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Photo: Nil Puissant

“If You’re Angry, Go Hit A Big Ramp”

Erwin Bliss practices what he preaches in ’22:22′.

cinema // Jun 14, 2022
Words by Michael Ciaramella
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Erwin Taupinard, known more commonly as Erwin Bliss, is an enigmatic surfing figure whose edits tend to leave us with more questions than answers.

This is certainly true of Erwin’s latest performance art piece, filmed and edited by his very talented pal Yentl Touboul, called ’22:22′. The seven-minute feature is filled with dystopian scenes, polarizing sounds, and a reckless style of surfing that simply can’t be denied.

We reached out to Erwin to figure out the meaning behind 22:22 and see, generally, what he’s been up to.

A moment of contemplation. Photo: Nil Puissant

Stab: First things first, the name — 22:22. Whats it all about?
Erwin Bliss: 22 is my lucky number, as l was born on a 22nd and I’ve noticed that every 22nd are good days to me. I met my girlfriend on a 22nd. 22 just keeps poping in my life. When I look at the clock, I always see 22:22. 

Also l remember the 22nd of June (2019) was the best surf of my life. Just yesterday we were in a pub in Sydney. l ordered an espresso martini and a pint for $22.22, no kidding! So yeah, I thought 22:22 would sound good in 2022.

What was the inspiration behind this piece? Besides the number 22.
Ever since we decided on the name, Yentl and I had this idea of these numbers being a digital clock, like in some scene from a science fiction film. Then we it came to filming, it was a battle because of all the travel restrictions we had in 2021. We couldn’t make it back to Australia where we wanted to film originally, so we had to change our plans. When we finally got a break from the restrictions, we flew to Central America. During our transit, we ended up in this crazy concrete jungle . We got there super late at night, went on the roof of our hotel and there were just sirens and sky scrapers as far as the eye could see. Gotham City pretty much. That connected with the idea of that digital clock/dystopian feel we had at first and I guess the rest grew from there.

Erwin shapes his own boards. Photo: Yentl Touboul

Last time we chatted, I (rudely) asked if you ever surfed waves over head high. You definitely pushed it a bit further in this edit, surfing a few shallow slabs. Do you like heavier waves?
I do like heavy waves. I’m definitely not into mega waves, but l love to stand tall in tubes and hit serious ramps.

Airs: what are they good for?
I reckon airs are natural anti-anxiolytics. If you’re angry or stressed go hit a big ramp. Stomping a good air will make you happy and relaxed for a few days. 

Is there a trip or sequence from this edit that stands out to you? Any specific moments or stories you’d like to share?
The last trip we did in Portugal was definitely a success. An intense six-day strike with good waves, sick crew, beautiful weather and the food was… you know, Portugal. But it didn’t really start that way.

Yentl, Issam, Rolo and l booked an Airbnb before we drove down from France (which is a solid 10-hour drive), and we got to the place late at night. It was something like eight degrees outside, the flat had no heater at all, and the windows in the living room were broken and fixed with beer cardboard. There was a fire place but no fire wood. We were that close to throwing the coffee table in there. But then we moved toward the south, got a nice house with a pool, and all the stars aligned. 

Dion x ModCol vibes. Photo: Nil Puissant

You still shaping boards in Oz and France? What’s your #1 shaping philosophy?
Yes, I sure still shape in France and here in Australia. And I’m not sure about philosophy, but I started making surfboards because l wanted to know more about surfing and try to find the my magic board. 

What’s your #1 surfing philosophy?
Surfing makes me stop thinking about all the issues in the world. bLI$$

Anything else we’ve missed from Erwin Bliss?
Backside jumps maybe? Haha I’m working on getting more righthand ramps.

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