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

Dear Youth Right Place, Right Time.

nate zoller what youth dear youth fiji

Editor’s Note: There are certain guys out there who just know how to get good waves. Good, uncrowded waves. Both locally and on the road. It takes a little more effort and a lot of time searching. And Nate Zoller is that guy. He comes through the What Youth HQ periodically and raves about the perfect waves he got. Sometimes it’ some weird spot in Orange County. Sometimes it’s Newport. Sometimes it’s Nepal. Or Fiji, as it was this time below. His life seems to revolve around being in the right place, at the right time. And for those of you interested in a life full of better waves, listen this man. He may not spell it out completely, but study his lifestyle. The devil and some really good waves are in these details. Keep an eye out for his recurring column. —Travis 

I just had the best month of my life.

I boarded a plane for Fiji the day before Halloween and took the first breath of November upon landing. I made my way on bus and boat to the island of Tavarua. We unloaded on the opposite side of Restaurants because the normal channel was too rough. Up the path I saw artist Kevin Ancell peaking through the flora. In the restaurant was everyone from Bob Hurley to someone who looks like G Love. It was G Love. Seconds later Sal Masekela walks up, eyes rolled back, glistening. “I’ve known Kelly for twenty years and that was the craziest barrel I’ve ever seen the guy get. Hands down.” I was dazed by how fucking good Restaurants was at that moment. Like Damo-Hobgood-Globe-Fiji-Pro good.

I took a deep breath, ripped a board out of the coffin, caught a boat out to the lineup, and took two coral facing free falls. Both were non-make pin drops. I paddled back out humbled.

Don’t look Slater in the eye, don’t look Slater in the eye. Fuck, I just looked him in the eye. I have to say something.

“Hey, I’m the new volunteer lifeguard on the island.”

“You are? Have you surfed here before?”

“First time.”

“Here, let me show you the takeoff spot.”

First hour in Tavarua and Slater shows me his takeoff spot at Restaurants. Like I’d use it. Any farther up the point and we’d be on dry land.

The next day its Cloudbreak. Proper, off the ledge shit. Taylor Steele shows up that evening with a “fly-by-night” Australian film crew. A day later and the swell is up again. Slater breaks his foot using a giant chest mount pole cam 360 tube angle thing and crutches his way to the heli pad on the fourth. What’a guy!

For the next two weeks I am up before the sun and on every available skiff. I am cleaning boats and diving for anchors, doing whatever it takes to make it out to Cloudbreak on a low tide.

I make friends with the local boatmen legends and the sweet Fijian ladies at the restaurant. Good vibes are everywhere on the heart shaped island in the Pacific. Tavarua is still the most classic surf experience possible. It’s life derived by surf, the way it should be.

Goodbyes are tough but I say them after just two weeks. Because my flight to Kathmandu leaves tomorrow out of LAX. And I’m not gonna miss that. To be Continued. Forever. —Nate Zoller

what youth harry bryant surf trip

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…

dear youth david bowie has a book club

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…

what youth bruce brown rip

RIP Bruce Brown The man responsible for surfing’s greatest celluloid achievement is gone, but there’s no chance we’ll ever forget him

I was 12 years old and I remember leaving baseball practice of all things to go see the world premiere of Endless Summer II at the old Peirside Cinema in Huntington Beach. That night was the beginning of the end of my cleat-wearing years. Just me and my dad went and the electricity inside that…

what youth dear youth

Forced Creativity In a Musty Place Or, the art of throwing empty pint glasses at a laptop and expecting results

“Writing is the flip side of sex — it’s only good when it’s over.” —Hunter S. Thompson  Editor’s note: Here’s something(one) new. James Royce is a young surfer/writer dude from California who’s been submitting and writing a few things here and there for us. Just another one of us trying to navigate all this shit we…

Do surfing a favor today Let’s all subscribe to the Encyclopedia of Surfing. What’s that? Well, let me tell you

Matt Warshaw writes really long, really well-researched books and articles about surfing and its history. He’s quite maniacal about it all and it tickles me that surfing has someone psycho enough to document its rich history so damn well. Matt has been the editor of Surfer Magazine and written for The New York Times, The…

Would you rather: Lowers or a Pool? The WSL released its 2018 schedule of events and it’s missing Fiji and Lowers but has a pool

There are 840 miles of coastline in California. And while there will be one stop on the 2018 WSL World Tour in California, it will not be happening along any of those 840 miles of coastline. It will be happening in Lemoore, CA. The WSL just released a press release this morning announcing the 2018 World…

what youth issue 19 kader sylla

We’re giving Issue 19 Away Our next Issue is out next Tuesday and here’s how we’re gonna make sure you get it…for free

We lost another classic print publication last week (the regionally great ESM has halted its print edition). We also heard through the grapevine that another magazine in the surf space is on “temporary print hold.” Meaning: magazines are officially gasping for air as our anxiety levels rise with our digital media intake. And that’s fine….

what youth globe new surf movie

Globe’s Cult of Freedom is ready Joe G and his all-star cast of Noa, Creed, Dion, Taj, Nate, BG and EG are back with a new vid

We call our intern “neck tan Nick.” He’s the office shred turkey. And yesterday between watering the plants and taking out garbage and telling us about which local sandbar might yield a fun surf he said, ” I need to watch something sick to get amped. It’s been so small. What’s coming out?” I happily…

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