India by Train

Wish I’d read this NYT article before I covered 3,500 km across India by second-class sleeper. Having an Indrail pass would have saved a lot of time waiting in lines for train tickets. As usual, The Man in Seat 61 has lots of info about the Indian Railways and don’t forget to check out Jon Bowen’s epic of surfing and traveling in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Flying With Boards

As temperatures tumble into the single digits here in New England, frozen surfers dream of warmer waves. But before you pull the trigger on your next troppo mission, check out Surfer’s 2013 Airline Baggage Fee Comparison table.

At $200 a board, some airlines just aren’t worth it (yea, I’m looking at you US Air, Continental and United). Vote with your wallet: only fly airlines that charge reasonable fees.

Sprout

So, yea, it’s a few years after this movie came out; Netflix is kind of slow to add surf pics to the queue. But, for Thomas Campbell‘s paean to wave sliding, the wait was worth it.

This one-and-a-half hour long meditation on surfing features some of the best stylists in the water, including Dave Rastovich, Joel Tudor, Dan Malloy, Alex Knost, Belinda Baggs, Rob Machado, Dane Peterson, Devon Howard, Kassia Meador, and Skip Frye. Locations include California, Costa Rica, Australia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

The jazzy score is a perfect counterpoint to this kind of surfing and Campbell’s lens stays with the riders until they complete their waves.

There are a few missteps — a pointless animated interlude and self-consciously corny narration — but overall this is a beautiful record of surfing at its best.

Out the Back of Beyond

Talk about getting away from it all, Norwegian surfers Inge Wegge and Jørn Nyseth Ranum spent a winter surfing on the northwest coast of Norway. They built a driftwood shack above a cove on the Atlantic-facing side of an island in the area known as Nordland.

We found a picture of their hobbit home on our new favorite shelter mag, FreeCabinPorn, which led us to the documentary film they made about their adventure. Here’s the English language trailer for the film, North of the Sun.

Travel Light

Matt Whitehead is upholding the grand tradition of Aussie travelers who go far on very little.  With his hybrid Bilenky-Surly touring machine he has ridden from Nova Scotia to Central America. He’s in the middle of another trip now. Looks like he’s camped on a pointbreak somewhere in central Baja. The above video is from Korduroy.tv, a growing channel for DIY surfing.

Find out more about Mr. Whitehead’s ongoing travels at Matt’s site.

Manly-Freshwater Named World Surf Reserve

The barrel at Manly

Manly-Freshwater Beach was named Australia’s first World Surfing Reserve today. The Mayor of Manly, the Governor of New South Wales and Kelly Slater turned out for the dedication ceremony Saturday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. The beach, located just north of the entrance to Sydney harbor, is considered the birthplace of Australian surfing with the earliest account of Aussie boardriding happening at a surf carnival there in 1912 and Duke Kahanamoku showing up to ride a few two years later.

The World Surfing Reserves initiative is an outgrowth of Save the Waves and Australia’s National Surfing Reserves organization. It’s modeled on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, although it lacks the sanction of that international body.

The idea that surf breaks have some economic and social value to people other than surfers has been around for some time. The Bell’s Beach Surfing Reserve in Victoria, was formed in 1973. The legendary Easter surf contest at Bell’s has been running for 50 years and the nearby town of Torquay owes much of its growth to surfing.

Other municipalities are waking up to the benefits surfing can bring. Santa Cruz is slated to become the next World Surf Reserve in April.