WELCOME TO THE BEATING HEART OF YOUR ADDICTION
WE ARE THE SPIT
THE TRADE WINDS
THE HOWLING GALE
WE ARE BACKWASH
I saw one picture and wanted to go. A golden island lost in the clouds, dark and foreboding and a million miles from anywhere, Arctic surf lashing its coast line. Plunging cliffs and stone towers rise from the depths of an indigo sea. It was a shot from Sergio Villalba that features in Issue One of Backwash, more Games of Thrones than any screenwriter could dream up, more beautiful than any painter could paint.
It was the Faroe Islands and a few years ago I found myself on a plane with the motley crew of Sergio, Indar Unane, Freddie Meadows, Noah Cohen and local surfer and guide David Geyti. Around every corner, a collective AWWW or UHHH would go up, it was like we were watching nature’s own static fireworks.
Theatrical meteorology is part of the Faroes’ fascination. Torrential downpours, swirling fogs and vicious storm-force winds are conjured up from nothing as though they were the outcome of witches’ spells. Then miraculously the sun bursts through to paint the towering cliffs in dazzling crystal-clear brilliance. The Faroe Islands have a unique way of life, culture and tradition. It’s the most untamed, magical, colourful, wet, windswept place I have ever visited. Here are a selection of images from my time there, I urge you to go and experience it for yourself.
Backwash Issue Two is a surf anthology featuring Japan, the photography of Chris Burkard and Sergio Villalba, Hamish Laing and Woody Gooch. Kalani Lattanzi swims at Nazare, whilst Amy Kotch surfs barrels whilst pregnant and John Peck knee paddles out as he has done since 1958.Purchase