It’s time to look back at some memorable sessions that have gone down over the years on the mighty Mango.
In the early “Naughties” the surf apparel industry was still cashed up and riding high.
Companies would regularly spend up on sending groups of their brand representatives and sponsored surfers to all corners of the globe on big budget productions creating surf films and media to use for the coming season’s marketing programs.
Master lens man and good mate Swilly had managed to pull together a team of freakish talent in Rasta, Margo, Dylan Longbottom, Benji Weatherly and a handful of young upcoming grommets along for the ride in hope of generating some exciting stories and images for TRACKSMAG.com
With Billabong footing the bill they sent along the hottest Australian surf film maker of the time in Bali Strickland shooting each surf session to feature in his upcoming feature surf film “The Freeway”, as Bali had done so successfully for his previous debut feature “Frame lines”.
The trip was incredible. Still to this day, some of the best surfing we have ever seen bar none.
Avoiding the known (and regularly filmed) locations of the time in Mentawai and plenty of swell on the forecast Mango sailed north from Padang with several lesser surfed, mythical and extremely testing A-grade reef set ups in mind for some of the world’s best tube riders and rail surfers onboard.
We had several memorable sessions during this epic trip for the ages- ground breaking performances on what was possible in deathly shallow heaving tropical barrels.
One session at the long and tubing left hander of Asu Island in Hinako off Nias goes down as memorable for several reasons.
1.The masterful display of backhand power surfing was out of this world- Rasta tickling the lip behind him as if reading brail with his eyes closed.
Dylan releasing his “Ace” 6ft above the lip. Dylan had kept his very first twin fin surfboard from childhood with a large image of Ace Frehley on the bottom all these years and decided to attached some crude (and heavy) homemade straps to bring along for this trip in the hope of nailing a full flip. No one expected him to dust if off for a test at a 6-8ft grinding left hand reef breaking in dangerously shallow water with a deadly end section known as “The Nuke Zone”.
Dylan not only gave it a little test but went all out on the biggest and gnarliest sections he could find going oh so close to pulling off the impossible (at the time).
These were incredible performances, but the show was stolen hands down by one Brendan Margieson. Margo was well known for his freakish free surfing talents in quality waves worldwide and on this day he put it all together…. and blew the minds of his surfing peers, good mates, photographers, surf journalists and everyone else who was lucky enough to witness the masterful and aggressive backhand display.
Margo continually went upside down throwing everything at every hack on every wave often free falling straight into the tube hands free with hardly a nanosecond to spare for a bottom turn or set up. Most of this was done just several feet away from the sharp reef across the previously considered un-surfable end section The Nuke Zone (visible @ 12:30 in the clip below).
Even with such great surfing talent in the water around him Margo was simply in a class of his own that day.
Some of Margo’s mastery from this day is on show in Bali Strickland’s epic surf flick The Freeway below with the Asu session starting at 11:22 to a pumping The Cat Empire sound track setting the scene below.
For more epic surfing images from many epic trips on the Mango and from around the world check out Swilly’s Instagram Click Here.
Massive thanks to Tracks as well, grab yourself the Surfers Bible.. Click Here.