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Surphang Magazine Issue 3

On Airs Champ Chats A Tale of Two Trips From Pampa to the Peak

Surphang Magazine

La Fitenia, Tenerife Photo: Stu Gaston

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'Time and tide wait for no man... and neither do surf nor swell!'

Surfing is exhilarating! How often has it been said that only a surfer knows that feeling! But at the same time, it's exceedingly annoying (or insert suitable experlative of your choice)! Not only does there have to be enough swell to generate waves, but the wind has to be in the right direction, the tide has to be at the right point and if you're a photographer, then it also helps if the sun is out and doing what it does best too - shining! Now as any surfer knows, when they all come together it's epic! And there's nothing like watching a surfer hit the lip on a perfect wave, take to the air and then see them come back together in perfect harmony! But at the same time, there's nothing worse than planning a surf trip only to arrive just as the swell's been and gone! This third issue is all about the highs and lows of surfing!

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This Issue's Features

Champ Chats - medina's mastery There's a lot of hype buzzing around the name Medina at the moment so we felt it was time to catch up with the man himself in 'Champ Chats'.

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SURPHANGAWAY - A Tale of Two Trips Not one but two trips feature in this issue as we hear the fated tales of journeys afar to Eire and Tenerife!

Pampa looking perfect and pumping Photo: Christian McLeod

Hot spots - From


Pampa to the Peak


Thanks to contributing Irish photographer Christian McLeod we go from Pampa to The Peak in this issue focusing on Bundoran's Irish coast.

Finally, we focus on people who punt the aerialists! But it's not all high flying for these guys – a hard landing can bring it all back down with a bang!

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Champ Chats medina's mastery Words and photos: stu gaston

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Gabriel gouges out another aerial assault at Lacanau.

Last summer, a certain young Brazilian made surfing history. At only the age of 17, he made it to seventeenth place on the ASP rankings earning him a place onto the ASP World Tour, after monumental wins at both the ASP Airwalk Lacanau Pro Junior event and the ASP 6-star Prime Sooruz Lacanau Pro event, becoming the first surfer in the 32-year history of the Lacanau event to win both the 6Star main event and Pro Junior event in the same year. During the event, he posted four perfect 10 point rides and even a perfect 20 point heat score in one of his semifinals.

When he then moved on to the tour itself in the midyear rotation, Medina continued in top form and went on to win two events (France, San Francisco) from his first four attempts, so cementing himself as a legitimate contender on the international stage. This kid is without doubt one of the most exciting young aerialists in the world. So we thought we'd better catch up with him for another chat.

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SM: How did you discover surfing then? GM: My dad gave me my first board when I was 8 or9 years old and as I live right on the beach I would head down to the beach with my two good friends and they taught me how to surf. When I was eleven years old I did my first National contest and got second in the grom division.... and of course the rest is history

What do you prefer, fun small waves for tricks or big waves for some heaving barrel riding? Definitely the first one... big waves are too scary and you can't do as many tricks

So when did you land your first air?

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When I was about 12 or 13 but I can't really remember

One of Gabe's air reverse landings at Lacanau.

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Gabriel throws out his favourite air.... the Kerupt!.

And now 5 years down the track, what's your favourite air of them all? Definitely a Kerupt!

What's your favourite board? My Pukas 5' 11”18 ½ 2 ½ I'm riding at the moment

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When did you become a RipCurl team rider ? I've been on the team for two years and in my first week on the team I won the 6star event in Brazil And how was that taking on your first QS event that year ? I was stoked when I won and because I was young I think I surprised everyone. But even then I wasn't really nervous.

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Gabriel doing what he does best... flying, once again at Lacanau.

So who inspires you the most ? Mick Fanning, because he's so focused, always focused on the competition, he surfs realy well, has a great style and is really competitive. He's always hungry for the win! And what about surf videos? Which of those inspire you to get out there and surf? I'm really into Who's JOB? Jamie O'Brien's latest film So are we going to see you in a surf video soon? Hopefully, I'd love to have my own surf film! My dad films me most of the time so yeh hopefully soon! You must have a huge amount of footage from trips you've been on. Which has been your best trip so far? The ones I did with Nike and RipCurl to Indo two years ago were really good fun.

So all these places you've surfed... where's your favourite then? Definitely my home break but also Macaronnis is amazing! And who's your ideal crew to surf with? Miguel Pupo. We' ve always surfed together! He only lives two beaches down from me!

