As we swim through the daily digital soup of crystalline barrels and hi-pro hacks, what really catches our eye are the novel representations of surf riding that take place a world away from the palm-fringed, perfect blues.
When seeking out such treasures, the Med is always a good place to start. A small, wind-whipped sea, where- thanks to scarcity and implied effort alone- anything other than a two-foot mush burger elicits a little bit of awe.
Pepper in a bit of narrative, and have it all dance under some interesting scenery and you’ve got a bit something that’s right up our street.
Yesterday, a new edit by Wasted Talent hit our sweet spot.
It features Beirut born, Reunion raised, France dwelling surfer Adrien Toyon chasing a Mediterranean swell back to his childhood home. Here’s a little bit more backstory from WT:
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.