Sunday, September 21, 2014

Roxy Pro France 2014

So it seems like Roxy was paying attention after all! This year's trailer for the Roxy Pro in France is a world away from last year's controversial offering:

There are still a bunch of butts, but it focuses on featuring the women as surfers and athletes - wetsuits and all - which is awesome.

Good work, Roxy! :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Surfing is not only for the sea

In 1998, I lived just south of Munich for a couple of months leading into winter. It's a really, really gorgeous area and I loved my time there, but I never saw this on any of my trips into the city.

River Surfing in Munich Germany from James Kamo on Vimeo.

River Surfing in Munich's English Garden from Snehal Patel on Vimeo.

You can read a good article about it here.

P.S. Form a queue!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

She and the Sea

Over the years, I've talked to a lot of women who surf. Like, a lot. I've learned a lot. Like, a lot. But most of my knowledge is of women who surf in places where is pretty warm and where you can easily get into the sea year round. As in, you just need a 3/2 and you're set.

I've made no secret over the years that I'm in equal parts intrigued and confused by those who manage to surf all year in places where it's cold, where you really have to love surfing in order to keep getting suited up and into the sea over the winter, and sometimes in the summer too!

One of the things that has come up in my conversations with many women who surf, is that they are not so into the cold. They tend to drop off their surfing in the winter, or they didn't bother to learn until they moved to a warmer place. They just weren't interested in the cold. Maybe it's just us wimpy, summer-loving Australians who are so adverse? And of course, I'm sure there are a bunch of men whose surfing is equally as negotiated by the cold, but I haven't asked them that question as much, so I can't really talk about that. But it's meant that I've always really admired the women who stick it out when it's cold. It's also a capacity I'm proud to discover in myself here in NZ. (Although, it's actually pretty mild where I am. Really.)

For a whole bunch of reasons when we think about surfing in cold places, women don't tend to feature. I think that possibly they're less interested? That there are fewer surfers and thus fewer female surfers in colder places. I mean, I'd be less likely to learn if it was cold! The lack of a bikini might have something to do with it to - women and girls who live in warm places are getting more and more photos, but outside of comp photos, images of women surfing in wetsuits remain less common. It might be that cold places remain less photographed and filmed as well! Like I said, there are a bunch of reasons.

So this film project, She and the Sea, is a step to exploring the experiences of women who do step up to surfing when it's cold - when it's cold and windy and snowing!!

The project is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to gather funds to help with filming costs. I know that the crew are about to head off on their trip up the coast, so this need for money is pressing.

What I like especially like about this project is that part of the process of filming and production is to give back to the communities they encounter. To develop relationships with people and places by spending time with them, teaching and learning from them, and being creative with them. This way it will produce a number of things - not just a film - that will be able to give many different perspectives on the project, and tell different aspects of the story.

If you would like to contribute, you can go to the She and the Sea page and donate. Like all Kickstarter projects, you get a little back for your donation, so have a look through the options.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Frankie Harrer and Teahupo'o

Gill just sent me another great link, this one by Morgan Massen of 16 year old Frankie Harrer surfing at Teahupo'o back in May this year.

Frankie from Morgan Maassen on Vimeo.

Great clip, huh. You can see how with more opportunities to surf breaks like this more often, women are going to be gain the experience needed to compete at these breaks more comfortably and with more confidence. Like Frankie is clearly doing, they will get to know the waves better and better and be able to ride them with more familiarity.

Seeing as she's only 16, I did feel a bit icky about the lingering shots across her body. I feel like her surfing (and her obvious gorgeousness) totally speaks for itself, without needing to be driven home. But like so many of the photos he takes of women who surf, Massen's shots highlight what a skillful and flowing surfer Frankie is - he really is good at what he does, huh. I reckon he totally admires and respects the abilities of the women he photographs and for me, that comes across in his work.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Onwards Upwards

This is the film clip for the track, 'Onwards Upwards', by North Arm. Both the song and the clip are really, really lovely.

You can read more from the artist, Rod Smith, talking production and motivation here at Lost at E Minor.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Hmmmm... What to wear?

So, this has to be the shortest and most adorable surf short I've ever seen.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Sunrise sliding

What I love about blogging is the kind of responses that it can elicit. Sometimes these are on the comments thread, but other times these come via email, Facebook or text. I've received a couple from my last post, including an email from Gill that had a link to this lovely clip.

Sunrise Slide in Bondi from Lynden Foss on Vimeo.

It's definitely not the same kind of critical nose-riding as in the last post, but in lots of ways, I much prefer it. Sometimes with longboarding, folk are so focused on nose-riding, that they forget there are other possibilities. Watching logging can feel a bit like that. But the way this woman sweeps around and explores the wave a bit more is really nice.

Thanks, Gill x

Monday, September 01, 2014


I decided to work from home today and I was focused and ready to get some runs on the board. But then I saw my friend, Kylie, who let me know there were waves about...

So I caved.

I spent a happy couple of hours out in the chalky green sea, tickled by drizzling rain and looking back to the green and golden hills and cliffs, and the mist-covered mountain rising from the shore. And the waves sure were fun. They were long and clean and right-handers and I was the only longboard out, so I could get all the ones that the shortboarders didn't want (plus a couple they did) and I was super stoked.

I was also really, really cold by the end, with frozen, red hands and feet that I knew were going to itch like hell as they warmed up.

Weekday surfs you don't expect feel sneaky and secret. They're always worth the distraction from work. Always. Now I'm back at my table, staring out my window at the tide coming in and wishing I could go back to the beach - wet wetsuit and all! But now it's time to work.

Oh, but first it's time to see what clips are online, and I saw this one which is great and interesting to see longboarding from this angle. It looks so much less stable, but more impressive somehow. I know nose-riding is physics, but it still seems like magic to me.

Of course, I do have to ask the question... were there no good female longboarders out that day? Really? Because, it's Noosa and Noosa has plenty of excellent women who surf longboards, so I'm just wondering why there were none included in this clip?