Did you hear the one about the Englishmen, Irishman, Spanish and Frenchman? The scene is set with a glorious mid-winter Southern Europe swell chart. Cold morning offshores with sunny T-shirt weather by lunchtime. Shifting sandbanks turned on again and again and the week became non-stop surf after surf after surf. The Land Rover missions scored tube sessions, turn sessions, air sessions. The guys had it all. And in-between the time in the brine this collective of young modern day European surfers chewed the fat over a few surf and non-surf issues. So who are this crew?
Jobe Harriss is Bude born and bred. He learnt to surf at Crooklets and has spent almost as much time there as the sand that makes up the beach. Rumour has it that he was disappointed when he passed his driving test as it meant he might have to surf other places.
Luis Diaz is a real modern day Euro. The kid is from the Canaries but spends a load of time in France and Spain and has high-fiving buddies all over the continent. Growing up with reefs and slabs a plenty has given him a different surfing vibe than many of his peers in Euroland.
Angus Scotney despite being over six-foot tall is still the most frothing grom ever. Pre and post-school surfs at Fistral are his day to day vibe. Down to Newquay boardriders for a quick change and then just surf as much as possible. He’s looks to take his power game into the Euro Pro juniors again this year.
William Aliotti comes from the Caribbean but lives in Hossegor at the Volcom house most of the year. Super skilled in the air and calm, cool and collected in the tube. He represents the upper echelons of European hi-fi surfing right now.
Gearoid McDaid is the lone Irishman making a dent on the Euro performance scene. Aside from the big wave, crazy slab guys G-Man is the one getting attention going toe to toe in heats with Europe’s best.
Liam Murray Strout lives in a beautiful spot right by the sea in one of the few places in Cornwall that actually doesn’t really have waves. His mum does a lot of driving and it’s paid off as he’s one of the most respected young surfers in the land. His air pop is next level and his forehand tube riding is right up there too. Liam was the grom on this trip and as such never sat in the front seat.
Without further ado here’s the guys on … well everything.
Who was the best surfer on the trip?
Jobe Harriss:I think everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. William is without doubt the best guy in the air, Luis is super fluid and powerful and G-Man is full of style so it depends what you’re looking at.
William Aliotti: I will say everyone had their good days.
Gearoid McDaid: I think everyone on the trip was killing it everyone had a day where they were on the best waves or doing the biggest things which is sick to see when you go on trip like this.
Luis Diaz:There was not one best surfer, everyone surfed good but I have to say William did the best airs and Jobe got the best barrels.
Angus Scotney: Like any surfer I’d like to say myself haha! But realistically it was William. I’m not trying to suck up to him but he is pretty nuts, he can do literally anything in all different kind of conditions.
Liam Murray Strout: William for sure, some of his barrels were insane and also his backhand full rotation.
Do you think people from different European countries surf differently these days?
Jobe: Yeah of course. I think it’s not even as broad as a country it’s more what town or municipal area they live in. I think your surfing is fine-tuned by the waves you surf most so that they complement each other. I feel like my style has been moulded around the points and beaches here in North Cornwall, I think my surfing looks way better on points and walled up beachbreaks but when fast and steep shore breaks come into the mix I would struggle. Gearoid on the other hand is super smooth and technical, maybe reflecting the quality of waves in Ireland, he doesn’t have to pump loads and be all erratic with his movement because the waves are so powerful and well-shaped where he’s from. So in short, I think the type of waves you surf most mould your style into what it is.
Willy: I think everyone surfs different wherever you come from. This is why you need to keep travelling to surf more waves and make your surfing complete.
Gearoid: I don’t think that there is a way people surf from each country. Everyone has their own style and excel in different types of conditions.
Luis: Some countries have more surf culture and better surfers but I think it’s just because of the time they’ve been surfing and the waves they’ve got.
Angus: Without stereotyping people, as obviously not all surfers are the same, but I think they do. This was my first year competing around Europe and I found that most French surfers were just faster, more lively and very straight down straight up approach. I also thought that a lot of Portuguese surfers had a wider stance and opted for carves.
Liam: Yeah definitely, I personally find that surfers from France surf really fast and top to bottom. I guess that it’s due to them having consistent good waves unlike us in England having to grovel in mush.
Which country in Europe has the best surfers?
Jobe: I think that’s a super hard question to answer, all the major surfing countries have multiple high level guys who rip so I couldn’t pick one specifically.
