Making a magazine is no easy task. There are lots of decisions, selections, cuts, and last min additions. Choosing the cover is arguably the hardest of these tasks. For a cover fills many rolls; it draw the reader in, makes a flashy impression on both newsstands and coffee tables, and ultimately sets the tone for the entire issue. We thought it would be fun to share a “behind the cover” for the latest SBC Surf 2019 Annual. This year’s cover features Shannon Brown “teeing” off on a classic East Coast cobblestone point.
The East Coast is a fickle beast. It’s nearly impossible to score without local knowledge or incredible luck. The best way to ensure good waves is to put in your time. Shannon made the continental leap from Tofino -> Halifax mid-winter to hang out and surf with a good friend and local shredder, Logan Landry. Over the course of a month, the two chased every swell that graced the Scotian shores. Living by the timeless principle of surf travel, See Surf, Surf. When you let go of the ideals of perfection and accept that “fun surf” is good enough, the universe seems to bend in your favour… Dropping the FOMO, it seems might actually make you a better surfer, and may even land you a cover.
Congrats on your cover! We know you’re a spray guy and a serious fan of the hack. How are the waves on the East Coast?
Thanks, it was a very welcome surprise and completely unexpected. It made my day/week/month when it was revealed.
I’ve always loved spray, one of my earliest surfing memories is learning how to make it. I was maybe 8 or 9 and I remember going halfway up a wave and doing a little turn and watching the white stuff climb up the wave face, almost to the top. I tried again and pushed a little harder and a tiny bit of spray puffed over the top. Then I tried going a little higher on the wave and it ran up the wave, over the top and made a solid little fan. I was stoked and thought it was the greatest thing. My friends would make fun of me for doing a turn and then looking back to watch the spray, it took a long time to break that habit.
I love the East Coast; the waves (when they happen) are amazing. The surf scene is growing and is headed up by a really cool crew. If you show up with a friendly and respectful attitude then they’re happy to share their waves.
In the day and age of massive punts, do you love seeing turns gracing the covers of magazines?
I looooove seeing a massive punt! Airs are probably my favorite thing to do and for sure one of my favorite things to see. Airs do tend to dominate the magazines though so it’s refreshing to see anything on the face make the cut.
What board and fins were you riding for the cover?
I was riding an Aftanas ‘the one’ model. It’s 6’2 and 32.5 liters. All my boards have futures fins and I was using John John’s size large.
We heard you have recently parted ways with Reef; Do you have any prospective sponsors for the rest of 2019/2020?
Yeah, it was a great few years though. I can’t thank them enough for the support they gave me. New ownership, a new direction for them so it’s all good. The people I worked with I consider friends for life.
I’m looking forward to putting on new rubber this fall with Adelio wetsuits. Everything I’ve seen from them looks solid and I’m excited to be part of something new and hopefully contribute to their development.
What was your Rose, or the biggest highlight from this trip?
The trip was like a giant bouquet of roses, so many epic moments. Two, in particular, stand out above all.
Aftanas made me 2 new boards for the trip and my first surf on the 6’2 ‘the one’ was at a river mouth that had frozen over. We paddled out just as the tide topped out, once it started turning it sucked a bunch of giant ice chunks out of the river and into the lineup. I’d literally just finished telling Logan that I thought the ice was becoming a problem. I caught a wave, spotted the piece of lip I wanted to hit then started to straighten out so I could set it up off the bottom. I glance ahead as I straightened and there was a 2 meter squared chunk of ice. It was too late to go around so I tried to ollie it. I didn’t make it lol. Luckily I cleared the ice but my board got mangled. Chris Mathers from Black Tuna surfboards fixed it up good as new though. Thank you, Chris!!
The other highlight was finding a new wave on day 1. We drove a few hours to check a slab, the wind and tide were a little off so we decided to go relax and come check again later. We ended up driving by a headland and saying, ‘we’ve never seen what’s at the end. Let’s kill some time and go for a little hike’ we got around the corner and boom, perfect right-hand slab. I’ve never discovered a wave before so that was pretty special. Logan and I are both goofy so surfing it backside was a challenge but we did ok.
I think that’s part of the beauty of the East Coast, the sheer abundance of potential surf spots. The fact that a life long local surfer can still find un-surfed waves is amazing.
What was your Thorn, or the biggest nuisance?
My trip was planned last minute with a coaching camp I was running in California so I booked a weird flight path through San Diego to get overt there. I had a couple of delays and some flights got changed and when I finally made it, my bags didn’t. I spent the first few days on borrowed equipment waiting for the airline to find my stuff. Not really a big deal but a nuisance for sure.
It would be easy to consider the countless hours spent driving to different spots up and down the coast a thorn, but with good company and a shitload of Timmy Ho’s donuts and coffee, the driving was actually more of a highlight.
Do you have an East Coast winter surf survival tip?
If you can, get new gear! If your rubber is old and compromised, you’re going to suffer. Get a really good playlist together or have some good podcasts lined up, if you want to maximize your surf time then you will be driving.
What’s it like staying at La Cassa Landry for a month?
I can’t talk about La Cassa Landry without saying a huge thank you to Logan’s wife, Rebecca. She welcomes us surfing visitors with open arms and makes you feel extremely welcome the whole time you’re there.
Logan is a special guy; I’d only really met him in passing until we were on Reef together. From the moment I actually got to know him we’ve become close friends. It helps that we’re both goofy and crave surfing front side. We will drive to the end of the earth if it means we can surf a half-decent left.
Staying at his place for a month was great, we had such a good program going and on the down days between waves, we were usually so wrecked that a day or two on the couch watching Netflix was needed, for me at least.
He doesn’t like to sit still for long though, he’s always got something on the go. Planning trips (surfing, fishing, hunting), making edits, writing something about past trip, checking the forecast, checking it again in 10 minutes. He’s a bit of a clean freak and has a love affair with his Dyson vacuum cleaner. About every 2 hours he’d have a little tweak and do a quick run through the house with the vac.
Logan is a guy who has an infectious, “send it” attitude. He’s the perfect guy to travel the coast with, no matter what we found he was excited to charge out and give it a go. If there’s a section, he will throw his entire life into it and rocket launch into the flats, just about kill himself then do it again on the next wave.
It was an amazing time hanging out and chasing waves with the crew, I can’t wait for my next trip back out there. I didn’t go over there with any intention to score any photos, let alone a cover. I just wanted to go and surf some fun waves with my friends.
All Images – Scotty Sherin (SBC Surf)