A Wintery Weekend in Croyde – by Nick Corkill

We love to see people getting out and enjoying the British surf – no matter the weather! Nick has once again made us get itchy feet and we can’t wait to get back out on the water!

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Meet the Photographers: Catarina Edén

 

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My name is Catarina Edén and live in a quaint coastal town on the west coast in Sweden called Varberg, and it’s my own little Paradise. Working as a freelancing photographer and craftsperson this place has everything I could ever dream for – the powerful ocean, mystic forests and beautiful valleys.

 

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I also love to travel and explore new places which also is my biggest source of inspiration. I lived in California, USA for three years as I attended school there. After those amazing years I see it as my second home and it has a dear place in my heart. This makes Varberg even more special to me because it is a lot like a Swedish version of California with its coastal nature and lifestyle.

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I spend a lot of time along the coast exploring new places, either by foot or together with my horse. When I cant bring my bigger camera along my iPhone or older Olympus OM-1 will assist me. Either way I always need to bring one of them because there will always be a beautiful scenery that I want to capture.

 

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I recently started selling my photos along with wood prints and camera straps that I create my self by hand. You can find them them under designochprints.com but also on http://www.etsy.com/shop/designochprints

 

 

 

Meet the Bloggers! Maria Korzeniowska

Maria Korzeniowska – a very warm welcome to the freshest member of the blogging team!
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Maria is not just a pretty face with a an extremely long surname, believe it or not she’s also a medicine student with a touch of a modern day “renaissance (wo)man” – basically her interest list is never ending! In keeping with her nomadic nature, when Maria’s not too busy balancing Med School and actually having a so called ‘life’, she’s a keen tropical traveler, fitness addict, wannabe DJ, blogger, photographer and an all around creative spirit. Still unimpressed? Her travel writing & photography has even appeared on Billabong’s blog and whenever time permits, she continues to innovatively collaborate with various brands.
To keep up with Maria, follow her Instagram here and personal blog here.
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Meet the Photographers! Lachlan Callender

Lachlan is a 15 year old Photographer and filmmaker from the South Coast of Australia. He lives in a small town named Bodalla and escapes from the countryside most weekends to the beautiful coastlines of the South Coast.

Whilst Lachlan may only be 15 years old, he certainly does manage to get up to some cool stuff, so will be blogging to keep us up to date on his travels, whether that is shooting a surf trip on an ordinary weekend or working on big projects.

Lachlan originally got into photography and filming for a hobby but since his involvement with Great Venture Surf Co has realised that this is the path he would like to take in life. He is now focusing on expanding his work and hopefully one day making a living out of it. Its a tough gig but he is going to give it a go!

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Meet the bloggers: Jeff Allen

We are extremely lucky here at GVSCO to have started working with the legendary explorer and Journeymen that is Jeff Allen. With his very unique skill set and passion for the outdoors Jeff strives to bring the nature and humanity back to its symbiotic relationship where by we can enjoy the beauty of the natural world but also respect it, view it and live with it in an educated and thoughtful manner.

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WHO IS JEFF ? 

Jeff is the founder of the International Sea Kayak Guide Association (ISKGA), which is a commercial guiding organisation, specialising in training and assessments of commercial sea kayak guides.

Jeff is also the founding director of several successful commercial sea kayaking businesses, specialising in tuition, guiding and expeditions by kayak/canoe, these businesses include Expedition Paddler, Sea Kayaking Cornwall Ltd and Gylly Adventures. In 2008, working with David Whiddon (Sea Survival Trainer RNLI) Jeff developed the first sea survival programme aimed specifically at the sea kayaking industry, this two day course has since been emulated by various organisations around the world in Canada the US and Europe and he is regularly consulted in areas of rescue, survival and incident management. Jeff is the technical advisor to the DGI, Denmark’s leading sea kayaking organisation as well as to various other sea kayaking businesses. He teaches and presents regularly at sea kayak symposia around the world Within the sea kayaking industry, Jeff is considered to be a technical expert in these fields and due to this recognition is also a regular contributor and columnist to the Ocean Paddler magazine.

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Jeff draws not only on his proffessional awards in training the service, awards which include the highest levels of proficiency and coaching of the British Canoe Union – but also on his experience, to date Jeff has accumulated more than 20,000 miles of practical expedition sea kayaking experience, including a classic first un-supported circumnavigation of Japan, the first British Circumnavigation of South Georgia, a combination Ski and Kayak circumnavigation of the Scandinavian Peninsular and a world record breaking speed circumnavigation of Ireland as well as many other personal and commercial expeditions to the Mediterranean, North & South America and Europe. He plans the logistics and itineraries for these expeditions which run in a variety of climates where temperatures have ranged from -20 (Winter in Northern Norway) to + 35/40 (Sub tropical Japan & Mexico) Celsius and has an understanding of the requirements for conducting small boat expeditions in a whole variety of environments.