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What's your goal this year ? Well now I've made it to the CT, all I want is to do well and get some high scores! What moment are you most proud of in your surfing career so far ? When I won the Quiksilver Pro France. I beat some great guys on the way to the final and I was really stoked that I won. Just two years before, I was there competing in the King of the Groms and I won that event and then I was back in the main event and I won it too. It didn't seem real! So stoked though!

How did that final compare then to some of the others you've been in? The start of the heat was slow and it was going high tide so it was a challenge. Still it was a fun heat but it was a hard heat as well. Julian (Wilson) is an incredible surfer and I knew he wanted to win very badly. I knew I needed a big score on that final wave and I had to throw everything I had to get it. 13 -


How to score a perfect 10.00! Medina's magic at Lacanau.

So of all the WCT events, which do you really still want to win? I'd love to win the Trestles event because that wave is just too good! Well we'll definitely be watching you closely in the future to see if your dream becomes reality! Thanks for your time Gabriel!

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A Tale of Two Trips Words and photos: stu gaston

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Quite a view looking out from Bundoran. Shame about the millpond!


Some surfers are lucky enough to 'live the dream', literally spending their lives chasing surf and swell around the world. For the rest of us, the reality of life usually means having to hold down a job and so getting away on that perfect surf trip of our dreams has to fit in to the pressures of juggling everyday life. Sometimes you hit it lucky and arrive at your chosen destination just as the new pulse of swell swings in. But other times, despite weeks of preparation, you rock up just after the perfect swell period has reached its peak and so are presented with simply the remnants of days of epic surfing which have now become nothing more than ankle nippers.

Surphangaway has seen trips to France, Lanzarote and Portugal that have all been blessed with pumping surf but over the years some trips have fallen foul at the mercy of that massive swell generator, the Atlantic ocean. And so this tale of two trips takes us firstly to Eire, where the usually roaring reef breaks off the West Coast were reduced to nothing more than meagre millponds....

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It all began when Irish Junior Surf Team member, Connor Maguire suggested heading over to his local spot to shoot sometime. His local just happened to be one of the best areas for surf in Ireland – Bundoran! I agreed of course but was already booked up with trips to Portugal and France, except for a week towards the end of August. Seemed like a possibility, especially as the best season for swell is knocking on the door by then ready for those classic September sessions. So flights booked, I headed off to France for the summer, knowing I'd get back and be able to avoid the final bank holiday rush back home and jet off to some classic Irish surf instead. 17 -


Beyond this threshold lies Bundoran's best reef break....

But the Atlantic seemed to have different ideas. Despite two previous summers where the hurricane season had come early and chucked over swells that had sent Cornish surfers scurrying to the sheltered spots all along the coast, this summer saw nothing more than an occasional ripple, one of which had limped over a few days before and saved a two week trip to France from a flatness stricken diaster. Still one trip's gain is another trip's loss.

Irish Team rider Connor Maguire reduced to a summer grovel sesh.

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For an entire week, Connor Maguire, Aaron Reid, the other local crew and Joe Woods from Devon's south coast were forced to grovel beach break sessions at best. Certainly not the epic barreling reef break shoots I'd had in mind!

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'Wish I could do that!' Quiksilver sponsored Aaron Reid shows how it's done!


Things were getting desperate shot wise and so the local crew suggested a road trip south to Easky where 'there was bound to be a wave.' Still nothing, until Aaron Dees suggested checking nearby beach break, Trawhi. At last, what looked like a fun wave appeared off the low tide banks. They were in there like swimwear and hunting out the punting sections. In the end though it was the English visitor, Joe who sought out the perfect lefthander and bagged shot of the trip for his efforts.

Joe Woods seeks out a nice section and hits it high!

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As 'Peter Pan' effortlessly glides by, Alex Bauduin and Lewis Leadbetter look on in disgust at their new friend!

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And so to our second tale, one which harks back to that classic story of the boy who could fly.... except in this modern twist, there are two lads desperate to fly before the lens but everything seems to be getting in their way! Not set in Neverland, but this time the idyllic island of Tenerife, one winter getaway that is never usually short of pumping surf, however, typically in mid February there was a lull between swells just as our story is to be told. Nonetheless, this didn't stop our intrepid heroes from venturing northwards to find what little waves there may still be on offer. And indeed waves they found, but they also came across much more than they bargained for.... a plague of jellyfish! Just a week earlier, the local surf contest had been cut short thanks to these hostile little sea creatures and so although Jaws they may not be, it was still felt to be safer to wait to enter the water again somewhere where these little stingers had not yet reached. So it was wetsuits back off for Alex and Lewis before the hour-long journey back down south.

