Spring is in the air. The sun is shining, and it’s time to do something completely new and different.
Yeah yeah, that’s what we say every spring, right?
Well, this spring we are really going to do it!
Gugi, Thijmen and Floris, three Dutch friends are going to make a film. And not just a quick selfie made with a smart phone. We are going to make a real film – a documentary about surfing in Sierra Leone.
The Bureh Beach Surf Club
We are going to tell the story of the first and only surf club in Sierra Leone, the Bureh Beach Surf Club. Bureh Town is a little fishing village on the south end of the Freetown Peninsula, and has a very special feature: a nice, clean wave – perfect for surfing! This natural asset is a source of joy, and was the inspiration behind the Bureh Beach Surf Club.
The club officially opened in 2012, and already provides an income for 19 local youngsters – who run the club in style: chaotic with a big smile. Tourists can rent surfboards, take surf lessons, enjoy fresh seafood and drinks – or even spend the night in one of the beach huts right at the break. Programs for beach and ocean preservation have started and the club is teaching local youth how to swim and surf.
The surfers from Bureh Beach have never surfed anywhere else but their home break and that is about to change… If god insists they will make a road trip in search of some epic waves.
Why this film?
Last year, Floris worked for 5 months on an eco-tourism project in Sierra Leone, and became friends with the surfers of Bureh Beach. Floris surfed almost daily with them. He was deeply touched and inspired by their simple way of living, their connection with the ocean, the unconditional friendship he felt – and their love of surfing. Upon his return, having no film background at all, Floris convinced his friends Gugi (film director) and Thijmen (sound designer and producer) to join him in this adventure. Together they directly spotted the magic of the surfers’ open attitude towards the future in this beautiful and emerging West African country.
Life can be very rich with simple things. But, above all, this is a very positive story. And in our opinion, it is positive stories we all need in this world.
Starting today, we will share our journey with you on this blog. Like the surfers from Bureh Beach, We are going to ride a new wave. And it’s bigger than our last one – and exciting and dead scary at the same time. Exciting because we have a very cool story to tell, about things that we are really passionate about. Scary because we have never done this kind of project before.
We hope our adventure will inspire you to do something completely new and different, too. And believe us, you can take the fear away by just doing it. Let the excitement rule, and ride that wave!
How can you help?
Please encourage us to paddle out as hard as we can to make this film happen! And share this story with as many people as you can, by email and social media. You’ll get a positive story in return!
Tenki boku (Many thanks)!
The Surfing Salone crew
Gugi van der Velden, Thijmen van der Poll and Floris Loeff