So it is clear to see that the man and legend that is Jeff is a force to be admired and not to be messed with 🙂 . With such a broad skill set and huge vault of experience to draw upon is there anything that he can not do ? We are extremely excited and honoured to bring you these adventures as they unfold so keep your eyes out for Jeffs blogs ….. they are sure to make you rethink and get up and outside.

Please visit his website and get in contact he would love to hear from you:

http://expeditionpaddler.com

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Stay stoked

Gus

GVSCO

 

 

View From A Blue Moon -First 4K Surf Film!

We thought you guys might want to check out this surf gorgeous film and even if you don’t want to buy the full film, the trailer is definitely worth a watch.

View From A Blue Moon 4K from The Orchard on Vimeo.

See the sport of surfing as it’s never been captured before in John Florence and Blake Vincent Kueny’s second signature release, this time in association with the award-winning film studio Brain Farm. The first surf film shot in 4K, View From a Blue Moon follows the world’s most dynamic surfer John Florence and his closest friends from his home on the North Shore of Oahu to his favorite surfing destinations around the globe. From the dreamy blue perfection of the South Pacific to the darkest uncharted waters of Africa (and everywhere in between), Florence faces a broad spectrum of emotions as he continues to seal his legacy as one of the most gifted surfers ever. And while the young Hawaiian is pulled in increasingly different directions, there is no form of pressure that will keep him from his ultimate goal — to redefine what is possible in the ocean.

Exploring Laos -Laung Prabang, with Caitlin Russell

We are very excited to have our first travel blog from the lovely Caitlin. Follow her travels and her awesome photography here.
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The atmosphere is so different to anywhere we’ve visited so far; it’s quiet, relaxed, and the people – locals or otherwise – are lovely. Luang Prabang, suitable to the size of Laos, is minuscule in terms of land mass. It was beyond refreshing after several weeks of big cities swarming with beeping horns and overcrowded subway stations. Although the skyscrapers in the Chinese cities were impressive, I am decidedly more fascinated by the Lao landscape of waterfalls and mountains, seeing up close the craftsmanship involved in the temples and buildings dotted around town and meeting their friendly locals.

In this tiny little town there are an amazing 37 Buddhist temples. You’re able to go and donate food to the monks every morning after buying food from the morning market which is ran on the town’s Main Street between four and six in the morning. Our guest house owner ran us through the rules and how to show respect to the monks, which of course is extremely important to them, their religion and to the locals. As well as this, as you will know if you’ve ever visited Luang Prabang, is that the size of the town means that it is exceptionally quiet; loud noises could virtually be heard from any other point in the town and so as a mark of respect Luang Prabang is free from the all night parties that can be experienced in many other Southeast Asian towns and cities.

The guest houses in Luang Prabang are plentiful, immaculate and really fairly priced. Ours, The Apple Guesthouse, is part-owned by an Australian couple who we’ve got talking to over the past couple of days – the things they’ve done philanthropically speaking are beyond admirable. Their two adopted children are Lao, and they employ local young people at the guest house and send them to school and provide them with several meals a day in return along with a mountain of other voluntary work including teaching the monks at one of the temples English, where tourists are encouraged to help out (unfortunately we weren’t there on a Wednesday or we would both have loved to help out). They also gave us a map of the town, pointing out all the things we could possibly be interested in and all the ways to get there quickest. Hospitality like we had received nowhere else we received at the Apple Guest House. There was a communal balcony upstairs, which was as immaculate as the bedrooms and offered guide books, coffee, tea and fresh water.

On our first day of exploring Luang Prabang got off to a very slow start. It was Paul’s 23rd  birthday and so of course when we both took our malaria medication on an empty stomach which resulted in vomiting and an extra few hours recovering in bed afterwards. When we finally ventured back downstairs we walked first to the river bank and alongside the Mekong River which runs directly through the town. You’re able to take boat rides across to the other side of and along the river, and there are copious restaurants lining its banks on either side. We then made our way into town tried some of the towns famous fresh baguettes. Even in the heart of the town, the subdued atmosphere continued. People working, walking or cycling around had smiles on their faces and for the entire time I just felt so welcome and at ease.

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We climbed the town’s high point, Mount Phousi, which has a temple atop it along with giant Buddhist sculptures on the path up. In thirty five degree heat more than a few bottles of water were necessary, but the views at the top were more than worth it. Inside the temple a Buddhist ceremony was underway and so everyone was silent, only heightening the beauty of the entire experience. The remainder of our day was spent looking at the many other temples around the town and the National Museum. That evening we had dinner in town followed by some drinks and visited the night market.