Back down south and the westerly facing breaks offered not even a ripple. But the lads local spot of Las Americas is positioned perfectly on the most south westerly point of the island. So if west isn't best, then look south instead. Unusually for this time of year, a south swell was about and so La Fitenia was, well not quite firing, but it was still a fun sized wave, made all the better by the passing wake of the Fred Olsen fast ferry!

Lewis Leadbetter whacks out his tail in Fred Olsen's wake

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Still, the south swells normally seen in summer, don't quite cut it in the middle of February and although 'Peter Pan' continued to glide across the scene, with the sea looking more like a fishing lake, even the fun summery surf of La Fitenia didn't give our dynamic duo the sections they needed to really punt and fly!

This said, both Alex and Lewis still gave it their best shots, Lewis even landing this rad little air reverse!

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Alex Bauduin busts into the air.


Lewis Leadbetter mid air reverse at La Fitenia

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As ever, the end of the trip fast approached with no spectacular shots to shout about until a glimmer of hope popped onto the horizon in the form of a westerly swell. But first came the front, the wind and worse still the rain. Things began to look up though as waves appeared through the gloom and although it took its time, the rain eventually cleared, leaving a picture perfect evening. Alex and Lewis hit their favourite local spot, Las Palmeras where a perfect puntable right was popping up on each set. And so another fun session went down until Lewis leapt into the air and scored this sick little shot! Once again, against all the odds and thanks to a surfer who made punting off of anything look incredulously easy, the job was done!

Lewis Leadbetter punts at Las Palmeras

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From Pampa to the Peak Words and PHOTOS: CHRISTIAN MC LEOD

We've seen a lot of Ireland in the surfng press recently. When the waves are pumping, everybody seems to want to have a go at riding the big ones. So the big names roll in, score that mutant sized swell of the season, get the footage and then roll on out again. We get to see the best on offer but what about the rest? Are the waves going to be that good all the time? Well actually yes! But don't take it from me, take it from the locals themselves as Irish Photographer, Christian McLeod Takes us around the hot Spots of Bundoran, From Pampa to the Peak.

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Hot Spots Pampa looking picture perfect

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Hot Spots From Pampa...

If you've seen photos of Pampa before, then you always want to see more. Perfect winding barrels in front of a dodgy ledge at the bottom of a small cliff. sound fun? Connor Maguire certainly thinks so!

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Connor Maguire scores some perfect Pampa bazzas!

Tom Butler scores some perfect Pampa too!

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... to the Peak


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Most days when its anything bigger than shoulder high, there are atleast 15 people out. but being able to sneak a perfect reeler isn't too hard!


Hot Spots The Peak, small but uncrowded!

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Hot Spots Plus a room with a view

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Watching The Peak from the living room window...

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And Secret Wedges Waiting To be found

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Hot Spots It's not all barrels! there's plenty of puntable sections to be had if you know where to look!

Kurt Rist punts off a sparkling section.

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Joao Kopke kills it with a perfectly set up double grab at Carcavelos, Portugal. Photo: Stu Gaston

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Colton Overin mid air reverse in California. Photo: Ronald Hons


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Cain Kilcullen mid air reverse at Easky in Ireland. Photo: Christian McLeod

Alex Baker pushing the boundaries of aerial antics at Baggy Point. Photo: Stu Gaston

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Hugo Cornec captured mid flight at Lacanau, France Photo: Stu Gaston


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Colton Overin airing in California. Photo: Ronald Hons

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Kevin Schulz takes flight at T Street Photo: Ronald Hons


Lucas Dirkse mid air reverse in California. Photo: Ronald Hons

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More of Alex Baker's aerial antics at Sandymouth. Photo: Stu Gaston

Borja Agote flicks out at Lacanau Photo: Stu Gaston

Alex Iriondo grabs the rail mid air reverse. Photo: Stu Gaston

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Pedro Correia takes in the view from up high at Caxias, Lisbon. Photo: Stu Gaston


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Stefano Rakigjija punting in California. Photo: Ronald Hons


