Kepa Acero, Western Mediterranean. Photo: Durá
Kepa Acero, Western Mediterranean. Photo: Durá

Behind The Photo: Kepa Acero, Western Mediterranean

Photographer Marc Durà spots the stoke from surf's consummate explorer

The Mediterranean isn’t the traditional sea to find sets stacked to the horizon. Then again, Kepa Acero’s not your typical surfer. Photographer Marc Durà traveled with the Basque explorer (who is back in the lineup after breaking his neck at Mundaka in January) and surfer Sergi Galanó last month to an island in the middle of the Mediterranean, where log-able sets finally began to fill in after 48 hours of calm ocean. We asked Marc for his most memorable frame, and unsurprisingly, it featured Kepa indulging in the early-evening remains of a successful strike:

Born and raised on the shores of this quiet sea, you get to think you know it well, but no matter how good a forecast looks, you end up earning quite a nice share of no-shows often. This was our debate while driving down to the beach with Kepa Acero and Sergi Galanó. You could walk this place a hundred days in a row and not see a single ripple on the water. But somehow, some days, a few clean perfect peelers come and greet those who understand how this gentle part of the sea beats. That's the magic of this coast. It also helps that Kepa's stoke goes beyond any failed mission. Classic Kepa.

We spent 48 hours wandering under the radar, looking for a solitary corner to tackle this rise-fast, die-fast swell. Some may think the peelers were B-rated surfing. But if I were to judge their faces, I'd say it was as pure a form of stoke as you’ll see.

This photo reminds me of the late afternoon light, the cold air, and the smell of pine trees. The swell was sending its last pulses before dying out, and Kepa was still as stoked as one could possibly be. He was cruising smooth and easy, totally tuned with the mood of our surroundings. There was nobody else around, and he was having this special farewell dance with the longboard.