Goggans and the trip to Italy with Fioravanti and Gilmore: "It's better than Florida"

Ashton Goggans, editor of the American newspaper “Stab” and director, told us about his experience in the Bel Paese, between Lazio and Sardinia, with exceptional surfers such as Leonardo Fioravanti and Stephanie Gilmore

Antonio Muglia

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antonio_muglia

Surfers are dreamers par excellence. And, who knows, maybe the Italians are a little more so than the others, accustomed as they are to dealing with the waves of Mediterranean. So one of the classic dream stimulations are the media in all their forms: videos, photos, podcasts, shows, and of course magazines. In the last decade, perhaps more than others, a newspaper has become daily bread for those who love this discipline: Stab. Born at the end of the first decade of the 2000s, and only in the online version, this American surf magazine has been able to win the attention and trust of millions of surfers around the world. Furthermore, as has happened for other major US newspapers, it has bravely destined its best contents to subscribers, achieving great success. In recent months the director from Stab, Ashton Gogganshe made a stop in Italy, and for most of the time in Lazio and southern Sardinia, to shoot his TV-show with some exceptional surfers. Official Active interviewed him exclusively.

Ashton, how was your trip?

“I’m spoiled for choice. As soon as we landed in Rome we felt warmth and hospitality. We were immediately overwhelmed by the pride and attention to detail that you Italians give: food, architecture, music, art. And then there were Leo Fioravanti with his partner Sophie, Roby D’Amico whom I have known for many years and whom I love as a brother. And Stephanie Gilmore with partner Harry Henderson who were in Portugal and had two weeks off before returning to Australia”.

What did you do with all these big hits of world surfing?

“We had to shoot an episode of the new season of my travel show, No Contestthat Stab he produced with Red Bull for seven years. Previously, the program showed behind the scenes of the Championship Tour. From this season, however, we are going to explore completely new places, some hidden, and also known surf spots. Just to name a few, New York, Italy, Israel, Costa Rica, Fiji “.

Your impressions of the Mediterranean waves?

“I grew up on the west coast of Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico, so I imagined conditions similar to those of home. But Italy is much more consistent than I thought. I bet you Italians surf at least twice or even more than Florida. . I can say that I have traveled extensively and have seen places with a good quality of life for a surfer: Italy is an incredible place to live and surf, and an extraordinary place to visit “.

You have seen the Italian community in action.

“We could see what is happening in the Banzai parking lot. It looked like San-O, or something like that. Tons of families and children, old women and girls. That day we also surfed Supertubos with several locals, and Matteo Fabbri joined us. Then we were joined by Matteo Fabbri. we had a bonfire on the beach and ate a pizza from across the street. One of those days I’ll never forget. ”

“A supreme pleasure. There was a swell and we didn’t let it get away. I spent time with Maurizio Spinas, who has seen the evolution of Italian surfing since the early days. I listened to the stories of the pioneers of the end of the years. Seventies and Eighties, when you used old windsurfers and went to explore the coast. That time must have been magical. ”

With special guides, in fact.

“Lorenzo Castagna and Roby D’Amico were amazing. And Leo seemed to have a new gear. All of them made sure that Stephanie Gilmore, Harry and our team had fun in the waves and ate great food. Honestly, when we got there. greeted we all had a broken heart “.

Turning a little towards the working aspect of surfing and the media: what is the state of health?

“There is never a dull moment, I would say.”

Stab was already online when social networks boomed. How did you deal with this change?

“I feel like a dinosaur when it comes to social media, algorithms, new platforms, TikTok. Stab has a really young and radical group that gets social media going. But I can say that the move to subscriber-only content has been hugely positive. Readers want high quality and enlightened editorials, whether it’s interviews, athlete profiles, feature films, documentaries, reality shows, live events. And to have them they are willing to spend “.

Stephanie Gilmore and Leonardo Fioravanti check equipment and sea conditions.

Surfing has grown tremendously and the line ups are generally crowded. Are we in the right direction?

“I have no idea. But I hope to see some slowdown soon. After the first boom in the 1960s, the next decade I would call it underground and experimental and, I think, incredible. A similar thing happened after the 2008 crisis. It coincided with the end of the rivalry between Andy Irons and Slater. It was the time when Quiksilver and Billabong had shops in Time Square in New York. Well, the ten years following that crack were much more underground, or at least much more. core “.

Looking back at your work: what are you most proud of?

“The series that I lead and direct, No Contest, it was the greatest pleasure of my career. It’s a bit like decoding Bruce Brown’s dream: chasing the waves all year round, documenting culture everywhere, and doing it perpetually. Furthermore No Contest it has a more ethical cut than the standard surf film, the ones in which the pros go to an exotic place to chase the waves and stop. With No Contest the protagonists are the local people, their history and their culture “.

And then Andy Irons’ name occurs.

“The film Andy Irons and The Radicals it’s the project I’m most proud of. In the first year of the pandemic, I holed up in Los Angeles to work there. I saw hundreds of hours of tapes from the 90s and early 2000s, then wrote the script with my brother Jack. Finally I almost killed my editor Sam Moody: the project lasts over four hours. But that movie seems to be why I was sent to Earth. “




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