Thursday, 31 December 2009

Behind the Mentawai islands

In the article below, titled Blind Zeal, we learn about the imminent rise of surfing in the Mentawai Islands, Indonesia. Once isolated and unknown amongst mainstream surfers and tourists, this string of islands off the coast of Sumatra has been consumed by surfers and surfing, "the best thing that ever happened to the Mentawai Islands, Indonesia" according to

Shir Raitses
Working Title: Blind Zeal
Katherine Moriwaki & Louisa Campbell
September 28, 2009

(working title)

Blind Zeal is a 2D linear narrative animation that uses satire to express the effects of tourism on the traditions of an indigenous community in the Mentawai Islands, Indonesia.
Blind Zeal currently explores 5 different domains; Surf Culture, Mentawai Tradition, Surf Tourism, Animation, and Satire.

Surf Culture includes the people, language, fashion and life surrounding the sport of surfing. Surfing imagery within the media has greatly increased the spread of surf culture around the globe and thereby influencing the popularity of the sport.
The Mentawai Islands are considered to be the worlds richest surf zone and have been the stage for the most rapid growth to date of surfing tourism to a previously unvisited area. Between 1994 and 2000 the islands went from having no surfing tourism industry and barely any independent visitation, to supporting the world’s largest surf charter fleet of over 30 live aboard yachts, one foreign/local joint venture surf camp and several surfer-targeted village home-stays. The Mentawais have generated the most media coverage of any surfing destination in recent times, have witnessed three failed attempts by government to introduce controlling legislation inspired the creation of the world’s first surfer initiated humanitarian aid organization (Surf Aid International) and have hosted the world’s riches surfing competition (The Op Pro). The region is currently experiencing and acceleration of land-based surf resort construction. Traditionally, Mentawaians lived in small settlements (uma) along the fringes of forest watercourses. Based around a staple diet of sago, Mentawaians made a living hunting and gathering, domesticating chickens and pigs and through the shifting cultivation of perennial crops. Minangkabau traders have also been exchanging ironware, cloth, tobacco, and glass beads for natural Mentawaian resources including turtle shells, cipra, rattan and resins, for thousands of years. The traditional spirituality of Siberut Mentawai was based on pantheistic beliefs, allowing all things a soul including plants, rivers and natural forces. Daily life involved a balance between the world of the living and the supernatural realm inhabited by the ancestors. Village medicine men or shaman are responsible for maintaining the balance between these worlds and may be called upon to perform extensive rituals in times of death and sickness. Whilst good relations were kept between uma in the same catchment area, head-hunting was common up until the early 20th century when the Dutch colonial administration established a military outpost.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Ecological Thinking

The commercialism of surfing has been quite a drain on the environment. However the corporate side of surfing is evolving, incorporating green technology, ideas, and brands that stand up for the environment. Volcom's Ecological Thinking highlights some of their progress..

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Better World ~ Reggae style

A groovy tune for a "Better world" by Soul Majestic

Monday, 21 December 2009

Surf Exploration

So how does the average surfer explorer/adventurer
see Martin Daly?

"The man who arguably opened the Mentawais to surf tourism and began the surf boat charter industry, sometimes seems undecided about the result of what he’s done. Has he turned the beautiful virgin into a ravaged whore, or brought thousands of adoring disciples to worship at her feet? Yeah, both. A decade down the track, his boats still take surfers on the rides of their lives through the Mentawais, with diversions to some of her lesser known erogenous zones, but he now also takes the more intrepid travellers on voyages of discovery to remote breaks aboard the Indies Trader IV."

Would you go on one of his surf trips? For me no, lavish comfort aboard a fuel guzzling monstrosity is not my type of surf trip, nor do I agree with luxury boats rocking up to usually dirt poor villages with good waves nearby. Surely there are more fulfilling pathways to surf remote gateways that empower these remote villages, that give the gift of autonomy, global sustainability and friendship. For me that pathway is village stays.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Head-Hunters and UFO's ~ The truth is waiting for you....

Lets get back to SolSurfing and the exploration of a very unique and mystical string of islands and cultures.
Lets go Soul Surfing through the pacific....

One of the main reasons why The Solomon's are still virtually unexplored is because it is still shrouded in mystery. Take for example The Solomon Island Mysteries where the author Marius Boirayon recounts some of the unexplainable yet common paranormal activity in the Solomon's.