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Luang Prabang is surrounded by wilderness, and sadly one of the carriers of felled trees are elephants. As time progresses, and it becomes more taboo, more of the elephants are being moved from timber camps to camps set up to rehabilitate them. Some of the camps are purely to visit the elephants, others you can bathe them and others you can ride them. I felt like when we spoke to people about our intention to ride elephants we were really looked down upon, and I totally understand if you oppose riding the elephants but I had looked in great detail at the sanctuary we were visiting and although it’s never 100% guaranteed to be certain when reading up online, I felt comfortable with what I had read that the animals were treated well and for me a well treated elephant carrying 150 kilos worth of people twice a day far trumps an abused, mistreated and underfed animal carrying several tons of timber daily. Again, I’ll stress that I completely respect the opinion of others that differ to mine but I expect the same in return. As an animal lover it was by far one of the best experiences of my entire life, to be so close and able to touch, feed and wash them was something I will remember for the rest of my life. I was so surprised by how their skin felt, and how overwhelmingly huge they were. The relationship evident between the animal and ‘mahoot’ or trainer was wonderful to see, and I loved every single second of it (especially when Paul got off and I got to bathe it alone).

After a short elephant ride and bathing them in the Mekong River, we then visited then Kuang Si Waterfalls, around five minutes from where the sanctuary was located. Sunday is traditionally Lao people’s family day, so it was busy, but stunning nonetheless. I had looked up the waterfalls for months previous to our trip and I couldn’t believe the injustice photographs, including mine, done to them. The water such a light blue-green in the white pools, paths beaten into the trees and greenery underfoot, bridges stretching across the pools and tree swings with a continuous flow of people diving into them. Outside the falls is a market with clothes, souvenirs  and food and just inside the park they are situated in there’s a small zoo with bears and other animals that I admittedly didn’t pay attention too because the bears were extremely fascinating.

Almost a year after visiting Luang Prabang and revisiting the piece I wrote on it, I feel my affection has only grown for it. Being able to compare it with almost twenty other locations in Southeast Asia, it was hands down my favourite place, and it beats the places I’ve visited elsewhere in the world, too. The art, the nature and the people make it so worth the visit, but if you go just for a break from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding towns and cities I guarantee it will be the best break you ever take.

 

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Japan – The Photography Edit by Simon Bath

Last year my wife and I used our honeymoon to realise a long-lived ambition to visit Japan. As first time visitors we found it difficult to decide where to spend our time, everything seemed so appealing. After a fair bit of research, we decided that the best use of our time was to stay around central Japan. Between Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka we managed to get a good introduction to Japan and the many things it has to offer.

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Meet the Carftsmen! WAW Hand Planes

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Handplanes for the Planet!

A surf brand that is committed to giving back.

WAW Handplanes founder Rikki Gilbey, grew up on the sunny coast of Devon, England and moved to Sydney Australia in 2010. He took with him, his love for sea and created a company that combines his passions for woodworking, surfing and environmental protection.

Hand-planed handplanes – it makes sense right? And so does our commitment to giving back.

Bodysurfing is about as organic a pastime as one can undertake and to keep it that way, we make our handplanes out of 100% sustainable, recycled & reclaimed materials. Plus! We plant a native tree for every handplane we sell through the Carbon Neutral Charity Fund #onetreeonehandplane, which means you can get barrelled without leaving a trace.

WAW’s timber handplanes are expertly designed and technically sound.

Timber is not only an environmental choice; It is also well regarded as the best material for performance handplanes. Neutrally buoyant and long lasting, we pride ourselves on a product for life, which is why all WAW Handplanes come with a lifetime warranty.

Check us out on our  Instagram,   Facebook  and  Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the Photographers! Morna Packer

Growing up in Cornwall I was spoilt for choice with the abundance of beaches upon which to enjoy spending my time. With such picturesque surroundings I found myself getting interested in photography and filming from my early teenage years – a passion that has continued to grow.

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Alongside my love for the lens, my first passion is actually in music. I’ve done it for as long as I can recall, and some of my favourite memories have been made whilst gigging and touring with different friends and bandmates over the years.  This will always be something I love doing and I’m currently working on a solo album. I’ve found that music and photography have fitted in nicely with my itchy feet, and in my experience of travelling, a camera and an instrument are some of the most fun and rewarding items you can carry with you!

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The lifestyle and people you meet while exploring new places are so addictive, I get away at every chance I can! At the end of 2015 I returned from Australia and New Zealand, and since then my most recent venture has been converting a small campervan to see what adventures I can embark on next! If you’d like to follow what I’m up to, or find out more, come and find me at www.mornapacker.com

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