Gran Canaria is already a favourite getaway for many Europeans. Year-round sunshine, virtually no rain and an abundance of home comforts have the tourists flocking in by the thousands. But Drift discovered a far better reason to visit - literally hundreds of hidden surf spots that can be yours alone to enjoy all year round.

Kye Fitzgerald recounts the tale of the unusual return of Bobby Owens' magic board. Photos: Mark Onorati, Aitionn

We're all aware of Rio de Janeiro and its most famous charms - the football, carnival, Sugarloaf, Copacabana, Caipirinhas, the girls, the parties - but what of the city's surfing and the culture associated with it? Drift checks out the stand out characteristics of 'the marvellous city'! Photography: Benoit Fournier / www.benoit-fournier.com

Championed by surfers in the know for over 30 years, but largely ignored by mainstream riders; has the time finally come for the Bonzer to shine? Words: Steve Croft & Mark Sankey Photos: Alexa Poppe

Dreamt up over 20 years ago by Renaud and Thomas Cardinal, two French brothers with a passion for board making, UWL has grown to become one of the biggest factories in Europe, while building a reputation based on performance and quality. Rui Ribeiro talks with Renaud about the past, present and future of UWL...

Tyler Warren's star is burning bright; his images feature prominently in magazines and his name's on everyone's lips right now, yet he pilots a steady course through the hype. Words: Chris Preston Photos: Kyle MacLennan

One of the great things about surfing in this current era is the wide acceptance of different board designs. Over the last 10 years, it has become acceptable to pretty much ride anything from surfmat to singlefin, fish to longboard. Words: Chris Preston Photo (2): Dan Crockett

Rob Lion of Royal Surfboards and Paul Smith of Glide Surfboards in Cork, Ireland meet with Zephaniah Carrigg, purveyor of functional and beautiful surf craft, on a recent visit to the island. Photos: Danny O'Callaghan

The Mentawais have given a lot to surfers; now it's time to give something back. Kate and Luke Gerson celebrate the beauty of these islands and highlight the continued need for aid following the recent earthquake.

Sean Mattison has a reputation as a designer, a coach, and a businessman. His competitive experience, retail background and knowledge acquired from testing hundreds of surfboards made him one of the most versatile surfers in California. Words: Rui Ribeiro.

Stephen Jones, director of triple-award-winning surf film El Mar Mi Alma, shares his vision of the surf-blessed land of Chile, its people, and the ocean that defines it.


Keep On Keepin’ On


January 23, 2011 | Words By: Droog79

The only thing I knew how to do / Was to keep on keepin’ on like a bird that flew / Tangled up in blue.
(Bob Dylan)


Greeting to all fellow Drifters and Driftettes,

This blog was established about a year ago as a more considered sister to my stream-of-consciousness outlet for surf/skate/travel musings and inky-fingered antics over at my blogspot.  Unfortunately, the intended prolific gush of beautifully rendered illustration, grainy snaps of far-flung beaches and cringe-worthy homespun philosophy quickly reduced to a trickle and then dried up completely. As some longhaired bespectacled Scouse once said “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”

Drifting= A lack of direction?

And that’s exactly what happened to me. So here’s an attempt to kickstart the old jalopy into action again. Please excuse this one-off self-centred coughing and spluttering of the creaking creative motor as normal service is resumed. Future posts will be simpler affairs but a little explanatory perspective seems in order

This time last year...

The intervening year has been one of great contrasts as we’ve moved from living in a stable in a dusty village on the outskirts of Puerto Escondido to the hectic, anonymous urban sprawl of an alien Asian megacity via a few months stopover/tour of the Motherland. Going from the surreal treacle- slow-paced life of tropical heat, salty face and sandy feet to this pressure-cooker of a “conformism-is-king” country hurtling towards the future has been quite a shock to the system, the mental and cultural ‘jet lag’ only just wearing off after five months.

"...colourful dreams of our meanderings through Central America fading."

So, here we are in South Korea, colourful dreams of our meanderings through Central America fading. Instead facing the reality of doing the hard yards to fund the fire of future plans. My desire to draw is still hanging in there but tempered by the tiredness and cynicism from our work in the factory-like English academy where we stuff fragile young minds to near breaking point with grammar and syntax.

Though marooned in a city, inland and bland, there is at least plenty of Kryptonic-friendly tarmacadam to trundle upon and and a few wooden ramps to tumble from to maintain the stoke. And a few miles out of the city, the undeveloped mountains dripped for a brief spell with autumn colour, crisp cold air and the relics of ancient ways that are getting left behind in the pursuit of someone’s idea of progress. These occasional pleasures and the wonder of modern communication with family and friends keep the frustrations of creeping culture shock and that impatient gnawing of ‘elsewhere’ at bay.

"Culture shock" is a misnomer for this slow creeping sense of unease and frustration

It’s easy sometimes to see this year of yearning and learning in cynical tunnel vision: Just killing time before we can do what we really want to do. But if the longhaired Liverpudlian was right, we might just miss out on the wonders around us and what we’re ultimately here for. So as we lurch from escapism to immersion and back again I try to keep in mind the words my Dad had engraved for me on a pewter hip flask: CARPE DIEM.

Wise words for the living, from a language long dead.

The surfing beach. Where you hope for rips because rips mean waves. They're such a rare event that the unfortunates being dragged out to sea on the poster have actually been photoshopped in!

Not an easy language to learn.

A crafty Christmas to remind me of those snowy rolling hills of home

Head In The Clouds - "we lurch from escapism to immersion"

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