Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What have all these in common? Kepa Acero, Surf in Africa, Sustainability, World Travel Market?

Different topics alone, but with a lot in common. Let’s go one by one. Kepa. A modern soul surfer from the Basque Country, Spain, yet he’s more like citizen of the world and one of the happiest surfers on the line up. Owner of a unique laugh, Kepa travels often alone with a camera and a few surf boards sponsored by Pukas. Kepa is a nature explorer, writer and blogger that has surfed ins weird places like Antarctica, Patagonia and Angola while doing a series of documentaries “Five Waves, Five Continents", "The Final Frontiers", and the "Five Seas". One of the continents that Kepa Acero surfed was Africa. 

But surf in Africa is not new to Kepa neither to the world. Surf in Africa was praised long time ago on the Endless Summer movie, filmed during the 60s, showing incredible waves down at Cape St. Francis in South Africa, south from Jay Bay which is one of the most popular surf destinations worldwide today and, for many, home to the best right-handed waves in the world. 

But in this continent there’s many more surf spots, you can literally surf the entire East and West coast from Morocco to Somalia…

Well, surfing in Somalia would not be for the majority of us, but Morocco is one of the most popular surf destinations for European surf travelers especially during the winter time when the north Atlantic produce bigger swells but temperature is very good. 

So Morocco doesn't offer many risks for travelers like Somalia, but poverty level in Morocco is still worth considering which lead us to sustainability and development one of the global trends published by the World Travel Market exhibition in London: “Surfing tourism is growing quickly in Africa and represents an interesting opportunity for sustainable tourism development”.

So where should you surf in Africa? Perhaps a few more thoughts worth discussing? Perhaps an interesting topic for a master thesis? 

Surfinn to it!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

10 ways surfing changed in 2014, says Red Bull

Well we are not sure if these are the only 10 ways surfing changed in 2014, or even if one may associate these changes to 2014 alone. In fact most of the "10 ways surfing changed in 2014", have actually been there throughout the last couple of years. Nevertheless, it's a good snapshot from Red Bull's surf journalist Derek Rielly that we summarize below.  You can see the FULL article here.

1. "Print surf mags started to sputter and die"
Video did not kill the radio star necessarily as the song from 1978 meant to predict, but for sure it was a major change. With Internet, Social media, mobile apps, tablets here to stay, the way we get informed is changing dramatically. News spread faster than any virus and some magazines are now closing or going totally digital, in order to be able to publish news faster than prints could get to the hands of a reader. This year was Australia's Waves magazine closing after 40 years and where Derek worked, last year, was TransWorld SURF. What's next?

2. "Brazil won both tiers of the men's competition"
The attention goes (not) entirely to Gabriel Medina, the first Brazilian to win a World Surf League. Red Bull's writer 3rd nation to produce more surfers after Australians and Americans...It looks that South Africa is loosing a bit the momentum with Jordy Smith's weak(er) performances after the rodeo cowboy type of aerials that he became famous for in 2012 and 2013.

3. "Kelly Slater started to look vulnerable"
Well, as much as we wanted the bald guy to stay in the WSL, we all knew he was close to retire. Still not sure if 2014 was really his last year or if he will show up for the competition in Feb 2015. If he decides to let go the competition, the sport of surfing will for sure lose interest, but the surf industry will get one serious business man (full time)! Now the rumor is that KS11 has purchased a controlling share of Firewire Surf boards, but a few months ago he came up with a new surf brand and announced to leave Quicksilver that he was already a major shareholder.

4. "Fun (of the 21-and-over variety) was banned from the commentary booth"
no comments (dude!).

5. "Filipe Toledo redefined airs in competition"
Surf teens in Brazil do more airs per sqm than perhaps anywhere else in the world specially now that one of them made to champ. But Medina is not the only one scoring them, so is his buddy Filipe Toledo that nailed "the biggest backside air of the year".

6. "Portugal became a (dubious) big-wave epicentre"
Massive fat waves breaking in Nazaré during the European winter are now one of the most photogenic places in the world. The picturesque foregrounds and the mountains of water have surely made it to a higher ground and in a couple of years, the small village became an epicentre for all the bravest surfers on Earth.You can see here a VIDEO from one of the portuguese armada talking about a wipeout at Nazaré (that almost killed him) during the big swell of the season in December 2014.

7. "The real money is still on Jaws"
Yet, "Peahi or Jaws, on Maui, is the New York City of surf breaks" as they say if you "make it here then and you can make it anywhere". Yep...we thought the same...and hopefully the message will arrive to Derek, dude this was true before 2014 came.
8. "The rebirth of paddle surfing"
Boards were (are) getting shorter and shorter with a few old school surfers still keeping its 10's wet, but it looks like the "larger" models are here to stay with paddle being the great winner of 2014.

9. "John John took over the Surfer Poll award"
This one is a good one, we totally agree with Derek, it seems that "for the last 21 years, Kelly Slater has won Surfer magazine's most popular surfer award 19 times, beaten only once previous and by the late Andy Irons. This year, John John Florence took it off Kelly (...)"
10. "The hybrid-hybrid surfboard"
Last but not least, this is a fact. Boards are constantly evolving and now it looks that a new surfboard was introduced, the hybrid model Hypto Krypto, neither performance nor fish working very well for more and less experienced surfers...

Keep writing Derek. We will read. Hopefully so it will Surfinn's fans during 2015!

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