of the most consistent left hander reef breaks on the island, San Juan, where the the ASP 6star WQS La Santa Pro event was held in 2009.
Luke and Will look back longingly at San Juan.
Luke Millington chucking some spray at San Juan.
â€œWe surfed loads of great spots while in Lanzarote but my best session was at a place called San Juan. Since I forgot my reef boots, it felt pretty sketchy surfing a place with an urchinencrusted reef. We got to the break at about 8am with only one person out. By about midday it was packed, but luckily with an early morning start we managed to score a few decent waves before the locals started to dominate the line up. The sun was perfect for shooting by this time so we decided to grab some lunch from a shop in Famara and get straight back in the water. There were a few locals out so we tried to keep any snaking or hassling to a minimum. I was super amped to go in and surf good so I could get some good shots to take home with me and I think this made me surf better. I got one photo in particular that I was really happy with that had a great background as well.â€? - 20
Certainly, from a photographer's viewpoint, San Juan has a great deal to offer with the stunning backdrop of the isle of La Graciosa. Similarly though, the island itself is definitely worth a visit, not only for the panaromic views back towards Lanzarote, but also because when those tradewinds are plaguing the main island, then those same winds coupled with a decent swell can create perfect offshore barrels making La Graciosa a gratifying alternative! All in all, whichever of the Canary Islands you chose to explore, you're bound to find warmth and waves a plenty and with their ultimate swell season lieing between November and March, these islands in the sun really are a perfect place to go to escape another British winter.
Lewis also loves punting...a lot! Here he is on Kolohe Andino's yellow board with The Yellow Mountain of La Graciosa in the background.
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Pumping Portugal Perfect Peniche Words and Photos: Stu Gaston
A picture of perfection at Supertubos, Peniche.
Hot Spots Stuck out on the furthest most tip of mainland Europe lies the country that gets the most consistent amount of swell of the entire continent â€“ Portugal. The Atlantic has to be pretty dam dormant before you'll struggle to find a surfable wave somewhere along this country's western coast. From the fun 'Praia' beach breaks to classic reefs such as Coxos, Portugal is littered with superb places to surf. But when it's absolutely pumping, there's only place to head â€“ Peniche.
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This small fishing town is renowned for two things – sardines and Supertubos. It's not unless you've actually been to the place yourself that you fully appreciate the wit behind Wilko's sardine print wetsuit at the Rip Curl Pro Portugal in 2011. As soon as you set foot on the beach, the stench of fish hits you like a wet mackerel, or sardine in Peniche's case. But once you're nostrils have acclimatised themselves, then the sight that meets your eyes will flood your senses beyond belief. For when the waves in Portugal are pumping, then Supertubos will be going off!! After all, it's not called that for nothing – the waves literally bowl up into super shaped tubes in perfect conditions. And you might well think that those perfect conditions only come along with the long period Atlantic swells of the Autumn but in fact, Supertubes can pack a punch at almost any time of year if the swell is over 6 feet. But of course it's the over head high waves for which it's renowned, as the main peak is able to hold barrelling waves easily up to 15 feet and almost the same in width, earning it the title of ‘the European Pipeline’, as it resembles Hawaii’s famous Pipeline when it’s that big. 25 -
Luis Eyre enjoying some 'super' tube time!
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Supertubos itself is most famous for its heaving, barreling lefts, but it can also provide shorterâ€•but no less epicâ€•rights. For this, it was acknowledged by the USA's Surfer Magazine as being one of the best waves in the world. This recognition was reflected by the decision in 2009 to bring the ASP World Tour back to the Portuguese town. During the Rip Curl Pro Search in October of that year, Supertubos was big and wild, providing a great show for spectators, not to mention a few injuries for the pros, namely Owen Wright (AUS) who had to withdraw from the event after bursting his eardrum on a wipeout in his semi final heat. Peniche proved to the world that perfection can come at a price with punishing results.
The A-frame main peak at Supertubos, Peniche.
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So Supertubos is certainly not for the faint hearted and needs to be treated with the respect its renowned position commands. But even this world-class surf break known for its gnarly yet perfect barrels can have its off days. If the swell is beyond gnarly and simply out of control, then heading back towards the harbour itself, you will find a much more manageable wave. On its best days, this right-hand wedge along the breakwall of Molhe Leste can certainly rival the world-class peaks of its neighbor, Supertubos as it is similarly a hollow, fast and powerful beachbreak. But this far end of the entire stretch of sand tends to offer up some perfect sections for the aerialists, though the occasional fun sized barrel can pop up from time to time if the conditions are just right.
Luis Eyre mid air reverse at Molhe Leste.
Ben Sowter in the balance.
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Bert Wright loving life in the barrel
Hot Spots And this is what makes Peniche so perfect and earns the fishing village its position as one of the surfing hotspots of Portugal, indeed possibly the most flexible surfing location in the western most country of Europe, and probably the entire continent itself! Although famous for the superb Supertubos break, Peniche offers many other excellent beaches along its peninsular-like coastline which means it has beaches facing in virtually every direction. From Baleal, a massive crescentshaped bay offering fantastic flexibility, parts of which will be offshore in winds from the west right round to the east, through to Lagide, a small beach and great reef to the east which will be on when the winds are westerly. In other words almost whatever the weather, Peniche will have something surfable to offer.
