Surfing, Skateboarding, Music, Photography, Travel, Culture and general antics of the youth on the run.

Dear Youth Deep Frence sand and currents with Quinn Matthews

John John Florence in France Photographed by Quinn Matthews What Youth

France has been fun. Like, really fun. But like I think I said earlier, it’s a lot colder than last year, and I didn’t pack properly. There’s been a bunch of stuff that’s gone on but I’ll just get right to it and rattle off some observations and experiences in the past week or so.

First, the sand on the sand dunes is really tiring. Most sand dunes have one little boardwalk in the center that is fine for walking on but the sand adjacent is deep and soft. And don’t get me wrong or take any offense to this if you’re French, ’cause I love the French, but they don’t seem to love me so much, and can come off as rude. I get its just their culture, but don’t expect someone to smile back at you or make eye contact when you walk by, let alone share the boardwalk, so I always end up getting stuck in the deep sand.


The riptides and currents when shooting from the water are really tiring as well. When trying to shoot water, you’ll never stop swimming. The only spot where you can sit and not have to worry about the currents is the last spot you want to be and a wave will break on your head. Just the other day was solid 8 foot plus on the sets with fat lips on what looked like a perfect right sandbar. It looked pretty easy to just float around with my housing and nail good photos, so in an effort to make up for the day before which I missed (I’ll get back to that), I swam out with CJ Hobgood. He showed me a relatively easy way out and only got caught inside for one or two. So I swam over to the inside where it looked like I should sit, and sure enough took 4 solid, thick lipped waves right on the head and got really worked. Out of breath from the beatings, and the cold from being in trunks, I decided to take a breather and swim a bit out the back. Immediately I was pulled out farther from a riptide and pushed down the beach. The next two hours was swimming with solid effort just to try and stay with the pack of surfers who weren’t getting pulled near as much when elevated from the water on their surfboards. I finally saw a long break in the sets and made a break for the shore, which was not far away but took a few minutes to get to with the currents pulling me back out. I was really happy to be back on sand after that.

The food over here in France is really good. But you already knew that, and you can find some hidden little stores that aren’t near as expensive as you’d think.

The nightlife over here is fun. Everyone gets a bit more friendly and it’s easy to have a good time. More on that soon in a separate post. Let’s keep it to the water this time.

Right, so the WSL starts again next week And hello, yes, we have some questions and concerns. Five exactly.

It is 6:30 am, picture the scene. It is 6:30 am and the crack of dawn in San Diego and I’m paying for a latte at the coffee shop I frequently go to. “And what,” the barista says as he takes my cash. “What do you think about the upcoming WSL season? What with the…

A quick ode to Uncle Gav Please buy this legend a cold beer. He is a surfing treasure.

Yesterday you heard we went to Samoa and got hit by a cyclone before finding blue tubes and cold beers in it’s wake at Salani Surf Resort. You also saw that Gavin Beschen was there. Well, Gavin flew in from Hawaii by himself, and in true Gavin fashion showed up to the camp solo, 8…

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Don’t you just love when people ask you that? Well, we do. And people been asking us – especially our mailman, cuz we haven’t been home in a while… so let’s see, where did we go… a little bit of everywhere really. We road tripped up the CA coast in a van thanks to you and…

Youth against the machine I’m so proud of you

Editor’s Note: Last Friday night I got emotional. I was watching recaps of what happened in the world that week and a lot had happened. Part of me was on the verge of tears watching young people, you, the youth, standing toe-to-toe with politicians and paid speakers and paid pros for the NRA, and I saw…

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It’s been one of those days. Weeks. Years. Hell, six years. I haven’t used my own soap in three weeks. My bag of clothes is soggy. I miss my bed and I’ve seen three time zones in a week, but I’ve surfed, talked, laughed, drank, filmed and even worn a headset and done commentary for…

Media Model Subsidy Line Noise Ordinances and surf video making with Mitch Coleborn, Harry Bryant, Nate Tyler, Colin Moran and more

This morning we received a note on our front door reminding us that this town operates under a noise ordinance and that we may have been in violation during our first night here. And I may know why. You see, we lucked into an AirBnb that’s equipped with a pool table in the sun room, and last…

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Well, you’re hired We reached out to you and you delivered. Now it’s time to go

Holy shit, it worked!  The idea hatched over a pitcher of margaritas the other night is a reality. And it’s all because of you. You have officially funded the What Youth California ramp hunt and now the boys are ready to send it. We’re starting tomorrow and making it official: The What Youth film project,…

what youth surf trip kickstarter

Wanna help Produce our next film? We’re making a WY surf vid and we need liftoff. And that’s where you come in.

Remember “We quit, we’re poor” and all that when we started What Youth? Well, not much has changed: still pretty passionate, still pretty strapped. But we we wanna keep creating. And we need your help to get this fire started. As you read this, there’s a bunch of us assembling for some reckless abandon on…

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David Bowie Has A Book Club Maybe 2018 won’t be terrible after all

When history looks back at our bizarre little era, it will agree on one thing: Everything went to shit real quick right after David Bowie died. It’s baffling how quickly reality unraveled after David Robert Jones left us in early 2016. Muhammad Ali, Prince, Tom Petty and a whole bunch of people you really like passed…

Quiksilver has acquired rival Billabong In the least shocking headline you’ll read today

I know this headline isn’t as good as: “Iguanas are freezing and falling from trees.” Or “It’s so cold that sharks are dying.” But we’ll give it a shot. Quiksilver and Billabong are now owned by the same company. This was posted last night by our fabulous friends and drinking buddies and hard-hitting journalists at…

Hunter Martinez, San Francisco

2018: Fitter, Happier…still on antibiotics Here we go again

To be modern is to find ourselves in an environment that promises us adventure, power, joy, growth, transformation of ourselves and our world – and at the same time, that threatens to destroy everything we have, everything we know, everything we are…—Marshall Berman 2018 and I woke up strange. My FICO score changed (for the…

Blake Myers, Noa Deane

Save What Youth Dot Com And the rest of our little digital realm for that matter

I have loads of nasty habits. I drink six cups of coffee every morning, I let my wetsuit ferment in the back of my car because I’m too lazy to rinse it out, and I’ve caught myself watching the Oi Rio Pro un-ironically on several occasions. But there’s one stupid, habitual quirk I do every single…

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