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Lucas Dirkse mid air reverse in California. Photo: Ronald Hons

A different angle of Kevin Schulz in flight at T Street. Photo: Ronald Hons

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G A L L E R Y Tomas Valente grabs the rail mid flight at Caxias, Lisbon. Photo: Stu Gaston

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Pedro Correia kicks out tail high at Caxias, Lisbon. Photo: Stu Gaston

Tomas Valente going for a full rotation in Portugal. Photo: Stu Gaston

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Stefano Rakigjija's sunset salute in California. Photo: Ronald Hons

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The Goss RIDING OUT THE ROUGH & THE SMOOTH Words and photos: stu gaston

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Like in any other sport, surfers need just two things – training and talent. There are some surfers, like Mister Medina for example, who seem to have bucket loads of talent and with the training too can take their sport to dizzying heights. For the majority blessed with a modest amount of talent, then putting in a huge amount of training over time equally pays off. But when you find that surfer with the ideal balance of talent and determination to put in the optimum amount of training, the results can be exceedingly staggering.

Take Tenerife's Lewis Leadbetter. He's only been surfing for five years but he's put in the hard work everyday, he's studied the style of his favourite surfers, such as Medina himself, and he's already surfing way beyond his years. So who better to ask to take us through the steps of an air reverse from take off to that all important landing. Lewis Leadbetter punts at Las Palmeras

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Lewis Leadbetter takes us through an air reverse at Palmeras



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Step 1 The key to an air-reverse is speed and timing. You want to do a few pumps or get speed off the bottom turn. Step 2 When you have the speed, you want to eye up the section - this can be an on coming closeout section or a lip. Step 3 When you've eyed up your section, you want to do a bottom turn but not too big because you will loose some speed and wont get the projection out of the lip. When you do the bottom turn, you want to lean into the wave and a trick I use is to flick the back hand behind me and then project up into the lip. Step 4 With the speed and timing right, you will get into the air. When in the air, you want to keep all your weight over your board. This is a very common mistake when alot of people lean back when trying airs. Just be confident and go for it. A good way to do this is to grab your rail as this puts your weight over the board and also helps the spin. Step 5 One of my problems was that I was getting the height and spin but I could never land them! The key is to eye up the landing while in the air. Look for a soft landing not just boosting into the flats. Step 6 When you land, you have to turn your head the way you want to go straight away for a smooth rotation or you will get stuck going backwards; your body will follow your head. But dont get ahead of yourself! Get the reverses down and the normal airs and put them together. It's the reverses that really get you used to going backwards and turning around.

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Lewis had been working on those all important landings for a fair few months and the consistency at which he landed and rode out of them was a testimony to the hard work he'd put in. But as with any sport, there's always an element of risk and in mid March, Lewis fell foul of that risk, landing awkwardly coming off one of his air reverses.

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Days later the doctors revealed he had torn the meniscus in his knee and would need surgery to repair it, leaving him out the water for over two months. Such can be the price striving to reach your best but for now, at least the operation went well and Lewis is making a speedy recovery, complete with a fresh tattoo thanks to his time out of the sea!

Lewis Leadbetter mid air reverse at La Fitenia

Life's all about riding out the rough and the smooth and no doubt when Lewis is back out there, he'll be chucking plenty more airs into the mix too. In the meantime, you can guarantee he's been studying the surf vids of all the best surfers and so when he does get in the sea again, he'll certainly be going bigger and higher than ever before!

Lewis before and after: Before, coming in from a really fun surf at Las Palmeras and landing a fair few air reverses in the process; And one month after, following a not so successful landing, days before needing an operation on his knee.

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Surphang Magazine In May, the fourth will be with you! For the fourth issue of the mag, we're all off Surphang USA!! Champ Chats catches up with top ripper from the states, Colt Ward and finds out how he's managed to dominate the NSSA as Champion for the past few years. Surphangaway treats us to some California Dreamin' as we feature the best that a trip to the sunny San Clemente has to offer. Hot Spots looks at T'riffic Trestles and everything that this iconic break captures about surfing. While finally The Goss profiles the huge pool of talent that is eminating from these shores.

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Champ Chats



T'riffc Trestles

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Thanks for reading the third issue of

Surphang Magazine

Inspiration begins here

Surphang Magazine Issue 3  

SURPHANG MAGAZINE THE Online Magazine for SURfing PHotography ANd Gossip!

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