Sherm Moments: Surf Activism in France

Sherm Moments: Surf Activism in France. Photo: Sherm

Sherm Moments

SHERM: This image is shot in August of '95. Maurice Cole was doing an anti-nuclear protest in Hossegor. That's Rob Machado right there in the glasses, and there's Maurice's son. And so the President of France [Jacques Chirac] had a house up the street, right there in Hossegor. So at Maurice's house — we all made the signs, we put paint on, he made T-shirts — and we marched up to the President's house and did a little visual in front of his house. He wasn't even there, but it was more the point we were trying to make. Because they [France] were doing nuclear tests in the atolls during the mid nineties — Chirac was doing this — so it was our message to Chirac regime like, "Hey, stop this." And a lot of the boys were there, like Knox, who supported us. It was fully pro surfing meets activism, pre-Rastovich. But it was my first year covering the ASP tour, so it was cool to just jump into it and see some of the pros into something like that, on the ground near where a contest was going on. It was like I was part of a movement, and all the surfers were into it too.