Surfers of the world, assemble. For this thing, right here, shall be your new wave-based bible
Our pals over at Surf Europe have only gone and done it, haven’t they? They’ve only gone and bloody well done it. A Surf Europe 100. A Surf Europe 100 that, yes you guessed it, takes a big fat look at the hottest 100 surf products in the world right now.
In their own words, they “stalked, followed, fondled, fingered, tickled, bit and sniffed the very finest surf gear in the whole world, so that you don’t have to.” And then, when they were done with all that there sniffing, fingering, fondling and general silliness… the lads wrote some words about the surf gear. Wrote some words, shot some photos, and made some videos. The results of which, we think you’ll agree, look nice. Very nice. Very nice indeed.
If you love surfing, go and have a look at the Surf Europe 100 right now. You won’t regret it. Heck, even if you don’t like surfing (for reasons you’d rather not get into) go and have a look at it all the same. It’s so good that we’re convinced it’ll thaw out even the frostiest of anti-surf hearts. Products aside, we’re very much enjoying the shark cut-out and excellent use of fruit. Top job.
Fans of watermelon will get a kick out of the Surf Europe 100.
“The faces on the real Mount Rushmore are 18m tall, so we definitely want to top that…”
A model of what Project Trumpmore may look like in the Arctic Ocean.
Picture the scene.
You’re at the helm of an almighty ship, sailing deep through the ice sheets and freezing blankness of the Arctic Circle. You’ve seen nothing but the infinite ice and murky waters of the freezing landscape for months, and you can’t quite remember the last time you saw the face of anyone with whom you weren’t sharing quarters.
And then it happens.
You see a new face. Or rather, an old face. A face you haven’t seen in a long time. A giant face. An infamous face. A face that looks a little like a potato that’s been left in the shower for too long. A face you recognise all too well.
The rest of the crew join you on the bow. A shiphand drops his beer, and it smashes. A mechanical technician drops his spanner, or whatever it is that mechanical technicians use, and it bounces unnoticed on the deck. The noise of the spanner is drowned out by a PhD student openly weeping, and being consoled on the shoulder of the hearty expedition chef.
In front of them all, is the gargantuan head of US President Donald Trump, carved out high into a 50-metre, 164-foot wall of ice approaching on the horizon, slowly melting into the Arctic Ocean.
This controversial arctic landmark is not something that exists at this moment in time, but as improbable as it may sound, the ambitious “Project Trumpmore” statue is something that newly-formed Finnish NGO Melting Ice are determined to make happen.
We spoke to Nicolas Preito, Chairman of Melting Ice, and the man who wants to commission a 35 metre (115ft) tall ice sculpture of Donald Trump’s face in the arctic region, to ask the obvious question: why?
“The idea of the project is to talk about climate change in general,” he said.
A comparison by scale of just how large this Donald Trump head would be.
“Our idea is that climate change is such a complex issue that it’s a difficult one to grasp. Our intent is to create a conversation starter through the monument. Every once in a while you come up with good ideas and now we’ve got one. After the US President Mr. Donald Trump’s decision to not sign the Paris Agreement, to pull back from it, and then his willingness to be on Mount Rushmore, for us it was just one plus one and it equalled this.
“We are looking for an ice wall which would be in-land but facing the coast obviously, and that would be around 50 metres high. The minimum we’d be looking at would be 30 metres. On the real Mount Rushmore the faces of the Presidents are 18m tall so we definitely want to top that. We already did a scale model of it which was three metres high in Helsinki which was fun, but we’ve got to think big to make this happen.”
The three-metre ice Trump that Project Trumpmore built in Helsinki. Photo: Iltalehti / iltalehti.fi
Indeed, President Trump has joked about being added to the Mount Rushmore monument several times in the past few years, and is a renowned climate change denier.
Nicolas continued: “We came up with a good idea and we weren’t keen with just letting it go. There are a lot of people who are like-minded to us. So probably if we think this is a good idea a lot of other people will be too.”
