What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?
- Henry David Thoreau
In São Tomé, a small African country, a surfer witnesses the growth of one of the youngest modern, alternative surf scenes in the world—an indigenous surf-riding culture called “corre-barra” by the locals.
I am sitting on a steep ground overlooking a nicely shaped right-hander rolling in shallow pristine waters over a slab punctuated by sea urchins and corals. Around me, a bunch of local kids approximately eight or nine years old screaming for every wave coming in and talking to me in Portuguese, commenting on how they could have caught that wave as any surf dude from any other place on Earth would do. I suddenly realized then that I just happened to arrive in one of the liveliest surf community I ever met in my life. As we speak about the surf, a bunch of other kids appear from behind the cliffs, paddling through the channel on some very special boards.