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. Lebanon, its waves and culture has some bright days ahead.
“When I arrived in Beirut from Europe, I felt the oppressive, damp heat, saw the unkempt palm trees and smelt the Arabic coffee, the fruit stalls and the over-spiced meat. It was the beginning of the Orient. And when I flew back to Beirut from Iran, I could pick up the British papers, ask for a gin and tonic at any bar, choose a French, Italian, or German restaurant for dinner. It was the beginning of the West. All things to all people, the Lebanese rarely questioned their own identity.”
Robert Fisk, Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon
The world No.4 made the most of his punt fun at the legendary right-hander, you’ll be hard pressed to find a back hand attack and air game with more style and precision. J-Bay, South Africa, hosted the 6th Stage of the World Surfing Circuit .
Jordan Zervas is having a great summer. After being one of the youngest ever surfers picked for the full English squad at the Europeans he has been training at his home break – Fistral – for the upcoming Boardmasters and dropped a new edit. Time for a quick catch up then!
So how were the Europeans? How did you feel about getting the call up for the English team?
Waves were super fun got through to the semis in the main round, then got knocked out in the repo. It was super exciting to get selected for the English team a real honour considering I was with some of England’s finest surfers.
British longboarding is on fire right now. I don’t think we have ever had so many surfers competing at the very top level across so many international events. It must give you a lot of confidence going into comps?
Yes it does help, we have such a talent pool of surfers, surfing with Adam Griffiths and Ben Skinner regularly helps motivate and push me and also keeps both feet on the ground as they are both on a different level and can be quite humbling.
What are you looking forward to most about Boardmasters?
The atmosphere is amazing surfing your home break with some of the world’s finest.
The chart is looking pretty solid. Do you think this will play into your hometown advantage?
Hopefully yes, I surf North Fistral more than anywhere else.
Who are your favourite international longboarders?
Taylor Jensen, Ben Skinner, Adam Griffiths Piccolo Clemente are just a few.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
After Boardmasters I am off to the WSL Galicia Longboard Classic in Spain, then I suppose a bit of travelling and training.
Looking back through the View From a Blue Moon archives, John John’s film guys found this session of John, Bruce, and Koa from 2013 filmed entirely underwater.
Music Credit Waves by Bahamas
Cinematography: @parallelsea / Erik Knutson
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