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.

"I'm not interested in formulae when it comes to surfing and art." Ryan Lovelace talks to Chris Preston about trusting your eyes, hands, and feet, and adding another leaf to the weird-hull-alternative-vibe-tree. Photos: Morgan Maasen, Brandon DiPierri & Ryan Lovelace

Photographer Ben Thouard joins the Oxbow team aboard the Windward as they trawl pristine Pacific atolls in search of adventure, virgin waves and new opportunities.

Ireland's fierce and unpredictable breaks have been valued by its home-grown big wave riders for some years now, but competition has been a long time coming. All that changed with the inaugral Mullaghmore Tow Session 2011. Conn Osborne got in harm's way to steal a photo essay.

Al Knost is one of the best sliders around and has a close connection with a scene far removed from the modern marketplace hustle. Ryan Tatar tracked him down with his project partner Tyler Manson and gave us an insight into their freshest work. Words: Ryan Tatar Photos: Jamie Bott & Tyler Manson

The alaia has become something of a shining star in recent years. Mark Sankey shares a photo essay of Cornish alaia riders. Photos: Lionel Duffau, taken at Crantock and Bundoran.

In Senegal the deserts of North Africa meet the jungles of the tropics. It's an open–minded Islamic country of many cultural experiences and idiosyncrasies; it's also one of the safest and democratic countries in Africa. And of course there's the surf... Words: Mark Sankey Photos: Alexa Poppe

This isn't a shameless plug. This is an encounter with a British company doing something special with surfboards. While the industry is focused on the multi-buck movers and shakers parading their eco-wares, let's not forget our homegrown talent. Words: Howard Swanwick Photos: John Morgan and Jamie Bott

When the ‘Apocalypse Now’ film crew packed up and left the Philippine coastal town of Baler, they left one important item behind – a surfboard. More than 30 years on and this quiet backwater is home to a stoked crew of welcoming locals. Words: Mark Sankey Photos: Alexa Poppe

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

Self-confessed board hoarder Chris Preston expounds the delights to be found within his tardis-like garden shed, and explains how he came to favour the quiver approach to surfing. Photos by Jamie Bott [except no.3].


Tranquilo


October 23, 2012 | Words By:

I recently met a sports journalist from Montana, Mike, while on my last Nicaraguan adventure. I felt extremely proud because he already knew of my blog! Being new to this story-telling, movie-making and photography-taking world, I jumped on the occasion to ask him for the magic ingredients to a good story.


One of his many valuable tips was to describe what I see, smell or feel. I explained how I found it hard to do this because almost every place I surf at is pretty special, but I don’t want to sound as though I am bragging about a different surf paradise on a weekly basis! I don’t think the lovely people who read my stories would really enjoy that and the stories themselves would lose some of their impact.

The place where I met Mike made it even harder because I experienced something there that I didn’t really think existed. Well, I knew it would have been around some years ago, when surfing was as soulful as you see it in Endless Summer, but maybe not now, not since online forums, guides, and forecasts often contribute to making great waves as crowded as a Guatemalan chicken bus! It is one of those places that is not talked about, by natural choice from whoever finds it because they feel a sense of responsibility to keep it the magic, uncrowded barrel-fest that it is…

I felt good there, and never intimated by the few very good lads who would encourage me to pull into the best barrels I’ve had…the only ones really! The surroundings also contributed to this sense of comfort: lush grass, horses, fresh water from the well, and coconuts in abundance. Seeing the same few people every morning, and being happy to have a chat, waiting for the sets to roll in was also unique. I usually hope to be on my own when I get in the water at 5:30am – not there. It was that good that it would have been a shame not to share it… everywhere you look was barreling, and most of them empty.

If there is one thing that you can be sure of with traveling, it’s that there seems to be some kind of a pleasant surprise pretty much everyday; a gift from another traveler, a huge electric storm, a great hostel with an eccentric owner, a glassy morning surf, or a local prepared to show you a good time and doesn’t mind that you understand less than half of what he says… I love my Melbourne life, but things are a bit more predictable over there!

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0 Comments


  1. That last week in Nicaragua was the last time we got proper waves… We need some swell!

    1
  2. We got a little here today!! had a fun surf at El Zonte!

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  3. Mike Harrelson says:

    Nice B&W photo. Mas olas por mi amigo, Ben.

    3


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