A few weeks back the Nixon team headed far east to the Russian peninsula of Kamchatka; a land of snow, mountains and crumbling brutalist architecture. There they found a beachbreak which was comely in shape and backed by conical volcanoes. A peer judged freesurfing contest was held, breaking the established mould of timed heats and wave counts, and after three days of surfing France's William Aliotti came out on top.
Words by Benjamin Wu Tiu Yen
With decent swell all week long and somewhat changeable weather conditions, the invited surfers charged hard in the 1-1.5m waves from the outset, despite frigid water temperatures only just about hovering above the two to three degree mark. Each of the surfers also had to battle some pretty heavy jetlag after touching down on the Russian peninsula – all par for the course when you fly to the Pacific coastline of the Motherland.
After a distinctly foggy start to proceedings, Day 3 saw the sun finally come out, revealing the mind-blowing scenery for the first time and showcasing Kamchatka’s famous snow-capped volcanoes in all their glory.
Despite spine-chillingly cold sessions in the line-up every day, the surfers were all motivated to surf for as long as possible. For eventual winner William Aliotti, the waves of Kamchatka couldn’t have been more of a contrast to his normal daily routine. Travelling the globe for the last six months surfing some of the world’s most tropical surf spots, William surprised everyone by taking to the cold water like it was nothing. As well as clinching the Overall title, the super-consistent 21-year-old goofy-footer from the Caribbean haven of Saint Martin also captured the Best Trick award after stomping just about every aerial trick in the book.
For the final day photo highlights click HERE.
Attending riders: William Aliotti, Kepa Acero, Vincent Duvignac, Jonathan Gonzalez, Marc Lacomare, Marlon Lipke, Eric Rebière, Benjamin Sanchis, Gony Zubizarreta
Filming: Falling Angels Prod (Ludovic Lasserre) / Nixon
Water filming: Yannock Loussouarn
Musics: "Hopes" - Louis / "Im caving in" - Leopold and the Fiction