What’s it like to kitesurf in a country like Greece? Where you get about 9 months of prefect wind, are surrounded by beautiful waters and the temperatures… let’s face it, never really drop too far. Well who better to ask than the 4 best riders in the country… So we packed our bags, loaded up all our camera gear and went on a mission to discover the best spots to ride, the best tricks and the most epic locations around Greece…
Wind & Water is the kind of project that takes on a life of its own. In fact I find this is the case with all projects that lead to something good. Roughly 6 months of work on this bad boy, spread over 2 years, with lots of ups and downs, and lots and lots of helping hands.
It took us to a whole bunch of different spots around Greece, and got us into all sorts of pickles, like that time our sail got torn in the middle of a storm or that time we got chased by the… never mind. From Lefkada to Evia and the Cyclades islands to Costa Navarino, we heard the same words repeated over and over and over again until I literally couldn’t bear it any more… “Λες να βάλει αέρα;” – “You think it’s gonna blow?”.
And so in light of getting this bad boy wrapped up, I tip my hat to the crew: Alex, Dimitri, Ben, Lykourgo, Softa, Tom, Youri, Peter, Billo, Oresti, Luke, Thomas, Rami and everyone else. Keep on pumping you crazy beasts…
Thanks to VICE Greece and Netwix for their help in producing this, and Loukas Zorzos for the graphic design. Now go watch the whole series on their web channel by clicking here – www.netwix.gr/thethingaboutgreecewindandwaterbyvice
When the lifts finally shut and the mountain traffic came to a not-so-glamorous halt, we dropped in to munch on the leftovers. The psychotropic mountain setting was exactly what I needed to escape my modern day troubles. I couldn’t leave my phone behind of course, but I did put it on airplane mode for a bit.
Half way up the hill we realised we weren’t alone. Christos and some friends had been shaping the kicker. park break…
It was that kind of temperature where you could be in shorts, but then the wind changes and maybe its not a good idea any more. Confusing.
Then off to the top. We decided to make it up before sunset this time, so we hustled up, well actually it was more like me chasing Bill, and reached the nearest peak – Gerontovrahos before sunset for a change.
After a couple warm beers and a long talk about minimalism and moustaches we headed back. We discussed important issues on the ride home. But the silence was good too. It’s part of the whole thing. Reflecting on a big day. I had falafel with extra hot sauce that night. Bill had the steak.
So Winter 2016-17 started with a quick stop up to Mt Dirfis with Bill. In classic fashion we left Athens late because I wasn’t ready, took forever to get there, and didn’t get onto the snow until well after midday. Bill was less than impressed but we decided to come down before it got too dark and just shrug it off…
A month or so later we came back, knowing that the boys from the YAMAS production by the Snowmads were there filming some sunset shots. We got there late again but hustled up and met the boys on the top for some cookies and milk.
A couple of bad jokes later we strapped in and headed down for sunset. I had forgotten my jacket so I was already getting cold, when my phone battery ran out mid drone flight. Marco Freudenreich lent me his phone while the drone was still buzzing around our heads, and I used the remaining 9% of his battery trying to get the signal connection to work, and filming blind. I doubt you’ll see any of those shots in the upcoming film.
Bill and I headed down in the dark and listened to Alan Watts audiobooks all the way home…
1. Fruit salad or beefy steak?
I guess both… I can’t decide!!
2. What bowls have you ridden in Greece and what’s your favourite one?
I’ve ridden most of them but my two favourite ones are latraac and the blue enigma bowl which is super hard to ride!
3. Do’s and Don’ts for bowl riding
l’m gonna talk about the (Don’ts) only. If you are not feeling hundred percent your body do not drop in the ramp, just let it go. There is always next time. That’s my first rule to everything.
4. 4 down?
Yeah! I started riding 4 down last year and it’s way better than the usual grind wheel setup. You can turn really fast and it’s perfect for bowl and stuff l think.
5. What does dkms stand for?
There is not any deep meaning behind it, it’s just my last name. (Diakoumeas) hehe!
After experiencing the weight of the situation first hand we decided to find out more about the causes and effects of the oil spill from the Agia Zoni II… Everybody seemed pretty content to point their fingers at the state and the boat owner, but where do we factor into any of this? In this video we tried to understand more about the cleanup process and our roles as citizens ? Please share! ???
