Naxto, Aritz and Kepa are on a mission.
Kepo Acero, Naxto Gonzalez and Aritz Aranburu have a good claim to being the world’s greatest surf explorers right now. The Three Basqueteers recently struck gold with an African righthander documented in the clip “A Dream To Share.” Their latest, Never Give Up Hope, seen above (spoiler alert) doesn’t end up so well, but still shows the dedication and desire needed to find a new, perfect wave.
But where shall the intrepid trio head to next? We’ve taken a scan of Google Earth and come up with the following suggestions. Get tapping team.
The Chagos Islands
Deep in the heart of the Indian Ocean, the Chagos Islands or archipelago lie between Africa and Indonesia, about 500 km due south of The Maldives, directly in the path of the same swell lines that roar through J-Bay, sweep into Indonesia and smash against Western Australia. It consists of seven atoll formations, including the largest atoll structure in the world, the Great Chagos bank with a total area of 13,000 km2. So what’s the catch? This is a British Indian Ocean Territory leased to the USA and operated as a joint UK-US naval support facility. The whole thing is out of bounds.
Terra del Fuego
“There has been surfers in the area before,” Kepa Acero said in his clip about an exploratory trip in 2012, “but I was pretty sure no one had been this far south to this wave.” From checking Google Earth swell charts and local maps there was the possibility of incredible waves. I had to go.” Kepa did go, to the very southern tip of South America, documenting his solo travels all the way to the end of the Earth. Once there he discovered a perfect lefthander and the exhilaration of finding a new wave after months and months of planning, travel and setbacks. Surely there are more waves down there?
With Indonesia being such a surfing hotspot, you’d think that finding undiscovered waves would be impossible. However it is worth remembering that waves are still being discovered on Bali, a relatively tiny island that housed intrepid surfers since the early ’70s. Thus when you look at Southern Sumatra, which has 1000 odd miles of coastline before the Mentawai Islands start screening the coast, you get a glimpse of the potential. The coastline is often inaccessible by road and might just have the most untapped source of incredible waves in the world.
Orkney, Shetland and Faroe Islands
The arrival of better wetsuits has led to a whole “cold water” movement, pushing the surfing world farther north to places both cold and remote. The Orkney, Shetland and Faroe Islands fit the bill, the islands that fan north out from the tip of Scotland out into the North Sea between Norway and Iceland. There is a small but diamond hard-core surfing community in these parts, but even they haven’t scoured every available nook and cranny, of which there are thousands, in the islands. The winds and weather make exploration difficult (though not on Google Earth) but with an abundance of swell and a mix of reef, rivermouths and beaches, perfect waves await. As do the ice cream headaches.
Similar to the above, just a little colder, rawer, bigger and featuring big fuck off bears. With over 34,000 miles of rugged coastline, snow covered mountains, fiords, violent weather patterns and 30 feet tidal changes, this is not an easy place to go exploring for surf, but only a tiny fraction of the wave potential has been touched. Most of the waves are found in the huge swathe of the Gulf of Alaska and in the Aleutian Islands that sweep out in a straight dotted line towards Russia. A mission in 2014 featuring surfers Alex