Gearoid: It’s hard to say, all the different countries have people that are the best surfers in different kind of waves .
Luis: Probably France.
Angus: I hate to say it … but France.
Liam: France, it has got to be France, every kid rips there.
Which country in Europe has the best waves?
Jobe: Again a super hard question haha. Portugal is rad, you can almost always guarantee you’ll get at least a few sick days of waves there on a trip. But there’s so many places that I’m yet to explore properly so I can’t really give an accurate answer.
William: Portugal, France and the Canaries.
Gearoid: I think from everywhere I’ve travelled in Europe, although I haven’t scored everywhere good, nowhere comes close to Ireland for the best waves.
Luis: I have to say my home the Canary Islands.
Liam: Personally I think it’s Portugal, especially down and around Peniche, there are so many world class waves all bunched together in like a 10-mile radius.
Who are the best three surfers in Europe?
Jobe: Joan Duru definitely springs to mind thinking about it. I also really like Frederico Morais raw power. Although I’m not a massive fan of Jeremy Flore’s surfing you can’t argue with his achievements on the World Tour.
Luis: Jonathan Gonzalez, Joan Duru and Jeremy Flores.
Angus: Reubyn Ash, Fredrico Morais and Tim Bisso.
Liam Murray Strout: Willy, Nomme Mignot and Leonardo Fioravanti.
Who’s the best big wave European?
Jobe: Nic Von Rupp is super mad. Some of the clips I’ve seen of him in the big gnarly barrels are ridiculous.
William: Sancho and Conor Maguire.
Gearoid: In my opinion I think Tom Lowe is the best big wave surfer in Europe. He seems like a complete hell man just goes on anything. He also seems so dedicated to it like he always seems to be on the biggest swells in Europe. There are also guys like Conor Maguire who are the biggest chargers out at waves like Mullaghmore.
Luis: Alexander Zirke.
Liam: Tom Butler is real good and pushing his way up in the European scene. Seen lots of clips of him and Lowey getting huge ones over in Ireland.
Do you think the UK should stay in the European Union?
Jobe: Yeah of course. Cornwall is one of the poorest areas in the country and so we get funding from the EU. If we left all of that would be cut and I can’t imagine how bad it would be for Cornwall.
Luis: I’m not from there but they should stay I think.
Liam: I really have no clue. I’m just going to say yes?
Do you feel like you are a European?
Jobe: I feel like a Cornishman.
William: I’m a Frenchman.
Gearoid: I think everyone thinks of themselves as a person from their country, I definitely think of myself as an Irishman not a European.
Luis: First of all I feel Canarian then I’m European!
Angus: No I do not feel like a European … Just English.
Liam: I would class my self as European, but more English or Cornish.
Who’s you favourite surfer in the world?
Jobe: Ace Buchan … Style master with so much flow it’s unreal.
William: John Florence.
Gearoid: I think Owen Wright is the best surfer, he just seems to be good all round and best of all he’s a goofy.
Luis: Julian Wilson.
Angus: Dusty Payne.
Liam: Mick Fanning.
Who’s going to win the world title this year?
Jobe: Medina, I think he’s the best surfer in the world without a doubt. If he’s on form no one can touch him but it just depends on his headspace as to whether he does well. Being beaten by Adriano would have been a sting though I’m sure so should give him an extra push for this season.
Gearoid: Well hopefully it comes down to Pipe again and it’d be sick if theres a good few people in the race. It’s pretty hard to call who’ll win though.
Luis: Julian Wilson.
Angus: Filipe Toledo!
Liam: Well after De Souza winning who knows who could win it?
What’s better getting a cover or a video clip with 20,000 views?
Jobe: A cover for sure. A cover has eluded me for so long. I’m still waiting for my first one and it’s so frustrating haha … Hopefully I’ll get one soon (Is that a hint? Ed).
William: For sure a cover … especially in Carve it’s the best mag in Europe (Awwwwww you guys! Ed).
Gearoid: I think a cover would be so sick, it’s a lot harder to get a cover than get 20k views on a clip which makes a cover that much better.
Luis: Print mags aren’t that important nowadays, I think a 20K clip is way better (Booo! Ed).
Angus: A cover for sure.
Liam: Thats a tough one! I would personally go for the video, I mean that’s a lot of people just watching your surfing.
Big thanks to: The Surf Experience for the accom and wheels and Monster.
Full article originally appeared in Carve issue 167…