Chippa Wilson, Brendon Gibbens, Noah Collins And Europe’s Glorious Southern Fringe

by stab January 23, 2020 2 min read

It was time to escape. We were done. Tapped out.

 A week of festivities during the contest in France with an embarrassingly small amount of surfing had us refocused on what actually matters.

So we left for Portugal.

A not-original trajectory—the entire surfing world does the same thing, with its sights firmly set on Peniche.

Meanwhile, we set our sights much further south: The Algarve. We gathered a merry crew: Chippa Wilson, Brendon Gibbens and Noah Collins. We rented a team manager and we hit the road. 

But of course we coudn’t just skip Spain—as it turns out, a huge country. Unfathomable distances, grass plains, mountains in the distance, grass plains, Salamanca, more grass plains; a Cepsa, a Repsol; ham sandwiches, sweaty cheese; lots of Interpol, silence, lughter.

A day’s drive later, we are finally in the Algarve. What did we learn on the way? Not much. Chippa has an incredible talent for finding strawberry Mentos, though we are undecided whether that is a talent or pure chance. Noah Collins sleeps.

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Chippa Wilson.

Photography

Wasted Talent.

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Beeg.

Photography

Wasted Talent.

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Noah Collins.

Photography

Wasted Talent.

For those of you unfamiliar with Noah Collins, he is a supremely polite young man hailing from Los Angeles, with an impressive eye for design of the textile discipline and an enviable forehand carve.Noah had been hanging around Biarritz for a few weeks. Over a bottle of Rioja at Bar Jean it was decided he would be thrown in the van.

We learned Brendon Gibbens has truly been on a health mission. He eats unbelievably well. He also eats an unbelievable amount. He’s been sober almost a year. I look at Brendon and feel bad about how I live my life.

But I digress, to the Algarve!

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Noah Collins.

Photography

Wasted Talent.

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Chippa and Noah.

Photography

Wasted Talent.

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Chippa Wilson.

Photography

Wasted Talent.

So warm! So affordably indulgent!

The Algarve is a dream, with a western coast that pick up swell and a southern coast for shelter from the storms, options for wind.

Sagres—the beer—ice-cold and served in crystal? Delicious.

Sagres—the town—is always warm and always delightful. Neighboring Lagos, equally so.

The early days of the trip were marred by inconsistent swell and wind. Too big for the west coast. Too small for the south. Not to worry. Kill time. Eat. Sunbathe. Drink. Dip into Lagos, with inhibitions loosened. 

The swell arrives and with it a return to our normal programming. The west is Mordor-esque, black cliffs in the clouds, while the south is all novelty beachbreaks with the most marvellous of backdrops.

We indulge in the convenience of our geographical location and bounce north three hours, to Ericeira’s cobbled streets, where dreamy light and that mysto left are beckoning.

In true fashion, Portugal delivers; we surf until the very last smudge of light over the Atlantic is dissapeared. As the inky blackness descends, we clink Super Bocks and with weary eyes we reluctantly pack the van.

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