How to hunt big Euro tunnels
Words by Morgan Williamson Nic Von Rupp’s My Road series is one that we certainly dig. The newest installment will be dropping tomorrow on this here site, it’s in your best interest to watch this space. We caught up with Mr Von Rupp to snag a taste of what went into putting together episode four […]
Words by Morgan Williamson
Nic Von Rupp’s My Road series is one that we certainly dig. The newest installment will be dropping tomorrow on this here site, it’s in your best interest to watch this space. We caught up with Mr Von Rupp to snag a taste of what went into putting together episode four of his web based films. It’s not too often we get gifted with surf edits that are upwards of two-five minutes long and it’s always nice when we do. It give us time to stop furiously searching through the constant upload of surf porn and sit back and enjoy. “We’ve been working on this for a while now, we just wanted to make something a little bit different,” Nic tells me. “It’s hard to piece together a 16 minute edit, you really need to get some good footage. Fortunately this last winter was insane, we had such a good run of swell in Ireland, Portugal and the Canaries.”
Nic and co start out in Ireland for one of Mullaghmore’s inaugural paddle sessions. It’s a treat, that wave’s a cold, shifty, special beast. It takes a certain committed surfer to brave the emerald isle’s premiere big wave spot. “That’s one of the craziest waves I’ve ever seen,” say Nic. “We’re still waiting for the right conditions to come together. On the right day it’d be up there with the best waves in the world. A 20 foot day with light winds would be insane, unfortunately the winds don’t cooperate all that often in Ireland, but the swell’s consistently there. The guys that poineered that wave fucking charge. Tom Lowe stays stationed there, he’s in the film. The man’s proper mental.”
“I had a few sessions with Tom last year out there, it was 20 foot and clean as a whistle,” says Nic on Mullaghmore. “It was just me and Tom out there, and most the time it’s only Tom surfing it. Who wants to surf 20 foot waves with big barrels by themselves? It’s pretty fucking scary, it’s shallow and if you hit the reef shit can go down out there.” We’re chatting on the possibility of Mullaghmore become over run by crowds after all the media attention over the past few years. “We had a session there a few days ago and there were seven guys out, which is pretty crowded for the spot. The thing is to surf it, you got to really want it. I think crowd is good at spots like that, it makes people push themselves. I would love if Mark Healey or Shane Dorian would go surf there. I think they could teach us some lessons on how to go deeper. It’d be good to share some waves with guys like that there.”
The fourth installment of My Road was shot exclusively in Europe, showcasing some of the best slabs and mind bending pits the coast has to offer. “This year all the spots we shot came together,” Nic tells us. “Europe can easily be the best surf trip of your life or the worst. The clip’s pretty much each wave at it’s best. It took a long time for it all to align, you never really know what to expect. I just recently started surfing bigger barrels, it’s like a drug you get addicted and just want to go bigger. For me it’s all about how square the barrel is not the height of the wave.”
João Macedo’s an integral part of Portugal’s surf scene is also featured in the film. “I grew up close to the beach in a big bodyboarding community,” Nic says. “I was starting to become a bodyboarder, then João took the bodyboard from my hand and gave me a surfboard, he said ride this now. He was my mentor who brought me into surfing. My parents didn’t want to let me surf, they thought it was too dangerous and surfing didn’t have the best image in Portugal 15 years ago. So João came over for dinner one night basically told them to let me surf. If it wasn’t for him I’d still be laying down.”
“I get a lot of inspiration from bodyboarders,” Nic continues. “They’re the first ones riding heavy slabs all over the world. They have more of a go for it attitude and it pays off for them. They were owning waves far before any surfers set foot on them. They’ve 100 percent molded my barrel chasing mentality, that’s who I grew up with and they always pushed me to my limits with surfing. I would try and sit where they were and pull into the same pits as them, just standing up. Ireland has a big bodyboarding community too. Tom Lowe and Fergal Smith grew up hanging out with mostly bodyboarders so they’re some of the few guys that are able to surf the slabs that bodyboarders own over there. I think bodyboarding’s sick, the waves they get into, they’re not standing up but they’re still getting pounded. They’re a lot gnarlier than us.”
“I’m still doing the QS,” says Nic on his plans for the year. “I did all the primes last year but really I just like being in the water. I think you have to be able to do it all. In Europe we have an amazing coastline with big waves and barrels. That’s what I love; chasing some big pits.”
Cold, windy, emerald and hollow just the way Nic likes it.
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