MEET OUR COMRADES
The youngest son of Spain’s most renowned pro surfing family, Kepa grew up in the Basque Country surfing the waves in and around Mundaka. He has surfed his way around the globe, exploring the remotest coasts of Indonesia, Africa and India. And while his self- produced surf adventure films have found a huge online audience, Kepa doesn’t travel for the exposure or adulation of others. He travels for the personal experiences, the lessons he learns, for the people he meets on his travels, and the perspective they bring.
Hailing from the surf-rich shores of the Basque Country in Spain, Ainara is a combination of creativity, elegance, style and happiness.
With a passion for surfing, travel, art and nature, if not in the waves at her beloved Zarautz, you'll most likely find Ainara drawing on her board, playing with her dogs on the beach, or exploring the mountains around her home.
One of the most explosive and stylish surfers the world has ever seen, Ricky hails from the Bluff in Durban, South Africa.
Growing up, Ricky was one of the most feared juniors in the world in competitive surfing, eventually making it onto the world tour and qualifying for the WSL's elite Championship Tour. But tour life wasn't for Ricky, and after two years he dropped off the circuit to pursue his free-surfing dreams.
Today, Ricky's time is dominated by his passions - art, creativity and surfing his beloved Cave Rock.
As one of the youngest members of the Ûs family, Matt Maxwell brings a combination of unsurpassed energy and talent.
Hailing from Cape Town, South Africa, Matt is recognised for his incredible kitesurfing talent, combining the huge aerial moves of kiteboarding with the powerful rail work of surfing.
Having been crowned as the 2019 South African Kitesurfing Champion, Matt is now poised to take on the world. And as part of the F-One and Manera global kiting teams, he has the support and mentorship to make a huge impact on the scene.
Currently studying product design, Matt's creativity is not limited to the water.
Growing up on the beaches of Umhlanga in South Africa, there were two things that dominated Leigh's life the ocean and art.
Discovering surfing at an early age through her cousin, Grant "Twiggy" Baker, Leigh's elegant style and fearless approach earned her a lot of respect in the competitive lineups of Durban. And as she grew up, so the mergence of her love of art and the ocean became a natural progression.
After finishing her studies, Leigh began traveling and exploring the world, finding inspiration in places like Thailand and Indonesia before eventually settling in Bondi Beach, Australia for ten years.
Today, Leigh resides back in South Africa on the wave-rich northern KwaZulu-Natal coast, where she spends her days surfing and creating beautiful, ocean-inspired art in her studio.
Having worked as a designer and photographer for years, art is now Leigh's primary pursuit. She is widely recognised for her talent, exhibiting regularly in Australia and South Africa, and gaining attention from collectors, connoisseurs, gallery owners and ocean-lovers across the globe.
Avuyile “Avo” Ndamase was born in 1994 and has spent most of his life at the beautiful Second Beach in Port Saint Johns in the Transkei (Eastern Cape). Discovering surfing at an early age, the idyllic right hand point breaks of the Transkei became Avo's playground before he moved to his current home in Durban. His energy and style quickly began turning heads, both locally and abroad, and he now rides for California-based brand Vast Life. With Vast, Avo has ventured to California, Hawaii and Indo, but his first love is still Durban's New Pier and the winding point breaks of the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. Avuyile is a strict vegetarian, choosing to live a clean, green lifestyle. He is passionate about sustainability and is actively working to make the movement stronger.
His view is that the ocean always provides so we gotta look after the earth as she is a giver of life.
When not smashing lips and pulling into barrels, Avo is fond of playing football or beach volleyball.
Born in Rome in 1993, Roby's love for the ocean was ignited by his father at the age of 3 through fishing and windsurfing. He got his first surfboard at the age of 8, and participated in his first contest abroad in 2003. Sponsorship followed shortly thereafter and, like many junior surfers, Roby started competing in a lot of junior events, ultimately being crowned Italian Champion ten times and then making his way onto the WQS.
While on tour, Roby's passion began to shift away from competition, and more towards travel and ocean conservation.
He now lives to travel, focusing on leaving each place he visits better than he found it. He shares his stories via videos on his Vimeo channel and Instagram account, with a key focus on protecting and conserving the ocean through his organisation, Robycleanup.
Referring to Damien as an Anglet local would not do him justice, because he is one of those rare surfers that passes as a local almost anywhere. Humble, compassionate, genuine and an absolute ripper, whether on a long or shortboard, Damien is welcomed with open arms wherever he ventures.
His professional career began on a longboard, with his graceful style and tidy rail work seeing him enjoy a lot of competitive and free-surfing recognition.
Then Damien's love for travel took root, fuelled by his love for film-making and writing. He made it his mission to visit as many places as possible, venturing to far-flung locales including Alaska, Papua New Guinea, Liberia, Norway, and Patagonia, and shooting seven documentaries along the way.