Do we have a say? Do we have the power to change the way our society depends on oil? We really weren’t sure, so we went to get our hands dirty again, this time with a little help from our homies… But the problem was still there. The undeniable stench of environmental destruction and carelessness was as prominent as the week before.
The only thing that had changed was our perception of the risk. Some people even got back into the sea as if it had never happened. Are we going to just sweep it under the carpet and forget about it? Or is there something we can do to change our impact on the ecosystem?
Special thanks to Georges Alexandre Kyriakides Solon Lalas Renee Avloniti and Thanasis Arampouli for getting your hands dirty! And The Velvoids for contributing their eco friendly tunage to our cause!
For anyone who doesn’t already know, the oil spill has now reached beaches more than 100km away, turning Athens’ beautiful southern beaches into tar covered danger zones???? This is our video that explores the places and people affected ? Please share!
An old old tanker carrying 2500 tones of crude oil named the Agia Zoni II sank off the coast of Salamina close to Athens on September 10th, 2017. Not much was heard about it on the news until a few days later when the oil started showing up on local beaches. Panic and sadness settled in as local governments unsuccessfully contained the spill and did not act immediately to protect the coast line. The political blame game has begun and the Athenians begin to wonder what this will mean. What will have to change? Will anything change? We grabbed our cameras and headed out to see what people had to say and see if we could help. This incident has only excited our ideas of alternatives that could keep Greece clean and green. Help us share this video and follow us at The Thing About Greece for further updates as we seek solutions…
Special Thanks to the Velvoids for their music – The Ballad of Fay Wray
My bestee Jason (Zazeo) grew up in Palaio Faliro, one of Athens’ coastal neighbourhoods, often likened to California in that it sits on the water and had it not been for the tame mediterranean swells it would have been the equivalent of Venice beach or Santa Monica… I guess.
Anyway, after travelling around the world and back Jason realised that there’s a naturally occurring reef right off the beach that kicks up a small but tidy wave almost every day, coinciding with tide changing. So amidst the winter swimmers and vagrants that count beans down by the water Jason started a little experiment to see if the wave was ridable and moreover, fun.
Fast forward a few years and on a good day the Mohxa Point is nowhere near established or particularly fruit-bearing. You still get those one-in-a-thousand days though where Poseidon blows in just the right direction and the wave is ridable. sort of…
in the water: Jason Pachos, Andreas Tsamtsouris and George Peristeras.
“To the season that never came – I bid you adieu”
featuring: Spyros Bellonias, Yaggos Pappas, Dimitris Mavrokefalos, Antonis David, Alexandros Aspromougos, George Pikoulas, Dimitris Lipantetzoglou
As we strapped in at the top of the Parnasso lifts, looking down on the barren resort, I couldn’t help but wonder why the season had only just poked its head round the corner this year. We hadn’t brought them a sacrificial virgin, or spent countless hours meditating to the vibration of the mountains. Did we miss a message? The signs were there, but we didn’t listen.
Fuck it. If the gods give you lemons… build a jump.
We buckled in for one last shred and sent it stupidly high, over the dragons that lurked below. Bellonia, George, Andoni, Yiago, Snowjim, Dimo, Sergio and the rest of the crew took turns hitting the beast until we were tired and hurt.
We knew only the healing waters of Thermopylae could reverse the symptoms of excessive stoke. We bravely tuned in to the stench of rotten eggs and let our bodies melt in the hot green waters.
See ya later winter…
Looking back on the two seasons of filming is nostalgic to say the least. Endless hours of riding, talking, building, digging, hiking, laughing, falling and driving around, summed up in a few photos and shots. Hard to do it justice really. Nonetheless my trusty analog camera (Canon AE-1 in this case) captured some of the moments along the way. I love them because they remind me of all the energy that kept us going through the storms and bails, cold nights and long drives.
Tons of love for every single person in these photos!!!
So its 2016 and the season seems to have a little case of stage fright, poking its head round the curtain only for a moment at a time before receding to the backstage while the sun comes in to melt all the fluffy stuff away…