• LAVA LOVE

Benjamin Sanchis talks through his latest adventure getting barreled under the volcanoes

“This trip was just about simply going on adventure and surfing good waves, because that’s all that really matters. You don’t want to be surfing Nazaré, or Mullaghmore, every day you wake up. Weeks like this are simply about enjoying the ocean, the outdoors and getting barreled.

It all came together quickly. A few of the local boys gave me a call and said that there would be waves all over the Islands for the next week or so. The forecast looked pretty ordinary at home so we quickly grabbed our gear and flew down.

I love the waves in this part of the world because they are punchy, powerful reefbreaks. And the weather is so much more friendly than France in winter. Now the locals aren’t quite as friendly, but there are always windows to get some great, uncrowded waves.

Like anywhere when the swell is on, you also have to chase it hard. When we knew it was going to be perfect we’d wake up at dark and surf at first light. The tides are also very important so we surfed our brains out when the tide was right and the winds were favorable. When you have a small window of great waves, you want to go all out.

When the conditions aren’t great however, there is still so much to do down there. The locals live such an outdoor lifestyle and it’s easy to follow their lead. So I trained a lot, mainly running and cycling. There is also always a volcano to hike or beach fire and bbq to make. Back at Hossegor winter is more about cruising indoors at people’s houses or at restaurants. Down there you stay outside in the elements all day, which is another reason why I love to go back every chance I can.

Right now though I’m packing my bags again and flying to the Mentawais for a boat trip tomorrow. There is some swell, so we should get some great waves. Then we come back and will aim to do one more mission with the Billabong Adventure Division to finish off our documentary Vague À l'Âme (Wave of the Soul). At this time of year we watch the whole globe and it just depends on what type of waves and environment you prefer. It could be surfing fun waves a midnight in Iceland in thick wetsuits, or hunting for endless barrels in Namibia. Then again, we are open to Tahiti or Fiji, if we see some crazy swells in the Pacific.

In the meantime though I hope you enjoy this clip, which is simply about having a good time and surfing good waves. As I said before, that’s all that really matters.”