No description better describes Leigh Vermaak than her moniker - LEAVEAMARK. This South African artist, writer and creative has lived a life most could only dream of. Starting out as a model, her path has moved from writing music, to producing festivals, to creative and copywriting, and into fashion, styling and art, ultimately winning a coveted Gold Loerie for her styling work.
She currently lives on the Bluff in Durban with her fiancé, Ricky Basnett, overlooking the prisitine barrels of Cave Rock. Her time is spent on the wave-rich southern coast of KwaZulu-Natal, where she allows her creativity to run free.
Adin is the one of those people who lets his surfing do the talking. Young, humble and reserved, Adin hails from the Cape Winelands, a short drive from his home break of Koeëlbaai.
At the tender age of 21, Adin has already won the WSL Africa Men's title, along with four national titles. He is currently competing on the WQS where his combination of power surfing, new school airs and innate tube-riding is building him a solid reputation as a force to be reckoned with.
If you had to choose three words to describe Paul Serin, they would be "live to kite". Growing up in Montpelier, France, Paul first began kiteboarding with his parents at the age of 10, and in the 16 years since he has climbed the ranks to be recognised as one of the best in the world. A multiple French champion, Paul has also finished 4th on the GKA and 6th on the WKL.
But Paul's competitive success is just one aspect of his riding, and it is often in his freeriding sessions that the real magic happens. As part of the F-One and Manera global teams, Paul has travelled to some incredible locations to shoot with the incredibly talented Matt Georges, including South Africa, Mauritius, Russia, Madagascar, Mozambique and Dubai.
Aside from kiteboarding, Paul is also a passionate surfer and snowboarder.
If you look up the word Creativity in the dictionary, you will find a photo of Matt Georges. Renowned as one of the world's greatest snowboard and kiteboarding photographers, Matt is a senior photographer for several magazines, including White Lines and Onboard, and also works as a staff photographer for Vans, Manera and F-One.
But photography is just one Matt's creative outlets. He is also a talented designer and artist who expresses himself in various ways. He is known for his creative use of old school film and polaroids, with his latest work taking the form of a collaborative print project called Club Sandwich.
Between trips, Matt resides in the south of France with his wife and three daughters.
One of the most famous and respected surfers in the world, Marlon is part of the vanguard of European surfers that pioneered the growth of the sport on the continent. A German national, Marlon grew up charging the perfect waves of the Algarve in Portugal.
During his competitive years, Marlon won a string of titles and events, and in 2009 qualified for the illustrious WSL World Championship Tour, becoming the first and only German, and one of a handful of Europeans, to ever compete at this level. Known as "The Hulk" the stocky goofy-footer is a gifted barrel rider and backs his tube-riding prowess up with some devastating rail work.
Marlon has shifted his focus a little from competitive surfing and found a new mantle as a successful businessman and entrepreneur. He founded and owns Comoba, one of the most popular coffee bars and restaurants in Lisbon, as well as Jam Traction.
Actor. Comedian. Writer. Surfer. Poet. Artist. Skater. Voice Artist. Legend. These are just a few of the monikers that Cokey Falkow wears.
Originally from South Africa where he grew up surfing the perfect waves of Durban, Cokey's eccentric personality and dark sense of humour saw him naturally find his way onto stage and in front of the camera.
Now residing in Manchester where he is a stalwart of the UK comedy scene, Cokey has also lived in Australia and Los Angeles, and has built an impressive resumé of film and television credentials. Most surfers will probably recognise him as the fast-talking Irish street fight organiser in Peter Hamblin's movie Let's Be Frank.
Unrelated, but in 2016 he received a Lordship title in Cumbria, and don't ever ask him if he can get your girlfriend to speak Dolphin...
One of the best known names in the surf and action sports industry, Marc Durà decided to use his extensive knowledge, insight and creativity to pursue a new dream.
After 15 years as a surf industry executive, Marc traded his desk for a camera and his office for the open road, and embarked on a journey of surf and exploration.
Spreading his time between commercial, editorial and personal projects, Marc's travels have taken him to a host of exotic and off-the-beaten-path destinations, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Tunisia, the Maldives and beyond...
Growing up, Kash was immersed in her father's analog photography, spending her childhood at expos, vernissages and workshops, and quickly learnt how to use a camera to capture unique moments.
After graduating high school, Kash was invited to spend half a year at the South African Fine Arts Department of Photography at Rhodes University, where she developed her photography skills and fell in love with the country.
She is now cruising between South Africa and Europe working on her projects and trying to find the best place to live.
Kash is also very passionate about healthy living, believes in plant-based food, and cares deeply about animals and nature.