Passion Comes in Waves

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THE ISSUE OF TRAVEL

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag

There is much to the theory as to why Balinese surfers in particular don’t really travel much. And have never made a splash on the international scene. Excepting, of course, Rizal Tandjung’s Pipeline miracle. But then that was 24 years ago. Sure there are the visa hassles, but alot of people have those. No, it’s more about comfort. Balinese surfers live in the best surf in the world. They also own it. They are also close to family and wealth and friends and culture and the food they love.

Why leave paradise? Let’s face it, there’s a reason 6 million tourists come here. Still, the wonder of travel is there for anyone who gets restless. And that is what this issue is all about. Inspiration to get out there and see all of it. It’s always better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.

So in this issue, we bring you daring adventures from three corners of our world. Alan Van Gysen reports in from Equatorial Guinea, a place hard to find on any map. But then…it always feels good to be lost in the right direction. We also have Pete Frieden reporting in from the roughhousing of the North Shore season.

And in a place that might never exist, a transitory place, International award winning fine arts photographer Ben Thouard brings us to a place that can never be found on any map. Of course, true places never are. The world is a book and those who do not travel read only the same page over and over. We say get out there. If you think adventures are dangerous, try routine. It’s lethal. Live your life by a compass, not a clock. All you need to travel this great blue world is to know that it’s possible.

And remember, if you travel far enough, you’re gonna get a chance to meet yourself.

– Editor –  

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INTO THIN AIR

In 1991, a heartbroken Aussie surfer named Lance Knight lies awake and dreams of a perfect wave all to himself. He wakes up determined to move forward. He finds some Marine charts of the Indian Ocean and starts mapping out rumors he’s heard. He decides on a small island called Sipora, off West Sumatra. Having traveled most of the way from Australia overland, He arrives in the capital of Padang by bus.

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THE MOTHERLAND: THE RUSSIAN SURF PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT OF SURF JAM 2016



As part of the celebration of Russian surfing here on Bali, this year’s Surf Jam Festival at Balian featured a photography contest. The results were extraordinary. A window into a surfing place that is a galaxy away from the Indonesian experience. A window into the power of the passion of surfers regardless of their environment. Surfing in Russia. Sub-zero weather, snow, ice, mystery.



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POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE: LANZAROTE THE DISAPPEARING ART OF NON-SELFIE SURFING

The motivation of surf travel has shifted. Blame the modern age. In today’s world of selfie madness and Go Pro mugging, with most of a surfer’s day taken up by personal social media management, the travel experience has become something seen and not felt. These days a surfer has to get back to his phone to actually see where he was. Post it or it never existed. All website surf footage these days is just an exercise in advertising. We only see sponsored video shorts. With the touch of a delete button, Surf stars today are disposable.

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NORTH SHORE: BETWEEN THE LINES

World-renowned stretch of Hawaiian coastline located on the north side of Oahu; the undisputed capital of big-wave surfing from the 1950s to the early ‘90s; home to about 40 surf breaks, many of them hallowed. “If the surfing world has a shared mythology,” American essayist William Finnegan wrote in 1997, “then the North Shore of Oahu is its Olympus.”

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LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

Mason Ho hit the DNA lottery at birth. Consider the bloodline that he shares. Mason’s Uncle Derek was Hawaiian Amateur Champion at 14, he won the 1984 Duke Kahanamoku Classic with brother Michael finishing second. Derek Ho won the Pipeline Masters in 1986 and finished second in 1991. He won the Triple Crown in 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1993. By 1993 he was our World Champion, a two-time winner of the Pipeline Masters and a four-time winner of the Triple Crown.

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