The idea, as the Project Trumpmore website outlines, is to commission an 115-foot tall ice sculpture of Donald Trump’s face in the arctic region, in order for it to melt, to demonstrate that climate change is happening.
Would this really work as a demonstration of climate change?
“I don’t think that climate change per se is something that we can prove with melting ice,” says Nicolas.
“I think it will be a conversation starter and a symbolic gesture. We are in a position and time where climate change is such a complex issue that we need our best minds on it and all of us need to be thinking about what we can do about it.
“The minimum we’d be looking at would be 30 metres. On the real Mount Rushmore the faces of the Presidents are 18m tall so we definitely want to top that…”
“Our hope is that we will talk about climate change in a much broader way once we get the project started. Even though we are talking about the Paris Agreement, that as well is not an agreement without its holes. We need to do more in so many ways.”
For a project as ambitious as this though, the logistics are always going to be the main challenge. Project Trumpmore admit they will need to raise around €400,000 (£350,500) to complete the project as they have it set out in their minds.
“That would be with all bells and whistles,” says Nicolas. “We are now doing calculations on what’s the lowest we can do it with and where else we could get money.
“We are talking about crowdfunding. In Finland for a new NGO to do a crowdfunding campaign is not so clear cut. You need a permit from the police and that takes a long time. We are now trying to partner up with some NGOs in countries where we could do a crowdfunding proposition.
“We have a very detailed plan on how to do it and what kind of things to incorporate. We have an ice sculptor who would be the head engineer or head of construction. He’s done big ice projects before. And then we have to talk about where it’s going to be. There are four possible spots but one, which is our main goal, would be the arctic ice cap in Greenland. It can’t be an iceberg because that’s too unstable.
“We have ideas already of the talking points we want to bring up, not only with the sculpture, but also with a documentary project we are talking about and a hunk of the money could come from the documentary, from a TV channel. We want not only to build the ice sculpture but to do this as a whole project that actually initiates conversation.”
I suggest that given his ego, and his attitude towards climate change, there is a strong chance that Donald Trump would love Nicolas’ project. He laughs.
“Yeah, that would be hilarious. I actually directed my first tweet about it to Mr. President. I haven’t got a reply yet, so maybe soon. I’m not sure.
“I posted a video and asked him ‘hey, we have this project and you’re not that keen on climate change, so maybe you’d like to partner up?’ but still no reply. Fingers crossed. Let’s hope for the best. I understand he has a lot of lawyers with money lying around in different bags or different cheque accounts – so maybe he has some money he can lend us!”
Whether the project happens or not remains to be seen, but given that the aim of Project Trumpmore is ultimately to act as a conversation starter, it’s fair to say Nicolas and his team have already seen some success.
SLS Pro Open London will not only be a showcase for the cream of skateboarding talent from around the world, including the likes of Nyjah Huston and Shane O’Neill, but it will shine a light on the city’s incredible skate scene, challenge preconceived negative perceptions of the sport, and bring together numerous communities within London and the wider UK.
Not bad for, what is essentially, a bunch of folk playing around on a wooden toy made for children.
“It’s great to see London embracing its rich culture by bringing SLS to the city”
British skateboard legend Geoff Rowley – the Liverpudlian fella from the THPS games, not to mention some of the most acclaimed skateboard videos in history – agrees. “British skateboarding has held some incredible contests in the past that have gone on to grow and shape the skate scene in Europe – and worldwide. It’s great to see the city of London embracing that rich culture by bringing SLS to the city”
The SLS Pro open will see skaters from around the world hitting a custom-built concrete skate plaza designed, in true SLS style, to push the progression of the sport by really challenging the skaters.
Fans of skating are going to love it, but SLS have also ensured that the casual observer (including the occasional mum and dad who’re taking a grom or two along for a rad day out) are going to be involved as well.
The competition features an exciting yet easy-to-follow format, helped along by instant scoring, which means the action will be coming right down to the buzzer, something everybody can get excited about.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan – a man who’s swiftly proving himself to be somebody who gets why skateboarding is so important to London, said “I look forward to welcoming the world’s top skateboarders to London next month. The capital already has a vibrant skateboarding scene and I hope this event inspires a new generation to take up the sport.” Quite.