These dimensional portals exist (think 11:11), and are part of life/culture in the Solomon Islands. But do Head-hunters still exist? Are you intrepid and adventurous enough to find out? Are you prepared to leave your home and family, your loves and comforts to an edge that you may not return from, are you ready to LEAP into another paradigm?

A call from the headhunters 

January 4, 2009 Source: The Sun-Herald

Fish-eye view ... the Solomon Islands has sublime snorkelling and diving sites.
Fish-eye view ... the Solomon Islands has sublime snorkelling and diving sites. Photo: Jessica Hromas

Graham Simmons discovers a dark history among these beautiful islands in the Pacific.

"It was bad karma to have picked up a skull on Kundu Hite Island and be photographed holding it. Even worse was the fact that I got my companions to do the same. It was only later that the consequences were apparent - and in a manner quite unexpected.

The skull belonged to a Roviana tribesman, one of a band of former cannibals who used to row their big tomoko (war canoes) as far as Ghizo, Choiseul and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands on headhunting raids. The skulls of the tribe's chiefs and warriors now adorn a ceremonial mound on Kundu Hite ("Skull Island"), just offshore from Parara Island, which fringes the super-scenic Vona Vona Lagoon.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Surfing's Holy men

Are you one of Suring's Holy Men? Are Soul Surfers not the Holy Men of the Ocean? In the article
A SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY OF THE SURFING SUBCULTURE IN THE SANTA CRUZ AREA  Stephen Wayne Hull suggests that there are 3 types of elite surfers, 1 the professionals and
"A second group of surfers who are members of the surfing elite are the Gypsies. These men are often interchangeable with the professionals. If the professionals are the most envied men in surfing, the gypsies are the most admired. They are the men who through choice, or slightly inferior skill, live only to travel and surf. They are the "holy men," the moral examples of surfing. They often live in their cars or on the beach, take on jobs when they need the money to eat, and move on. Their quest for the best waves, solitude, autonomy, and tropical luxury are at the very heart of the surfer's dream. The cost to the gypsy is high: a low standard of living, an insecure future, and relatively few intimate traveling companions.

The third group are generalised as the 'Hardcore' "completely committed to the sport of surfing and its culture. Surfing is more in the realm of a religious experience"

I'm in the catalogue of the wandering Gypsy, exploring far off islands alone, equipped with survival gear like an old timber canoe, fishing line and hooks, hammock, bush knife and books, water containers, boards and coconuts.. Life on the edge of existence is more real than you can ever comprehend living inside the circle of conformity and comfort, of routine and normality.  

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Say No to Pollution! Be Green ~ Totally green...

Consider the quality of the ocean water you swim in.. Remember that government allows and supports industry that as a by-product of industrial commerce, can legally (not ethically) dump toxic waste into creeks, streams, rivers and oceans. Of course they believe that toxic waste by-products are just part of developing economies, where industry and political decisions have precedence over environmental sustainability.

But hey enough is enough! We as a connected global community of internet users have the power to change, we have the power to re-green the Earth, we are the only ones who can and the only ones who will.

Time to awaken the divine! As surfers that are connected to our Mother Ocean we need to remind ourselves that we are infinite and divine. Let our imagination create a magical world, lets leave the tyranny of terror and control and mover towards freedom and sovereignty. Our creativity is at stake, our biodiversity, our oceans, our waves.....

Friday, 11 December 2009

Soul Surfing ~ Balance

Most surfers feel and know the experience of 'infinite freedom' when surfing perfect waves. The article below highlights the 'Spirit in Surfing', man's connection through 'Mind-Ski' towards innate understanding and connection to the universe and the Sol of Surfing..

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Surfing into Spirituality and a New, Aquatic Nature Religion

Now lets get back to the roots of all things 'Soul Surfing', the PDF below is a great tale about 'Soul Surfing' and spirituality, a reminder why we ride waves and who we are as SolSurfers.

"Soul surfing is a powerful, elemental activity that surfers indulge in for the pure act of riding on a pulse of nature’s energy, and the contentment this instils (sic) in the heart. The key is how the experience connects the surfer to nature, its energies, and its wild creatures (Moriarity and Gallagher 2001: 77)”

Surfing into Spirituality and a New, Aquatic Nature Religion by Bron Taylor

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Back in the saddle again

A reminder to your freedom from captivity. If daily life aint adventure and discovery then get up off your ass and go find it! Create it!

Drifter Trailer from Poor Specimen on Vimeo.