Thursday, December 11, 2008


I got a mate of mine named mat. Hails from the free-spirited beauty of Byron Bay, Australia. Unreal guy mat, little but big in spirit. He doesn't stand much over 5', and he's got a natty lock of dreads that makes up about a third of his total body weight. Full of vegan hooey and all the rest of that hippy crap. Mat rode his bike, with a board rack, a couple hundred, or is it thousand, miles to get to where we are today. He started out in Mexico City, rode to Austin Texas, somehow ended up in New Jersey. Then bused and biked to this here outpost on the Atlantic, in chilly Canada.
I don't know how much of the journey was fact, fiction, or exaggeration, but nonetheless it's still the stuff of legend.
As soon as his toes tickled the ocean he's become a fixture in the surf here. Soul style from the not very lofty tip of his head to the soles of his feet. Bonzer grooving, and yanking grab-rail turns, tai-chi cutbacks and other moves smooth as velvet pajamas on silk sheets.
Some fuckers hassled him the other day. Out at a somewhat secret spot with the unimaginative name of right point. These guys, could have been same geniuses who named the place, decided he was too much of an outside influence. Seems he's not from here, and had a friend from Jersey visiting the other week. Even heard tell of other foreigner types in these parts yokel bob, might be he brought them too!

This place has an abundance of spots as much as any other I've visited. Much more than most places. The waves are long enough to spread and accommodate a crowd. Not that there is enough of a surf population to make a real crowd. And the weather separates out all those but the most pure of heart.
So hassling? Get real. Learn some aloha. Welcome what you have and appreciate it, don't make it sour. With hundreds of miles of coast and a disgusting load of potential spots, if you cant mesh with society go find your own niche. That's what founded this place for fucks sake, keep it alive rather then trying to smother it to death!
One of this maritime magic-land's most famous sons is a surf photographer. They call him Snazzy Yassie. No they don't, they just call him Yassie. Yassine Ouhilal was the 7th most published surf photographer of 2007 according to Transworld. The cold coasts are the last untapped surf frontier on our ever shrinking earth, and Yassie happens to thrive on them. He snaps his home here, and travels shooting the Arctic to the tropics. A friend told me the crusty dogs here used to hate on the guy because he's 'publicizing' the place. Hasn't happened yet, and because the cold, won't happen soon. What he has done has publicized the stoke. He has put a lens to the spirit and the adventure that is a major draw for us surfers. Someone bitching about him showing a spot off? Man, the fat cat reading in California isn't gonna make the effort. Majority of 'surf travelers' will take the tailored and tamed surf trip. Where they don't have to do much more than swipe a credit card to get into a wave, and their only taste of culture comes from the private chef and the brand of beer available.
So mahalo to mat for have a different sense of adventure,and putting up with the small mindset encountered. And mahalo to Yassie for taking a difficult path and following it to the creation of beautiful images.

Yassie's had a show on at Nova Scotia's Happenin' new shop Ifonly, sat, dec 13 @ 7pm.

No comments: