What’s The Value Of A Physical Surf Mag During A Global Quarantine?
Simultaneously everything and nothing whatsoever!
(Ed. note: the following was written by Wasted Talent founder, Alexei Obolensky. Stab thoroughly endorses WT’s work and the fact that it continues to proliferate on the physical pages of a very-real and gorgeous magazine. You can swipe through a few images from their new volume above and find out how to get your hands on one below.)
What a difference a few weeks makes.
When the madness descended, I was in Mexico. Mexico is a fantastic country. As the world started entering meltdown, various questions raised their ugly heads. Would we get home? Should we go home? How are the local medical capabilities suited to this? I naturally adopted a more laissez-faire approach—another spicy margarita by the pool and we shouldn’t worry. Another spicy margarita and it would all go away.
How wrong I was. After a slew of cancelled flights, plus six hours of call centres (I am not a patient man), we learnt trying to navigate a flight home amidst against a global travel shutdown is not without its challenges. Finally, we boarded an empty Aeroméxico flight. Back into locked-down Madrid airport manned by very zealous Guardia Civil. Driving 500km of deserted highways across Spain to France, racing home. Glued to the guardian app, as the death toll in Italy alone passed 15,000. In Italy. Alone. The depravity. Stopped by the Army on the both sides of the French and Spanish border which we usually breeze through for Cañas and Olas with signature ease. Ordered back home to Biarritz as fast as I could go. I needed no encouragement.
This was serious. This was real.
And then the return. The not so triumphant return, the making it home against the lockdown and with rebooked flights and travel bans, back to your apartment. Where you arrive, sit down and say:“What now?”
The lockdown. To sit around and do nothing. The distanced weekly shop, the only personal contact with humans that aren’t residents of your house. No beaches. No parks. One hour of exercise a day with a QR code on your phone that the police take great pleasure in controlling. Here in France, I’d say we’re in the middle of the scale. On one hand, you have the UK, the US, Aus and Germany, where social distancing and common consideration has taken precedence over what could be considered draconian law-making in Spain and Italy, where children haven’t been allowed to leave the house for nearly 2 months. We don’t have it easy, but it could be much worse.
A change of pace indeed. So what to do.
We’ll print. We do what we can. And we win through solidarity, albeit at a distance. Zoom calls are made and the editorial team are hyped. We are in Europe. We are in the French Caribbean. We are in Australia. We’ll call and work across timezones.
We’ll print a magazine in quarantine. Alone. Together.
But why? What’s the point? Surf/skate/lifestyle (cringe) magazines are trivial things at the best of time, but with the current socio-economic climate, they’re verging on completely fucking pointless. But isn’t that the beauty? Surfing itself is trivial, pointless, and serves no purpose whatsoever other than to provide enjoyment. However during times like these, especially during the heavy-handed European lockdown, what we wouldn’t give for a little enjoyment. Oh, a little escapism!
We reached out to our network. It’s amazing how much can be done virtually, and how in times of despair, the solidarity shines through. Each of those contributors on the masthead, whose images and words you will most certainly enjoy, did this for no money. They gave us their words and photos and their thoughts for love, for the good of doing something together. And for that we are immensely grateful.
Through the ingenuity of our contributors and in-house team, we’re quietly proud of the stories on the following pages. We discover that Imogen Caldwell is a name worthy of your attention as we review a year with her across the world, all captured by Morgan Maassen. We spend time with old friends Dion and Taj in the Western Australian desert, whilst half of our team tested the better marbled flat spots and rooftop bars of Moscow. All this whilst seeing that again, women’s skateboarding is on a tear, witnessed by our time with Kate Shengeliya in Russia and Rianne Evans in the UK. Led by our inbuilt passion for independent filming, we touched in with Shane Fletcher and Wade Goodall to hear about their new project which is set to blow up, featuring a scrapbook from Fairy and the full behind the scenes of the now-iconic Weird Waves series. We also checked in with a whole host of characters, from Jacopo Carozzi to Chris Jones, Rowan Zorilla, and Alex Botelho. Not bad considering we made the whole thing under lockdown.
So, against a backdrop of a global meltdown, we head into Wasted Talent Vol VII. We hope it provides a welcome slice of distraction, as we, like everyone – aren’t sure how this ends.
Vol VII is now available free with any order from Wasted Talent Boutique, with worldwide shipping. It’s also free at a whole host of retailers globally as and when they can open their doors—we highly recommend supporting your local doors, head on down, buy something from them and pick up a copy. Core and independent doors need your support now more than ever. Are you a retailer and want a box? Let us know!
Fear And Loathing in Mainland Mex
Parker Coffin, Harry Roach, and the Roark crew embark on an authentic Oaxacan (surf) trip.
While Everyone Flocked To Tahiti, Kelly Stayed in Jbay
...And proceeded to rip the hell out of it on a "borrowed" 5-finned Tomo.
Can A GQ Cover Boy Take Out Teahupo’o?
Kauli Vaast is your incredibly handsome Tahiti trials winner.
Watch: Ramble On With Caity Simmers
An action-rich tour behind the scenes of her triumphant first voyage to Oz.
PSA: Surf Filmers Not Welcome In Nicaragua
Cameras and drones are being seized on arrival, Stab spoke with two recent visitors.
Inside The Alternative Surfboard Marketing Machine
Two of the biz's best — Matt Parker and Blake Peters — spill many beans.
Two Brazilian sporting icons killed brazenly by off-duty police officers.
The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: In The Belly Of The Beast
Albee Layer Discusses His Not-So-Budding Acting Career And The Upcoming Film “Sweet Adventure”
"Matt and Nora were tripping a little harder than I was just because they weren't…
How A Former CT Surfer Gets “Absolute Beginners” Barreled In A Matter Of Months
Luke Stedman elaborates on his Blackball surf programs.
Sweeter Than Stolen Honey
A versatile Haydenshapes x Dylan Graves HP (and soft board) tested in weird waves.
15-Year-Old Ladybird Erin Brooks Makes Final In All-Men’s Tuberiding Event
And Clay Marzo takes the dub.
Are We Looking At Reef Sculpting The Wrong Way?
The pros, cons, possibilities, and mechanisms of changing reefs to suit our surfing desires.
The Gudang Trio Discusses Brotherhood And How To Make It To The Mountain Top Together
Positive sibling vibrations we should all aspire to.