FOREVER STOKED
 

"I'm driving a pick-up on the Old Topanga Canyon Road across Santa Monica Mountains. We're almost at the intersection with the Pacific Coast Highway that will take us to Malibu.

 
 
 

Here we go: although it's still dark, I can glimpse the ocean and the sign of an old fast food restaurant; this road reminds me of the golden age of surf.

 
 

It's hot, and the swell is in tune with Santa Ana's winds, a.k.a. "the devil winds". They sweep down from northeast and take on all the heat gathered in the Nevada desert. I wake Alessandro up, I can see the waves crashing in the distance and the outline of the most famous pier of the coast standing out against the ocean.

 
 

We are struggling to find a parking space. I don't even need to encourage Ale to get into the water, as he's already in his bathing suit ready to wax his surfboard. I'm thrilled, too, about surfing these waves, but first I want to capture this magic moment. Alessandro reaches the lineup and immediately I see him spark into an amazing set; the wind pulverizes the crest of the wave and he slides to the tip of his surfboard, down to the undertow, in a timeless atmosphere. We look at each other, and with a gesture he expresses all of his enthusiasm. We both know we will never forget this dawn.

 
 

The swell keeps pumping and we decide to go south and meet Mick and Mele at San Onofre for a session. As soon as I swim out to the line up I see them dancing on their longboards.

 
 

Mick shows some moves on a couple of waves followed by the most stylish girl I’ve ever seen riding. Mele is pure elegance. They share the morning light blessed by the California sun.

I’m glad I met them on a day like this.

Forever stoked."

- Filippo Maffei