“France Is Completely Schiz!”
Fast and loose on the European leg!
If we stayed another night in France we would have died.
“This place is schiz!” Chippa Wilson told us one very late evening, before we watched Jay Davies nearly tear the doors off a fridge looking for one of what he swore were two leftover duck breasts, the whole lot of us gin-soaked and merry after Monday night’s triple-header at Wasted Talent, and a first look at Chip’s new mind-fuck of a flick (coming next week!).
Matt Meola, Chippa Wilson, Jay Davies, Evan Mock, and Jack Freestone. Most of this crew has dragged themselves to Amsterdam, and next to Rome, for a string of rager premieres, before Chippa’s premiere in Costa Mesa this Thursday!
The last ten days have been full-on, the night’s a string of premieres and late-night dinners that bleed into beers, vino, maybe a little bit of the hard stuff, with all roads leading back to the olive-skinned mass assembled at La Centrale…
Every surfer in Hossegor this week has had at least one night that ended watching the sunrise, hopefully from the comfort of a broody local lass’ Seignoisse lady cave…
And the day’s? Well, as Mick Fanning admitted, “What the boys got at La Grav Tuesday is what you dream about in France.”
Leo Fioravanti might not have gotten the Wildcard so many assumed he would, but he sure stole the show down the beach from the comp site on Tuesday
Walking over the dune on Tuesday felt surreal, A-frames and dredging rip-bank bombs detonating up and down the beach. Leo Fioravanti—who lives in one of the most remarkably opulent abodes just a few banks north at Estagnots— claimed it was the best day in two years, the north bank grinding for the better part of six hours, just a breath of offshores, the afternoon gloriously warm, and people getting blown out of barrels and stepping off onto dry sand…
All you had to do was look for the bloodshot eyes Tuesday night—on the terrace at Coolin, under the canopy at Cafe de Paris, searing a slice of filet over hot stone at Le Touring—to see who had spent the afternoon getting blown out of barrels, just a stone’s throw from where most of them would end up that night, again, at La Centrale.
Mornings often start a lil’ late here, the light creeping over the hills a little before 8am, and the line at Waxed creeping ever longer around 9, literally the entire world tour sighted at one point or another devouring poached eggs and avocado toast and almond milk flat whites because, as Buckley noted, everyone ha managed to discover “the only coffee shop in town that feels exactly like those where you are from.”
A lovely place to wait in line and consider decisions from the previous evening.
Noa Deane, before the fall.
While we’ve certainly made some decisions we regret the last ten days, we’re most wracked with guilt for our part in sidelining poor Noa Deane, who joined us for a rainy day mission last weekend to Jeremy Flores’ Fantasy Factory* to skate the mini-ramp and launch airs into the foam pit with Josh Kerr, Eric Geiselman*, Leif Engstrom**, Kalani David***, and a few of the other Air Show heads
About forty-five seconds after Noa rolled in, he was limping out.
“I did my ankle good,” Noa said, as he stormed out, his ankle already swelling.
We ran into the poor kid hobbling around on crutches later in the week, in good spirits considering, claiming six weeks before he’s back to trying to break both his ankles on his LSDs. Last we saw, he was getting wheeled through Charles De Gaulle by Matt Bemrose, headed home for some R&R.
Most of the time we’ve been working on the next episode of No Contest, with Sam Moody and Jacob Wooden grinding out ten and twelve hour days behind REDs, or cruising with Eithan Osborne, Griffin Colapinto, Sebastian Williams, Eric Geiselman, and Kalani David, as well as the rest of the crew Kerrzy and Dave Prodan assembled for the first Red Bull Airborne.
Young South African Sebastian Williams, hucking one with little regard for his bum ankle.
Three weeks ago, eighteen-year-old Eithan Osborne lived in relative obscurity. After winning 20k at Stab High for biggest air, Kerrzy and Prodan put him as second alternate in RBA. With Noa Deane hurt and Hector Santa Maria a no-show, Eithan got the nod, made the final, and earned a spot on the WSL and Red Bull’s World Airborne Tour. Yeah, kid’s on a good one.
Lark! Eric Geiselman, extending.
Someone fucking sponsor this kid already! Kalani David, La Grav.
With Julian Wilson**** elbowing his way back into the World Title conversation, and Stephanie Gilmore leaving the door open again, we’re happy to see French leg recede in the rearview. We booked the last flight out of Bordeaux Friday night and found ourselves waking up in LIS, and sprinting west in search of a sheltered corner. As we speak, Portugal is getting hammered with wind and rain, the Atlantic angry, massive. We sat on the cliff at Cave for an hour yesterday and watched mutant pits turn inside out, before heading to downtown Ericeira for a tour from Huntington expat Kanoa Igarashi, who has quietly kept his bi-lingual, bi-coastal existence under wraps for the last few years.
“The forecast is absolutely insane,” Kanoa told us, covered in crumbs and through a mouthful of pastel del nata. “Every single day looks good. It’s going to be crazy.”
Keep it cutty, Stab. To Peniche!
*AKA Lark, AKA The MOst Underrated Surfer In The World (according to, well, everyone here who’se watched him surf the last few days).
**Who Stab mercifully saved from the clutches of a very hot to trot fifty-year-old who kept looking at Leif like she was going to tear him limb from limb.
***It’s damned good to see Kalani David ripping (the twenty-year-old having gone through hell the last couple years) and to see him come out the other end with a good attitude and youth still on his side. We’ll be looking forward to seeing him on the Airborne Tour next year.
****Perhaps the only WCT surfer we didn’t see out once. Which just goes to show ya.
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