We speak to the Australian mountain bike star about his start to the year and season aims…
Troy Brosnan making his way through the rough stuff on the Losinj track in Croatia. Photo: Seb Schieck
We’ve teamed up with Dainese to shine a spotlight on luminaries from across the world of action sports and adventure. Here, we speak to Troy Brosnan, the Australian mountain biker who finished second place in the overall World Cup rankings in 2017, and is looking to go one better this time around.
Lead photograph by Seb Schieck
“It’s a pretty easy one for me,” says downhill mountain bike star Troy Brosnan, on his aims for the season ahead. “I was third overall in the World Cup for three years in a row, then finished second last year, so there’s only one more spot I want to go for.
“I want to fight for that number one position and I really believe I can. It’s just about taking it race by race and trying to win each one. It’s going to be a good season.”
Troy put in a smooth run on the sun-soaked island track, possibly too smooth to fulfil his ambitions of capitalising on his potential and consistency to win the overall World Cup title.
“It was a tough weekend,” he says. “The track was really different to most World Cups. It actually felt a little like home – though maybe with a couple more rocks than normal!
Troy Brosnan at the finish line in Croatia. Photo: Boris Beyer
“I was feeling pretty fast and qualified fourth but somewhere through race day I guess I wasn’t pushing as hard, or at the same level as the guys up there on the podium. I feel like my lines and my speed were good but maybe I just wasn’t on the edge enough.”
Troy is one of the most consistent riders on the World Cup circuit. Since the start of 2013, he’s raced 35 World Cup events and only finished outside the top 20 once. Only four of those top 20s have been outside the top 10, and the vast majority have been podium spots. He’s never finished outside the top 10 in the World Championships during that period, either.
“It’s something that I really like, staying consistent and being in the top 10 or the top 20 in every race, but I also want to win races”
“Maybe it’s my riding style that helps me do that,” he says. “It could also just be preparing things in the off season and also with all the years that go by I learn how to push the limits when I need to and save a little on certain sections when you don’t need to push.
“I think it’s a tough one overall. It’s something that I really like, staying consistent and being in the top 10 or the top 20 in every race, but I also want to win races.”
Despite yet another top 10 finish to start the season in Lošinj, Troy is well aware that if he’s going to be number one come the end of the year, he’s going to have to raise the bar.
Troy Brosnan in action on the Losinj track in Croatia. Photo: Seb Schieck
“I was watching my run and I thought I looked a little too smooth and maybe reserved on the track. So I guess that’s something that I’m a little bit disappointed with myself in, that I didn’t go harder and faster, but it’s given me a bit more of a drive to go out there and do that.
“It’s always harder, especially for me, going to a brand new World Cup track. Trying to learn a track and then having the confidence to really go fast and choose lines, that takes time. Especially for me. I seem to be a slightly slower learner when it comes to new tracks but all of the tracks coming up now I’ve been to before and I know them like the back of my hand.
“I’m pretty excited just to get there and start riding at the pace that I should be riding at. This year I want to take some more chances – especially on the tracks that I know really well.”
It’s tough to call a ninth place finish at elite level a misstep, but whatever the reason for Troy finishing +3.211 off the pace of his once Specialized-teammate Aaron Gwin, it’s not for a lack of preparation.
Troy getting to know the course during training in Croatia. Photo: Boris Beyer
Brosnan has been on the saddle of a Sender and at the head of the Canyon Factory Team for over a year now, and he’s gone from strength to strength in that time. He’s played a firm role in establishing the Canyon team on the circuit, and now Troy’s ready to take the team to new heights.
“Canyon originally came to me stoked to build a team up from the ground up and have a team on the circuit with their bike and try and get World Cup wins and Championships and Overalls,” he remembers. “It was pretty awesome that they shouted out to me.
“I have been pretty involved with the team – the sponsors that we chose, and in getting Mark [Wallace] and Ruaridh [Cunningham] on board and now Kye [A’Hern], the new junior. It’s been a massive team effort, though.
