While the UK endured baltic temperatures and pumping waves during last week's Big Freeze, Morocco was a different story. One of the best swells of the season so far rifled into the North African country, setting off the travelling surfer’s favourite point break.
Yeah, Anchor Point was all-time for a couple of days last week. And while Europe chilled, photographer Ross Taylor jetted off for a blitz around Taghazout, the home of Moroccan surfing — his first trip to the land of the never-ending rights.
"It's a photographers dream out there," says Ross. "It was a bit of a shock coming home and going from 27 Celsius to -3 though!"
Here, Ross breaks down his best images from the trip and reflects on a first time shooting and surfing in Morocco.
Live Cam: Anchor Point
Captions by Ross Taylor
It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to link up with Cornish ripper, Jake Sage, and score this swell while he was on his last day in Morocco. He went to work at Anchor Point with his trademark mix of powerful and stylish turns. A real standout performance amongst the assembled crew of locals and visiting pros. Taking photos is all about making memories for me and I’m stoked to capture a few shots that Jake can look back on in years to come and smile thinking of the waves he got that day.
I can only imagine the amazing sights that have been witnessed from here over the years. Monday was no different, with a strong crew of onlookers present all day long. The vibes were high as people sat basking in sun while enjoying the crazy show of wave riding happening mere metres away. A real surf spectators heaven.
The morning of a big westerly swell. There was palpable anticipation when I turned up to the point that day, in the darkness, after narrowly dodging the attention of a pack of stray dogs. A beautiful sunrise and light winds resulted in groomed lines thundering down the point. When well-known local ‘Snoopy’ swung his iconic car, fully laden with all manner of surf craft into the prime parking spot, I knew I had to capture a shot. What followed was a memorable day of surfing where I am sure many of those present might have snagged the best wave of their life.
Morocco is a photographer’s dream. This evening was particularly special with the stars aligning. It was warm, the peak outside was firing, there was a strong crew of locals throwing all sorts of shapes and the soft evening light was making for a dreamy spectacle. I wanted to bottle up all the feelings of a Moroccan sunset surf into a single photo and I hope this can transport you to one of the chairs in the picture, ice cold beer in hand enjoying those sundowner surf vibes.
I wanted to capture a shot of the dry arid headland in the backdrop, something very different to the lush green and granite found in most of my Cornwall photos. Vasco Ribeiro here had the spot dialled and it was cool to watch him rip every good set wave that rolled through.
Many of the spots here are arm burners in terms of paddling. This day there was a lot of water moving around and you didn’t want to get caught inside, unless you fancied a long trip down the coast. In this photo, I wanted to capture the sense of how small the surfer was facing the lines of Atlantic swell marching relentlessly towards the rocks.
Most of the week the waves were pretty full on, making swimming with the housing tricky. I was determined to get in though and on this evening the waves mellowed a little and the rip over the reef abated enough to allow me to have a go. Maria Salgado here, from Portugal, was absolutely ripping, carving beautiful lines from top to bottom of an aqua canvas.
Not a bad view to wake up to. It was rad to watch this crew of grooms make the most of a smaller day on this performance wave out the front of our accommodation. Inspiring stuff from the next generation.
This particular image came after rummaging around in bushes on a nearby hill looking for new ways to see the coast. I like the distant perspective of the ant-like surfers with groomed lines and perfect peeling faces to feast on.
After scrambling up the hill and turning around to see this view, I was blown away. This one photo sums up my surf experience in Morocco. Reeling right handers, lots of paddling, amazing views and the weather, oh glorious, glorious weather.
I feel like I have unfinished business with this place. It’s so vast out there, I didn’t really scratch the surface. I can’t wait to go back.