#2-3: Soda Waves

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For some a 2h drive is something that needs lots of planing and an early night sleep. For others it’s a regular work day. For me it’s the distance to the closest surf spot and all the more distant surf spots are measured by this stick. So Italy’s east coast is times 2. West coast is times 3. Am…I have no idea where I’m going with this… Anyway, people might thing that there are no waves in the Med. Or that there are some waves but they never go over waist high or something. Well, these people are wrong. In our rookie surfing years, we wanted to be sure the waves will be there before making the 6-7h drive to Liguria….you would feel pretty stupid to sit in the car for 14 hours and not surf. So we wanted the biggest baddest strongest forecast possible. Quite a few times a forecast like that got us sitting on the beach watching the sea go mad with huge maxed out waves. Or squeezing in the corner of the bay behind the pier where the waves were smaller, water moving all over the place, far from epic. But we got smarter. With a 3-4m forecast on Sunday it was time to move from our usual west coast spot and go somewhere new. And if you ask me it was about time:)!

So after a gloomy Saturday in Levanto we headed south towards the sun and warm weather. And warm and sunny it was, 16C in beginning of January?! We slept in a cosy two PlayStation apartment in Piombino and in the morning we checked few spots in the area. It was a bit to small so we headed back north past La California to Rosignano. You might have heard about Spiagge Bianche of Rosignano Solvay, a town with a funny name and a weirdly white sand beach that looks completely out of place in this part of the world. I mean, this is not some small island in the Maldives, it’s right in the middle of Italy. Where did all this snow white sand come from? Sea also had a strange glow to it, I felt like I was surfing in soda. Turns out all the bright colors are the result of a giant sodium carbonate factory that has been pumping Calcium chloride into the nearby sea since 1914. Calcium chloride itself would not be a problem, but up to a few years ago it was mixed with heavy metals like mercury. Fortunately their production is a bit cleaner now, but health wise this is probably not the best place to surf regularly. Which is easy to forget once you see the waves. This is one of the rare spots in Italy where we did not see a single longboarder in the water. The wave is a nice hot dog a frame with an “I’ll run you over” pack of locals sitting on both peaks. If all this doesn’t sound to inviting… it was the best surf I’ve had in Italy for a long time:). BTW: I also had time to take a few shots with a GoPro Dome Port that I’m testing.

Levanto – Lillatro, Italy, 9.-10.1.2016

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