Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere - Stab Mag
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Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

Growing up in a forgotten desert with Eli Beukes

elsewhere // Jul 1, 2022
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

The west. It has an allure. The idea. The name even. We’re not talking about the capitalist, European, powers-that-be “west”. We’re referring to the wild west. The rugged, windblown desert of West Australia. The once-cowboy-filled, cold cliffs of Central and Northern California. West Africa, too, is underexplored and largely unknown to those of us uninformed. 

Windswept and cold, exposed to elements and often isolated from large cities, these places all require a degree of hardiness, of adaptability, and of resilience. There is a beauty too — maybe a result of the rawness — found in the animals, plants, people, and surfers that live there. 

Eli Beukes is one such surfer. 

As his new biopic “West by Southwest” explores, the 20-year-old hails from a fishing town on the West Coast of South Africa that may well have been the inspiration for Neil Young’s “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.”  Don’t believe us? Google Satellite does.

Probably, for Eli and his surfing progression, that’s been a good thing. Empty waves and lots of juice, thrown in the blender with some natural talent and an inclination for adventure is a recipe for a pretty damn good surfer. Or a very weird acai bowl.

Eli surfs fast, raw, and he ain’t scared of bunny-hopping towards some dry rocks (3:06). If this edit doesn’t make you want to go drive way, way up the coast to find a mystical offshore cove to yourself, we don’t know what will.  

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