BEAUTIFUL SUNRISES, EMPTY LINEUPS, fun waves, amazing people, and picturesque scenes.
Most people would never think of there being good, let alone any surf in Taiwan, but rest assured, we scored fun waves the entire trip. In what was my first international trip, also became the most humbling, eye opening, and liberating experience of my life. Being in a place so foreign not knowing any of their customs and language makes you feel hilariously helpless to the point you feel like a grown child and can do nothing but laugh at your situation. After 3 flights and a night in Taipei, our group found ourselves flying down the road through these rural towns that look like a scene out The Endless Summer, in these rad beat up VW vans getting passed on the left and right in blind turns as we make our way down to the most welcoming hosts. Ibu, Jun and their staff were incredibley gracious making sure we were well fed and made sure we were able to find waves or find something fun to do. The aboriginal dishes Ibu made were out of this world, from the pork, chicken, everything was amazing. The town was surrounded by a mountain and the ocean giving it a constant dramatic scene every direction you looked. Most of the spots were absolutely empty, or at least had a very thin crowd with ample amount of waves to be had for everyone. The locals were always more than stoked to see each other and everyone else ripping trying to throw fins out no matter how unmakeable it was. The most important thing was just to have the most fun. This trip made me realize that it doesn't matter if you live in a sheet metal hut, or live in a big house with a fancy car, the only important things to be rich in is love, happiness, compassion, friends and family. The local people didn't care if the surf was 1 foot or 6 foot, they were gonna make the most of what was given and have fun. It's all about the good vibes. I watched my style of shooting and editing go from the big colorful dramatic in your face look, to more of a softer, less is more, all about style type of feel. Pat, Augi's brother, was a mind altering soul that made him seem like I've known forever, really inspired me to find my roots and made me have a deeper love and passion for the vintage style and look of surfing more of Joel Tudor-esque view point. He told me about his life and his outlook on happiness and life through talking about surfing and his vinyls, and in doing so and listening to him ramble and digress while we cut a vinyl, I realized, these guys have all the money in the world, and what do they do to revitalize themselves? They venture to a small quaint surf town and get back to the simple things of each other's company, surfing and enjoy life with no modern societal influences pushing them towards other distractions. After several days of surf we left our little surf paradise of what I would imagine the North Shore to look like back in the '50s and arrived for the next 3 days in Taipei city. I'm not a city person, I get anxiety being in a concrete jungle, and what a culture shock that was. This was THE craziest, tight packed city I have ever seen. Mopeds racing between taxies, everybody weaving effortlessly and seamlessly through traffic to exactly where they need to be. The city was remarkable, the food, the hustle and bustle, the way of life, and the hidden culture.
Thank you to Spence, Donn, Punn, Augi, Sam, Bert and Matt for taking me on the most incredible experience of a life time.