The surprise of the year, so far, has certainly been the implosion of the World Surf League and subsequent disappearance of its Chief Executive Erik Logan, who appears to have entered the witness protection program after infuriating then infantilizing the proud South American nation of Brazil. Near eclipsing, though, has been the continued stratospheric rise of Scotland as a surf culture powerhouse.
Who could have possibly seen that coming?
But here we are and it’s true. The northern bit of that Great Britain, usually known for delicacies made from intestines and plaid, has placed itself firmly alongside California, New South Wales, Hossegor as an arbiter of wave sliding cool.
It all started to shoot skyward, of course, with a keen-eye’d writer from one town, or another, up there who rose to be the definitive professional surf tour correspondent. Yes, a contest is not truly over until JP Currie has opined. How are we supposed to feel about what we saw without his direction? Without his dissection of this or that? He is, now, firmly number one stepping right over the great Longtom and whichever hungry hippo Stab has trying to make sense of Callum Robson’s backside attack.
And continues its vertical climb with the just-announced opener of the august Edinburgh International Film Festival.
The world premiere of Scottish writer-director Johnny Barrington‘s debut feature “Silent Roar” will open the 2023 Edinburgh International Film Festival on Aug. 18. Billed as a “teenage tale of surfing, sex and hellfire” set in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, the film stars emerging actor Louis McCartney as Dondo, a young surfer struggling to accept his father’s recent disappearance at sea. Caught up in grief, he is brought to his senses by rebellious crush Sas (Ella Lily Hyland), a high achiever who dreams of escaping the island. When an oddly-behaved new minister arrives on the island, Dondo begins to have cosmic visions.
By the description a must-see but have you ever been to Scotland?
I have, once, to the aforementioned Edinburgh, in fact. I was very taken by its Georgian scowl, medieval fortress perched on giant stone, glowering. It felt exactly like it should feel, which is a fine trait in a city and I ate many fishes and many chips and read Irvine Welsh, or at least thought about someday reading Irvine Welsh.
An injection, anyhow, of the Scottish flavor to our surfing world is so very welcome. Less preening, more punching.