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So if you've sat at home watching the live streaming of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal events and been just slightly tantalised by what you're watching then it's simple â€“ go and sample this mythical Portuguese break for yourself! 33 -
Luis Eyre enjoying more 'super' tube time!
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T H E G A L L E R Y
Luis Eyre's aerial antics at Praia das Macas. Photo: Stu Gaston
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T H E G A L L E R Y
Hard to believe this was taken in December... Caletta de Caballo, Lanzarote Photo: Stu Gaston
Lewis Leadbetter airs gracefully at La Graciosa. Photo: Stu Gaston
Will Davey aims high at San Juan. Photo: Stu Gaston
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T H E G A L L E R Y
Luke Millington carves through the crystal clear waters of La Santa, Lanzarote. Photo: Stu Gaston
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T H E G A L L E R Y
Luis Eyre pops out a backhand air reverse at Foz do Lizandro Photo: Stu Gaston
Luis Eyre double grabs at Ribeira D'Ilhas. Photo: Stu Gaston
Same surfer, same spot, different air, different angle. Photo: Stu Gaston
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T H E
G A L L E R Y
Luis Eyre in the green room! Photo: Stu Gaston
Luis loves his tube time Photo: Stu Gaston!
He can also chuck out a bit of spray too! Photo: Stu Gaston
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T H E G A L L E R Y
Luis Eyre flicks out the tail and a spray fan at Foz do Lizandro Photo: Stu Gaston
Luis Eyre right in that green room! Photo: Stu Gaston
Luis Eyre double grabs at Peniche. Photo: Stu Gaston
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G A L L E R Y
T H E
Lewis Leadbetter takes a punt at Praia das Macas. Photo: Stu Gaston
Bert Wright tunnelling through at Supertubes! Photo: Stu Gaston
Ben Sowter seeks out a deep blue barrel. Photo: Stu Gaston
Luis Eyre can air and chuck out a bit of spray too! Photo: Stu Gaston
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The Goss All About Who's In, Who's Out and Who's Been Out & About!
The past month has seemed more like a football premier league transfer window than the normal quiet winter season when all there is normally to worry about is how to combat the cold and surf the decent swells, whether to blow the savings and jet off somewhere warmer, or simply sit back and wait for the live streaming when the next World Tour kicks off. The news is always full of recession and unemployment and it would seem that it's still hitting some of the big brands hard too. O'Neill has been dropping some of it's team like flies with casualties right across the board and only the fortunate few have managed to secure sponsorship elsewhere. 49 -
Our very own UK Tour Pro Junior Champ, Luis Eyre has been 'let go' proving that even at the top you're not safe from the chop. Luis might be better off if he lived over in our fair surf capital where just sharing the town's renowned nightlife with the local rep seems to get you on the team! No doubt, Luis will secure himself a well-earned sticker replacement for his board soon!
Over in France, top grom Gaspard Larsonneur no longer sports an O'Neill sticker at the nose of his board but he has now quickly been picked up by clothing brand Protest who have seemed to weather the recent financial storms better than many others, adding to their team right across all the European countries over the past year.
Is there always light at the end of that tubular tunnel? Photo: Stu Gaston
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It's all pointing in the right direction for Josh Benjoya.
Meanwhile, across the big pond, Hurley have also been recruiting to their ranks, based purely on talent though. Two rippers from California are now flying high for Hurley - Ethan Carlston from San Clemente and Josh Benjoya from Dana Point. Both will be future stars of the surfing world who we'll be seeing much more of in the months to come!
Etah Carlston flying the Hurley flag at Salt Creek, California Photo: Joe Foster
Harry Timson has been training down under this winter.
With money tighter now more than ever, most of the UK surf crew seems to have spent some or much of the winter back home. There are however, as always, the lucky few who have been getting away to warmer climes and pure pumping surf. Harry Timson has been posting daily photos of the sweet time he's having down under surfing alongside local ripper Jake Thompson. These are two more to keep an eye on as they soon take on the local Pro Junior contests; Harry will even be taking on his first contest at Pipeline itself within the month to come. Finally, none other than Newquay brothers, Jack and Lewis Clinton, are currently away in Barbados, no doubt sampling much more than just the Caribbean surf and sunshine while they're there! There's bound to be a few tales to follow!
Jake Thompson going big!
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Surphang Magazine What's new for Issue number 2? The Champ Chats series continues as we join up with current UK Pro Surf Tour Under 16 Champion, Will Davey as he flits between our own arctic shores and the warmer climes of his home in the Canary Islands, to find out more about his winning streak. Following the announcement of the Surfing GB Junior team for the upcoming World Junior Surfing Games in Panama, we catch up with a training trip to South West France. And the SST, or Student Surf Tour, is well underway after contests in Porthcawl and Watergate earlier this year, so we ask Sam Coad to give us his take on what's going down when they all descend on Croyde, North Devon for the third contest on the tour Plus.... well we'll just have to wait and see what the waves and weather deliver but in the meantime, if you fancy being the focus of a future issue or have some surfing shots to send over for us to sift through, then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. 53 -
Da Uni Coad
Training Time SM - 54
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'now Get amongst it, get out there and get shredding!'