Marc Lacomare, Hossegor. Photo: Timo

Dear Reader,

Thank you for you continued support of Surf Europe magazine. We, and perhaps more importantly, all the good causes and worthy, needy charities we support appreciate it. Now, of course, I did not go to journalism school to learn how to write emotional blackmail appeals to readers along the lines of ‘If you don’t buy this, the kids, whales and icecaps get it…’ Chiefly because I did not go to journalism school.

Anyway, this issue is mainly about the autumn in Europe. One where big swells made headlines, where surf pitched and foamed and roared almost everywhere, and people were glad. Personally, I spent a month down in Portugal, where I was lucky enough to rub shoulders with surf stars, shove a mic in their faces, watch a Women’s World Title go down and generally open my eyes to a world of radness.

On one layday, holed up in the Atlantico Hotel Peniche, the webcast commentators were drinking Sagres and talking surf. Joe Turpel, (the smooth talkin’ American one) was telling us about a particularly localised part of the L.A. coast, where locals are both awful and civilized. Awful as in they throw rocks at outsiders, even if they’re children, but civilized in their lineup management. You approach a break alone, and must sit and watch from the rocks. From there, you see if any set waves are going ‘spare’, or if the sets are full. If full, you wait until someone comes in. When someone comes in, you suit up, jump off the rocks and paddle out. And then, once in the lineup, when your wave comes, it really is your wave. A surfing queuing system so stringently observed that snaking, hassling, jostling, bad vibing, etc are not an issue. Should you not observe protocol of course, well, you just do, OK?

You who sit and wait before paddling out next sesh, we salute you. Whether it be just to let your lunch go down, to survey the lineup, to attempt to introduce the unlikely queuing system from Turpel’s anecdote, maximum respect from the SE team. Here’s to everyone out there staring at the sea with measured, anticipative zeal. In these hurried, ever quickening times, pre-surf relish is the new post-surf euphoria, don’t you know.


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