Watch: Italo Ferreira in “He’s the roughest toughest goofyfooter in all of Jeffreys Bay!”

Come for the ball-cutting backside jumps, stay for Italo's missile-like fin-drifts…

Eights week ago, or thereabouts, I spent two days documenting the life of Italo Ferreira and, by extension, his girlfriend, the Disney Brazil host and singer, Mari Azevedo.

At one point in the proceedings, as we ate a traditional Brazilian dinner of various meats festooned with banana, Mari broke into song, a beautiful ode to her lover called Voce and which you can download on Spotify. 

Translate the Portuguese lyrics and you get, 

Butterflies that were never there come with your scent”

“The heart of stone you melted”

“You took care of me in ways that I could never imagine.”

That profile is coming, soon, as well as an accompanying piece in The Surfer’s Journal.

In the meantime, please watch this recent two-minute hit from Italo at Jeffrey’s Bay.

Italo’s fin drifts and ball-cutting backside airs will make the silk of your kimono ripple.

Watch: Surfing’s own Jan Brady in “Let me stir my fingers in your vitals!”

See middle Florence bro tear hell at Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang…

I doubt if there’s a more attractive thing than fame that’s not only deserved but appreciated by its recipient. Nathan Florence, who is twenty five years old and occupies the middle cot in the three-level bunk at Log Cabins between John John and Ivan, has long cooled in the shadow of his world champion brother.

I once asked Nathan to describe the personalities of the three brothers and he replied, “Ivan is a serious little guy. Very serious little face. I’m more of the sarcastic one who’s making a joke out of everything and then John is just right in between. He can be super mature, just ’cause he has to deal with so many interviews and business-like stuff, but then at the same time he’s more immature than me and Ivan… especially when he gets drunk.”

I pressed Nathan to describe his older brother drunk,

“He looks like a little kid. He looks like a five year old.”

Recently, and thanks mostly to the ubiquity of YouTube vlogs, although his paddle-in at Teahupoo four years didn’t hurt, Nathan has put his own hand in the chocolate box of fame.

In this episode from his YouTube channel, fifteen thousand subscribers and climbing, we follow Nathan at the recent Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang. It is, I think, a love song to the world’s easiest chip-shot to stand-up tube, as well as to that magical island where happy locals can be found snoring in their hovels along the roadside even in the middle of the day.

Cameos from volume-hater Jon Pyzel, and Mahina Garcia, daughter of Kaiborg, whom Nathan has been dating since the third grade.

Exotic watch: “Beirut is a city to be loved and hated a thousand times a day!”

Ancient war-ravaged city spits tubes…

The last forty years haven’t been real kind to Beirut, once the blossoming intellectual flower of the Middle East.

Even with a cursory knowledge of world events, you’ll know Lebanon, of which Beirut is the capital, was ripped apart by a five-year-long civil war beginning in 1975 (Jesus’ proxies v soldiers of Allah) followed by an invasion by IDF muscle in 1982 after the PLO had set up shop across the border from Israel in Lebanon.

This short movie, Flight 566 to Beirut, was made by our dear friends from Wasted Talent magazine (who also have a dazzling shopfront on Avenue des Menuisiers in Hossegor, France, and which you must visit if you’re ever in town) and follows the Bierut-born, Reunion Island-raised surfer Mr Adrien Toyon as he chases a swell there.

A little context.

Adrien was born under shelling in a hospital basement north of Beirut during the civil war which once ravaged the peaceful and prosperous Lebanon.

We had been talking about doing a Mediterranean strike mission for a while over a few glasses of Rioja in Biarritz and we floated the idea of the Lebanon. Adrien spoke of a mythical slab near where he was born that has never been surfed called ‘Yours’, and spoke of his yearning to return home to surf it.

So there we were, three weeks later having watched a developing swell chart. We disembarked Flight 566 to Beirut, and stood at Lebanese passport control being asked by men with handsome moustaches and heavily braided shoulders as to our intentions.

We left 5 days later wearing wry smiles, humbled by the overwhelming welcome we were met with. Humbled by the quality of waves and the surf culture in it’s infancy. A modern, progressive society reflected in its gentle people, keen to disparage the ghouls of the past and to show the rich cultural and social heritage of their beautiful nation. A beacon of liberty, tolerance and prosperity in the Middle East.

My expectations were, having frolicked in the sea nearby, very low but the righthander at the four-minute mark will make you clear your throat and lift your beer in salute.

Watch: Surfers star in NZ gov anti-drunk driving ad!

"Imagine if Jono kooks it on his way home…who'll get us through Mad Mick's to Bone Yards?"

Driving pissed ain’t a joke. But we’ve all done it, I would think: lubed to the gills, inflated by hubris, waking in the morning to the faint smell of urine and a disbelief we made it home without killing ourselves or putting a bystander under the wheels of our zig-zagging car.

And, let’s be honest, most of us have watched a pal stagger into his car and pilot it home.

In this ad from the NZ Transport Agency, two surfers must decide whether or not to intervene when a drunk pal, who’s the only one who can get ’em past a notorious farm owner whose property they gotta cross to get to surf a joint called Bone Yards, is about to drive himself home from a party.

What if he crashes on the way home and they can’t get through the farm?

It’s  a dilemma.

Watch: “Dance expressive surfing” and “Breakthrough moves”!

New surf-dance movement sweeps Australia!

Three days ago, the ISA president Fernando Aguerre told reporters he wanted a hunk of that Olympic cash to spruce up the surfing part of the Games.

See, none of the five new sports in Tokyo (karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing and baseball/softball) will get any of the hundred of millions of dollars in revenue from TV rights etc.

These fringe sports are told, essentially, to fend for themselves; the IOC as Brahmins, surfing and skating as the wretched Harijan.

“We’re hard-pressed, with our small resources, to execute and we’re doing the best we can,” Ferdie told SportsPro Media. “We’re hoping that the decision-makers find a way to help us in a way to bring even more value to the Olympic Games.”

Well, before the tide of bitterness rises too high, allow your pals at BeachGrit (thanks OttoBeenThere and Negatron) to point you at a new movement sweeping Australia: Dance Expressive Surfing.

Surfdancer Academy™ is a surf school based in Queensland’s Noosa Heads that promises a “cutting edge, multi disciplinary learning centre inspiring joy and wellbeing.”

The troupe is also available to perform at the opening ceremonies of surf festivals.

Olympics, yes?