Did Jason And The Argonauts Discover A Turkish Slab In Ancient Times?
The Black Sea welcomes Stab Highway mystic, Kepa Acero.
Turkey has no ocean.
It does, however, have 3 seas: to the South, there’s the Mediterranean, to the West, there’s the Sea of Marmara, and to the North, there’s the Black Sea — officially recognized (albeit rudely) as just a “marginal Mediterranean sea.”
Despite its marginality (5x smaller than the Mediterranean), the Black Sea has a secret sauce: a proclivity to winds strong enough to generate fun waves. On this point, the Black Sea was originally made famous by the Greek mythological tale Jason and the Argonauts. In the story, the posse took refuge from a Gods-sent storm in a stone fortress near the town Persembe (formerly known by its Greek name, “Vona”) . In this short film, Stab Highway Europe host Kepa Acero and Vona local Deniz Toprak seek shelter in that same stone fortress and, once the storm clears, find a lowers-ish left nearby.
The could-be surf town of Persembe, Turkey is closer to neighboring Geogia or Syria than it is to Istanbul. It’s a culture and a people all its own, far from the hair transplant tourists and European hipsters of the nation’s capital. One look at Google Maps will catalyze your surf suspicions — the region is one long, steep headland — it looks like one mega left point break.
One particular left is a slab known as Jason’s Point (after Jason and the Argonauts). The reef is half natural, half man-made as the point once served as an ancient port. There are drilled holes all over the flat-stone bottom where docks used to be. Now, a draining lefthander (a few times a year) has made it its home.
I was kinda disappointed that Kepa and Deniz didn’t score it in this film, but, take another look at this article’s cover photo in case you are wandering around obscure Turkish villages with a surfboard anytime soon and want to know what it looks like.
But, Kepa and crew did eventually find proper surf at another nearby enclave. According to the film, a crew of fisherman showed them a piece of paper with meteorological data suggesting that a large storm was on its way.
The fishermen weren’t wrong, and soon Kepa had a soft but rippable left point break all to himself.
Despite the lack of anyone else in the line-up, the town of Persembe is starting to realize its own surf potential. A surf camp has opened up in the region and, according to the film’s director, more and more kids are learning to surf.
Persembe local Deniz even said that kids are finally starting to see the Black Sea as a place where they can have fun and not merely a place to fear in a storm.
In fact, they are learning that fun comes after the storm.
How’s that for surfing as a life-lesson deliverer?
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