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.

Mark Sankey and Alexa Poppe head through Spain and Portugal in search of a surfing paradise.

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

Follow cameraman Mike Lacey as he takes on Hawaii. An amazing collection of photos from the spiritual home of surfing. www.mikelaceyphotography.co.uk

Jeff Divine remembers the time when surfers were akin to outlaws, and his photographs capture the days of uncrowded line-ups, good vibes and barefoot living. Words: Michael Fordham Photos: Jeff Divine

Homeless at fourteen, prison by eighteen, Jonny Gibbings endured a violent and difficult start to life, resulting in being illiterate until late teens. Now a published author Jonny talks to Drift and shares his lifelong passion for Surf.

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

Looking to the future with an eye firmly on the past, Tom Wegener has reintroduced the transport of kings to surfing's elite. His boards are works of art, but it's his veg patch that really floating Tom's boat right now... Words: Tommy Leitch 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

This is the story of an epic coastal journey from North Germany down to Morocco in an old Fiat Ducato. We documented the trip, the places we saw and the people we met. We called this Gen Süden www.gensueden.com. A project that focuses on being on the road with a van and a surfboard and all the great things that come with it.

Portugal explodes onto the global big wave circuit with a handful of household names and a freakish wave canyon. Photos: Jorge Leal and Wilson Ribeiro.


Musings with Lauren Lindsey Hill


November 15, 2012 | Words By:

Lauren Lindsey Hill embraces her role as one of surfings ecofeminists. After travelling, surfing and sailing down the Californian Coast with her for the Surfers for Cetaceans TransparentSea Voyage I wanted to learn more about her views on gender and environmentalism within the surf industry.


NF: Tell us a bit about your surfing background.

LLH: I grew up at the beach and in the ocean at home on Anastasia Island in Florida and started surfing when I was 13. I longboarded competitively for 6 or 7 years, won the U.S. women’s longboard title for under 18’s in 2001, and then quit competing to go to university. While earning a degree in environmental science, I started researching surfing and sustainability issues.

Can you put into words why you think men and women’s surfing are so different?

A Cirque du Soleil performance really crystallized my ideas on the difference between men’s and women’s surfing. I watched as men acted out impressive, powerful, and intricately choreographed acrobatic stunts. Then I noticed that there weren’t any women performing those stunts. Rather, women tended to be in roles that highlighted flexibility and grace: those roles that generally focused on form. No one wondered, “Why aren’t the female performers doing the tricks the men are?” No one was making assessments about men or women being better or worse performers than another. It’d be totally irrelevant to do so. If the whole show were a feat of only flexibility or daring acrobatics, it’d be much less impressive. Appreciating the diversity of movement is key.

Do you think the mainstream industry realizes this, and respects it?

It seems mostly like the mainstream media uses women as novelty or as pretty accessories, with the exception of a small handful of women who are respected within the culture. Generally speaking, there are more shots of girls on the beach in bikinis than women surfing in men’s surfing magazines. There’s nothing wrong with women in bikinis, but that imagery just perpetuates tired old stereotypes of women as passive spectators instead of active participants in the surfing world.

What responsibility do you think the brands should take in order for women’s surfing to head in a direction that honours, liberates and empowers the women behind the industry, taking it in the most enigmatic and diverse direction?

I don’t think that solely relying on brands to change our culture is a good idea. They are businesses that ultimately are trying to make money and they will create their brand’s imagery according to whatever our culture deems cool or relevant for the time. But then again, the brands are the driving force behind most surfing magazines, so they do have some control over editorial and, of course, advertising content. It is up to us to create the surfing culture that is inclusive of diversity.

Blue whale experience TransparentSea by Hilton Dawe

Do you think the female stereotype in surfing has the power to evolve?

Unfortunately, many of the upper echelon of competitive female surfers (who mostly happen to be very young) are buying into the hyper-sexualized versions of female surfing. And why shouldn’t they, when they are making good money and seem to be living great lives. None of them are at fault individually. But, from a broader perspective, by sexualizing themselves over and over, allowing raunchy non-surfing, bikini photo spreads to be run continuously, they are perpetuating the static image of female surfer as passive sex object. On an individual basis, I’m sure it seems harmless, but the cumulative effect is detrimental and sets eroticized imagery as the accepted standard for female surfers. And, why would our male-driven magazines, companies and culture change this when these kind of characteristics fit into the mould of how they are taught (and then demand) women should be: passive and sexualized.
This imagery will only evolve when we as women surfers demand something different with our dollars and our sense.

What responsibility do you think the surfers should take in order to assist this progression, and who has been influential in this area already?

People in power are almost never agents for changing the status quo they control. We, as women surfers, are responsible for interjecting our perspectives and opinions. Cori Schumacher is a great example of progressing women’s surfing by not only being a talented surfer, but also by revealing her ethical responsibilities for social causes. Her rejection of pathetic sponsorship offers from companies on the grounds of the undervaluation of women’s surfing stands as a bright and brave example for me.

Can you tell us about your role as an “ecofeminist”?

Eco-feminism has to do with the eradication of pollution. From an ecological perspective, this means realizing, educating, and working to end all behaviours which threaten the ecology of the planet, including all places, processes and biodiversity on Earth. From a feminist perspective, this means eradicating the mental, physical, and ideological “pollution” that a patriarchal system creates as it divides through oppression.

We all belong to environmental and social systems that support us and allow us to thrive as multifaceted beings. The healthier these systems are, the healthier we are as individuals and as societies.

Do you agree with the statement that “The state of the oceans reflect the state of humanity” and what have you learnt on your recent journey which relates to both aspects?

I Agree. All animals alter the environment in which they dwell, but we seem to be most likely to foul our own nest, that is, this beautiful planet that sustains us.
Slowly sailing down the Californian coast, I witnessed the endlessly busy human stream of development and pollution. Similarly, the ocean was cluttered with the refuse of that world.

Can you offer any advice to surfers keen to take the first steps to help protect the source of liberation and joy found at the core of the surfing lifestyle; The Ocean?

Yes, education is the first step in creating change. Surfing can be a powerful source of reassessing your place on land and within the water.
When you learn about how amazing this planet is, and specifically how intricate systems conspire to allow us to do this thing called surfing, it is easy to be inspired and called to the defence of the systems that make it possible to ride waves.

Lauren is currently working on a project called Sea Kin, which combines social and environmental values through the joyful framework of surfing, find out more at theseakin.com

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0 Comments


  1. Beautiful and powerful.

    1
  2. Nathan Oldfield says:

    So good to have intelligent, sensitive voices such as my friend Lauren L. Hill's in our shared surfing culture.

    2

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