Drift speaks to Jim Heimann - cultural anthropologist, graphic design historian and author of a new publication TASCHEN's 365 Day-by-Day Surfing - a collection of vintage photographs and art works that will have you waxing nostalgic for bygone beach vibes.

A road trip around the Scottish coastline reveals all of the anticipated joys along with a few unexpected pleasures. Words and Photos: Jonathan Barattini

Jimmy Newitt pays homage to one of South Devon's treasures - not a break but a surfer who stands tall in the crowd. Words: Jimmy Newitt Photos: Ollie Howe

God Went Surfing with The Devil is a film by Alex Klein, which documents the war-torn region of Gaza. At a time when tensions are high, this film investigates the attitudes and aspirations of a small pocket of people where surfing removes socio-political divisions and lets the ocean carry their aspirations for peace.

Quietly considered and eloquent, you might know of Nathan Oldfield through his films 'Lines From A Poem' and 'Seaworthy'. Surf Screen's Christiaan Bailey popped him a few duly thoughtful questions about creative motivations and the surf film industry. Photos: Nathan Oldfield

When legendary longboard designer Bob McTavish came to Devon recently as part of TIKI's international shaper tour, Chris Preston couldn't resist the opportunity to quiz him about the technicalities of board design... Photos: Jamie Bott

Hidden away in a Falmouth boatyard among the classic lines of traditional timber ships is an unusual surfboard factory: one in which the boards are finished with wood and natural oils. Here tradition meets modernism. This is Glass Tiger. Words: Mark Sankey Action photos: Kirstin Prisk Other photos & design: Alexa Poppe

Big-wave riding is an awe-inspiring experience, but what happens when things go wrong? In an exclusive extract from his new book, Al Mennie explains what it's like to survive the mother of all wipeouts.

Chris Brunt chats to west Penwith's prodigal son and professional journeyman Sam Bleakley about his thirst for adventure and love of longboarding. [All photos by Chris Brunt.]

Flitting between awesome waves at Aileens and Nelscott Reef is all in a week's work for Ireland's big-wave master Al Mennie. Words: Al Mennie Photos: Al Mennie, Gary McCall, Larry Jansky, Richard Hallman

Drift checks in with Andrew Crockett following the release of the much-anticipated 'Switch-Foot II', a tribute to surfing's counter-culture.


Back in the Bay


December 28, 2010 | Words By: Mat Arney

The Boxing Day tsunami hit Arugam Bay, on the East coast of Sri Lanka at 8.45am six years ago, taking the lives of 300 people, roughly twenty percent of the community’s population. Mat Arney revisits six years on.


Approximately two hours previously an undersea earthquake with a magnitude of between 9.1 and 9.3 had struck off the coast of Sumatra, near Indonesia’s Mentawaii Island chain, and the resulting waves of tsunamis caused devastation across the Indian Ocean. The International community rallied and donated more than US$14 billion for aid and reconstruction.

But how have some of the communities affected by the tsunami bounced back? The list of coastal areas impacted by the tsunamis includes some of the most revered destinations in the surfing world, so it’s inevitable that places that we hold dear to our collective hearts were affected.

It’s six years on, and the small village of Arugam Bay, spread out along the stretch of the bay from the lagoon to the point that draws surfers, seems to be back on track; there’s a new bridge over the lagoon, hotels are doing a brisk trade in the high season and there are multicoloured fishing boats and outriggers pulled up on the berm. But talk to any fisherman mending nets on the beach and you can tell that the memory still cuts deep…”and then the wave came and everything died” as one man told me.

I didn’t want to dwell too much on the past, but I was interested in the knock on effects and the hangover of this enormous natural disaster years after the international money donating public have moved onto the next cause and the aid agencies and volunteers have moved on. Sri Lanka is an interesting case to look at because of the additional ingredient of a long running civil war which only ended in May of 2009.

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There are still piles of rubble and half-destroyed buildings stood on their concrete foundations which are destined to remain as reminders. In January 2006 the government, which had been accused of standing by idly and contributing little to the relief effort, enacted the now infamous “100 metre rule” which forbade anybody living within 100 metres of the Indian Ocean from rebuilding their homes on the former site and forcing many fishermen inland away from their boats and the sea. This measure was designed to protect coastal communities from the possibility of more tsunamis however given the right amount of cash in the right hands, there appeared to be loopholes with the result being that many hotels were rebuilt in the same spot, and on many other parts of the coast the whole debacle was seen by locals as a back handed way of acquiring coastal property ripe for development.

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