People of the Surf Europe 100
Meet the folk behind the guide to surfing's hottest products of 2018
So you've read the Surf 100. Extensively. You were both informed and entertained, and you're on the brink of swapping some cash for surf gear to make this summer your shredliest yet. But you're wondering... who are these people that brought the finest surf gear review in history. How exactly did they do that? But most of all, what's their vibe?
Billy 'Piper' Wilson fulfilled a life-long dream when he was asked to write approximately 50 surf gear reviews, and model many more. (I wrote the other half). He wasn't sure how best to model the world's finest surf gear, which is understandable. It ain't easy. I said, "Think celebrity parents: Louise Minchin and Natxo Gonzalez." He absolutely nailed that look.
A family friend of Mike 'Brindawg' Brindley did the music for Alby Falzon's Can't Step Twice on the Same Piece of Water , which is both roots, and culture. Brindawg used this unique insight and heritage of the creative process of shred to shoot some very fine product photography. This spring, he showed his unwavering dedication to the global stoke of surf riding by schlepping from New Cross, South London to Croyde, North Devon, (4 1/2 hours each way, on a good run) four weekends in a row. Yes, the stoke torch is burning bright with this one.
"Please no... not the helmet" - Adrien Toyon
Giles Dean is Surf Europe's Advertising Executive. Shunning a tradeshow in Berlin, he instead came on the Fuerteventura mission and starred in the Ion clip, shredded all day everyday and kept the vibes buoyant. When he's not doing lucrative deals on digital content, he enjoys Brazilian Forro dancing, West Ham United and celebrating International Woman's Day. Giles and I first decided the Surf 100 was a go last autumn, sitting on the steps near the primary school in Soorts-Hosegor, drinking cans and having a 'rest'.
Hec Menendez is a legend. First time I met him was in Tahiti in 2009, on a Nike 6.0 trip. Nobody picked him up from the airport, so he spent the night in his boardbag in the carpark. He spent the trip with my Vans towel over his head and shoulders, shielding the sun off his new tattoos, which meant most of the footage was unusable. Epic. He surfed for the Dakine JJF product test and was a great host around his island.
Alex 'Alec Baldwin' Bauduin stayed with us in the SE house and picked up the vibe an ran with it. He'd never heard of The Smiths, but had decent taste in Golden Age 90's hip-hop, among other genres. He slept on the couch and got woken up by the sound of fart, each morning at 6.50am. He shreds full-time for Vissla.
Jolan Lequertier is a friend of Hec and model/surf school instructor/cross fitter/all round top chap from Fuerte. He modelled and surfed for us and was an all round ledge. He wore boardies even though the water was on 17 deg C, and went above and beyond the call of duty.
DJ Merlin aka Will Berman likes all kinds of drum n bass, "except jump up." Jump up? It's a type of DnB, apparently. Merlin filmed all the location stuff in Fuerte and did a bunch of editing of the films. He loves Star Wars, and was aghast when I admitted I'd never heard of Tatouine. It's a (made up) planet, apparently.
"Please no, Paul, not the helmet," Adrien Toyon pleaded. No, it's not what you think... he was asking not to be filmed wearing the helmet for the Nikon shoot. He's not keen on helmets, but he did it any way. Adrien surfed for the Vans clip, and the Nikon clip, in Biarritz, Hossegor, Capbreton, Anglet and Mundaka. He's doing his internship with Surf Europe this spring and is on course for a glowing report.
Sarah Rimassa is Factory Media's Head of Production, and helped produce the Fuerte shoot. She once fronted a band called Same Day Service, who played the Vans Warped Tour, and SXSW, among other things. Here they are at SXSW in '06
Ryan van Kesteren is Factory's Art Director and was the man behind the studio concept, as well the pre and post production on the shoot. He might be the first person to model a wetsuit with an icepick.