“Our goal [over the off-season] was just to actually try and dial the bike a little bit more. My fitness was pretty good and my strength was pretty good, we just wanted to spend another chunk of time getting the new bike dialled in.
“We had one year on the new Canyon, so it was trying to learn about it and make it go as fast as it can go. It was already really good last year but we wanted to go even faster.
He adds: “I’ve started to shorten the length of my trail rides and do some high intensity stuff for four or five minutes long. I can ride at about 100 percent intensity for about four minutes but that’s all I’ve got. Hopefully all the tracks are around four minutes long!”
Brosnan also emphasises the importance of having such a talented team at Canyon, pointing to the role of three-time World Champion Fabien Barel as the team director.
“It’s been great having Fabien. He’s like a guide and a coach in a way. He’s been helpful on the technical side where he can give you his knowledge and what he’s learned over the years and I can put that forward to learn quicker and try and not make the same mistakes.
Troy coming in to the close in Croatia. Photo: Boris Beyer
“He’s definitely had an impact. There are a few things that he’s got up his sleeve that we can use. And Mark is a top 10 overall in the world from last year and riding super fast. The more we can help each other the faster we’re both going to go, on and off the track.”
Troy fancies his chances of getting back on the podium as the World Cup rolls back around to more familiar venues in the next few months.
Next up is the Fort William World Cup on 3 June, where Brosnan took his first ever World Cup win way back in 2014. He knows the course and is eyeing up another medal in the Scottish Highlands.
“I know I can go to Fort William and be in contention and win at Fort William,” he says.
“I’m definitely confident. The bike is actually set up and really dialled for Fort William. Not so much for Croatia. I guess Croatia’s track kind of caught me off guard with our bike set up but I know deep down that the track that I’ve been riding at home, and the stuff that we’ve been testing has been grooved towards a World Cup track like Fort William or Leogang or Andorra.
“I’m really excited. I don’t feel like we need to change too much. For the tracks coming up we’re dialled in and we can do really well there. We’re ready to go.”
The founder of Peckham BMX has an MBE and the club have a World Championship medal, but community values and a focus on youngsters remain at the core of the project
Peckham BMX Club began in South East London back in 2004. They started with an old, out-of-use track called the Bird in Bush and only four kids in the club.
In 2008 Peckham BMX would become the number one club in the United Kingdom. In 2014 local Peckham rider Tre Whyte would finish third in the BMX racing World Championships in Rotterdam, behind only legendary 2012 Olympic silver-medallist Sam Willoughby and Canadian Tory Nyhaug.
In 2016 head coach and founder Michael Pusey, aka radio DJ, TV presenter and entrepreneur Ck Flash, was awarded an MBE by the Queen of England for his services to young people in sport and BMX.
Michael Pusey, the founder and head coach of Peckham BMX club. Photo: Perception Films / Screenshot
The rise of Peckham BMX from a small local group to a nationally renowned club has been monumental – but through all that, it’s still the friendly people, the local pride and the emphasis on getting kids onto bikes and into a safe environment that defines the club and gives it meaning.
And that’s exactly what director Tom Pickard and Perception Films have managed to show in their new short feature from Peckham BMX.
Race night at Peckham BMX Club. Photo: Perception Films / Screenshot
Chatting to Michael Pusey and Nigel Whyte, father of both international rider Tre Whyte and and Kye Whyte, a nine times British Champion, the film explores what the club is all about.
“It’s not always about the best track and the best equipment it’s about a mentality that you instil into the youngsters,” Pusey says. “It brought the whole community together and since then there’s been no stopping us.”
Peckham BMX club. Photo: Perception Films / Screenshot
Kye adds: “I do have friends that are just wandering the streets doing nothing and BMX has kept me away from that. The club has taught me to respect my elders and respect my parents. It’s given me a better lifestyle.”
It’s an inspirational story and one that hits home on all sorts of levels.
Film directed by Tom Pickard, camera work by Daniel Jaroschik, sound by Chen Wissotzky and edit by Jack Padgham / Tom Pickard.