To anyone who has attempted to cross the invisible line in the sand between the surf centre of Morocco and the no man’s land of Western Sahara can affirm surf exploration is hard!
Even the shortest jaunt off the tourist trail of Indo or Oz can be frustrating and hardly worth the time but that’s not the point is it? As Taylor Jensen states in the foreword ‘getting there can be another story’ and so, for those with a sense of adventure, a dose of wanderlust and just the plain crazy there’s the The Longboard Travel Guide by Sam Bleakley.
There are the usual suspects of Malibu, Noosa and Waikiki but this is a Sam Bleakley creation and therefore China, Gabon, and Haiti get equal billing and it’s these that, for me, make the book stand out from the crowd.
I’m not sure anyone else could write this book. No one else has traveled as extensively into the darkest corners of the global as Sam. An ex-champion turned professional surf explorer he distils his knowledge and experience into the pages making it all look easy to score from Angola to Arugam Bay.
The book is filled with glorious images by Bleakley’s Surf Explore co-founder John Callahan, and with contributions by longboarding luminaries Belinda Baggs and our very own Ben Skinner it’s inspiring whatever craft you ride.
There is, of course, the usual solid travel advice we’ve come to expect from Chris Power and the folks at Orca, everything from what meds to take to which camera might best capture your brilliance at the nose.
How to pack, get fit and organise that trip along uncharted coast of Africa are clearly marked out. And where else but in surfing will you find a language guide that has Indonesian next to Spanish?
Whether it’s Mexico, Morocco or Madagascar we need to get out there and earn those details
You might argue that each spot isn’t covered in enough detail but then you’re missing the point. This is the first step a long the road. Whether it’s Mexico, Morocco or Madagascar we need to get out there and earn those details.
The Longboard Travel Guide is a guide, but that’s only half the joy. It is for inspiration, for mind surfing and for driving yourself crazy at the sheer potential of the planet’s surf. For these reasons there’s probably not a better book on the market, whatever vehicle drives your stoke.