Surf Europe’s Interview Issue on sale now – SE105

Who’s Taj’s hero? Who cares? Photo: Matt O‘Brien


Dear Reader,

This issue we decided to go a little in depth with some surf folk who we thought you might be interested to read about… but they were busy so we got these guys instead!

No but seriously, we relished the process of grilling these aubergines. From hooking up with Jeremy Flores during a forgettable Australian tour leg for him, to hopping on Ryanair and spending a couple of days veg growing with Fergal on the wild west coast, to skyping Shane ‘back’ Dorian on the Big Island, there’s certainly a bit of variety in our people soup.

Between those cats and the likes of Kepa, Reubyn, Ramzi and Dion, we hope to have got the right mix of inspirational and insightful to go with just in the barrel.

Because when it comes to heroes, particularly surf heroes, there’s no real right or wrong. (Well actually, there is some wrong…) As for me, I get new favourite surfers all the time. I’m like that teenage girl who took down her Bieber poster and replaced it with Harry Styles and then ditched him for, er… you get my point. I change my mind a lot.

For example, when I came back from four days in Ireland, Fergal was my new favourite surfer. Hands down, easy. Cool dude, charges harder than anyone ever (except maybe Shane Dorian).

Then, a week or so after coming back from Ireland there was a fab day down in Guethary. Glassy all day, pumping, not even that crowded. There, I met a friend of a friend, an ‘older dude’. He was short, maybe 60 years old, with a silver bowl cut, dark skin and a pretty decent pot belly. He rode an illuminous yellow 10ft Barland gun. Ten foot!

He absolutely dominated the morning session. Then he had lunch, and absolutely dominated the afternoon session. He surfed with his feet next to each other in the middle of his board in a kind of Eddie duck stance. He swooped into all the bombs and did outrageous fades, fruity cross step cutbacks, he was on fire. My lift didn’t stay for the afternoon, so I got a ride back to Capbreton with them and he was making wisecracks about hot office chicks in traffic. He was my brand new hero.

Then, maybe a week later, the surf got real good up here for days on end. I was getting up early, watching sun rise from the water out at my left. I say ‘my’ left for a reason. I had reverted to type, and my fave surfer was once again, me. I pulled in cheater fiving on my egg in front of pal who (quite accurately) is quite mean about my (lack of) tuberiding ability. But who cared about him? Not me! Not me me me me me.

Because just like Joel Fitzgerald in his 90’s quote from Litmus, there’s no shame in rating yourself. After all, if you don’t…

Which brings us to the theme of this issue. You don’t need to drive across the Sahara solo, win Pipe, start an organic food revolution or paddle 100ft Jaws to be a hero.

But it probably helps.


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