Uncommercial Traveller: Brendon Gibbens
Surf trip wisdom from well-travelled purveyor of high-end (surf) porn
A strange phenomenon is taking place. People search for pornographic matter on the internet, and they wind up watching Dillon Perillo and Brendon Gibbens grappling with majestic P-Pass, tweaking straight airs in Sumbawa, avoiding the attentions of bull sharks in Réunion.
Some context. Several weeks ago Dillon and Brendon, AKA Dill and Beeg, released 'The Dill & Beeg Project'. It’s a fine piece of work, a year on the road together condensed into fifteen minutes, and if you’ve not yet seen it you should do so now. Since its release, there has been a steady trickle of visitors — one, two, maybe three at a time — directed by Google to the Surf Europe website after searching for “beeg". (This we know thanks to the wonderfully entertaining Google Analytics tool.) People don't usually search for specific surfers, still less for specific surf clips; it seemed that Brendon was causing something of a stir.
And then I remembered: wasn’t there a website called Beeg, dedicated to content of a lewd and reprehensible nature? I checked. There was. These "beeg" people -- surfers sidetracked on their way to more salacious fare? Computer illiterate wankers lost in cyberspace? Members of a new breed of pervert? -- weren’t after Brendon, they just had the horn.
Are you aware there's a porn site called Beeg?
Haha, how do you know that? Yeah, someone has mentioned that to me in the past. What can I do?
How do you feel about the 'D & B Project' view count being gradually nudged upwards by prospective masturbators?
I think it's hilarious.
People seem to have dug the idea of a joint project . . . two friends searching for waves together and making a video about it . . . but did you ever just really want to kill Dillon?
Thankfully not! Dill and I get along really well, we’re good friends and have a solid working relationship. There were one or two occasions where we got on each other's nerves, but that was towards the end of production when we were both stressed out about wrapping up the film. Since day one, we both set out with a goal to make a film that we’d both be proud of. I’d say we’ve achieved that goal.
What’s the best thing about travelling with Dill?
He’s really good at finding and booking reasonable flights, he definitely saved us lots of time and money by being knowledgeable in that department. Surfing with him really pushed me, we were both putting in 110% effort when we were in the water.
And the worst?
He likes to listen to Math Rock and often plays it really loudly when we’re driving, it’s ear piercing!
Who would win in a fight?
Dill would win. He’s a pumped up cocky Italian with big muscles. I’m pretty chill.
Do you have a fixed abode at the moment or are you still roaming free?
I’m kinda a vagabond.
Tell us a little bit about . . .
Organising the P-Pass trip was a nail-biter. The swells that hit that wave are very transient, so it’s a long way to travel for only a couple days of surf. I have no idea how much each wave cost, but I definitely felt cleaned out by the time the trip was done.
I love going to Sumbawa, the airfares are fairly reasonable, accommodation/food is cheap and the waves are good. Dill and I really wanted to go to Macaroni’s too but it was just too expensive.
Reunion was amazing, although very stressful because of the shark situation. Apart from that, the locals were very welcoming and hospitable. The weather and waves were also incredible! It really sucks that it’s so sketchy to surf there because Reunion is a beautiful island.
I was organising footage on my hard-drive over the Christmas/New Years period and came across those old India clips. I can’t believe that was 5 years ago! It felt like that trip happened the other day. I’d say going to India with Craig [Anderson] was a turning point in my career. I’d just stopped doing the QS because I ran out of money, I was feeling a bit hopeless and dejected and then I received an invitation to go on this amazing trip! My parents were kind enough to help fund my airfare so I had to grab the opportunity. Craig was working on Slow Dance at the time and I was just there for the jolly. After seeing Craig’s work ethic and getting an insight into a ‘free surfing’ trip, I thought that it was an amazing new avenue of pro surfing that I should pursue.
I’m not a poster boy for free surfing, but I think it’s way more exciting than surfing contests. I think that releasing video parts is really what pushes the ‘sport’. I also don’t like to view surfing as a sport.
Somewhere you'd like to go back to
Iceland -- it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited. It was surreal, it felt like I was on a different planet. [See below.]
Your favourite place for a surf trip
I just love surfing at my local spots in South Africa. It's where I honed my skills. South Africa in general holds sentimental value to me.
Your worst surf trip ever
Hmm, not sure. Traveling is an education, you can take away something positive from every destination you travel to. Even if it’s a super shitty location.
Something you always bring with you
A camera. I like shooting photos as a hobby.
A book you read whilst on the road
I never travel with a book, in fact, I rarely read books. I feel like such a dork when I see Dill reading something about the space-time continuum and I’m just listening to music or browsing Tumblr.