With 2016 behind us, we look at some our best surf stories of the year - celebrating those that kept riding the waves no matter how the tides turned

With 2016 behind us, we look at some our best surf stories of the year - celebrating those that kept riding the waves no matter how the tides turned

If the past year were an ocean, it would certainly be a turbulent one. But surfers know a thing or two about riding these challenging waves, and their resilience can inspire hope at a time when it seems in short supply.

From fighting to save our oceans to redefining surf culture, surfers around the world have continued to ride whatever life throws at them – here are some of Huck’s favourite and most important stories from the past 12 months.

Meet Rio’s favela surfers, fighting to save their home break from pollution

Photo by Giulio Paletta

Photo by Giulio Paletta

Surfers from Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro’s largest favela, are coming together to protect their barrelling home break from chronic water pollution.

“We, surfers, can’t do everything by ourselves. Everyone must be on the same fight. We may not always succeed, but we gotta keep on trying.” Read more.

From Ireland to Iran, Easkey Britton is connecting the world through surfing

Photo by  Thomas Hein

Photo by Thomas Hein

Surfing changed Easkey Britton’s life. Now she’s using it to break social barriers and change the world.

“Surfing is my passion. It’s been in my life for as long as I can remember. It’s what I live for and can’t live without. To wake up every morning and to be inspired, to be in love when I see the sea. Surfing is my driving force.” Read more.

Where are surfing’s most creative subcultures today?

Photo by Drew Martin

Photo by Drew Martin

Surf Odyssey editor Andrew Groves guides us through the uncharted sea of creativity that lives beyond mainstream surfing.

“What’s exciting to me is that surf culture today is so multi-faceted and diverse; to surf and to be involved with surfing means something different to all of us.” Read more.

How Lucia Griggi chased deadly waves to become one of the world’s best surf photographers

Photo by Lucia Griggi

Photo by Lucia Griggi

Waves as big as tower blocks and the beach patriarchy could not stop surf photographer Lucia Griggi from becoming one of the best in the world.

“Life has a funny way of working out. If you really want to do something, it will happen as long as you try hard enough. Photography is everything for me. If I didn’t have it, I don’t think I’d have a purpose. It’s a profession that takes a lifetime to become an expert at. I’m only just starting.” Read more.

The Basque surfers who took on the industry by founding a festival of their own

Photo by San Sebastian Surf Film Festival

Photo by San Sebastian Surf Film Festival

Sancho Rodriguez, founder of the San Sebastián Surf Film Festival, shares how they brought together art, activism and audacious stunts to shake up surf culture.

“It’s our way of showing solidarity and bringing surfers from around the world together.” Read more.

Surf legend Brock Little loses fight with cancer at age 48

Photo by @brock.little on Instagram

Photo by @brock.little on Instagram

A tribute to Hawaiian big-wave legend Brock Little, who lost his battle with advanced cancer in February this year.

“The world I know will never be the same. I love you, man. Thank you.” Read more.

Levitating surfers ride invisible boards in new Foster Huntington film

Globetrotting adventure man Foster Huntington films his pals surfing without boards, in a new promo that will make you wish you could fly. Read more.

For Sierra Leone’s first female surfer, surfing means hope

Photo by Huck

Photo by A Million Waves

Daniel Ali and Louis Leeson’s poetic film features Kadiatu Kamara, the only female surfer in Sierra Leone, for whom surfing is an escape from the devastating effects of civil war and the Ebola epidemic which swept her country.

“What I particularly wanted to make a film about was how surfing could be used as a form of escapism, allowing the locals to take themselves away from the stresses and worries of everyday life.” Read more.

Bruce Gold: The last true surfing hippie

Photo by Richard Johnson

Photo by Richard Johnson

To celebrate 10 years of Huck, we dug through the archives to unearth stories that feel as relevant as ever. We headed to Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, to catch up with the enduring living legend of Bruce Gold.

“Dora always used to say, ‘Don’t sell out’, but I’m thinking of auctioning off the contents when Leonardo Di Caprio brings his movie out.” Read more.

It’s here! The world’s first wetsuit that doesn’t screw up the planet

Photo by Vincent Colliard

Photo by Vincent Colliard

Surfing and caring about the environment go hand in hand across the globe, but for decades we’ve relied on equipment that’s harmful for the planet. Finally neoprene-free wetsuits are a reality, and the company behind this innovation want the rest of the surf industry to follow their lead.

“If you look at the beautiful places we get to play, it goes without saying we should do everything we can to keep them pristine.” Read more.

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