Corona Journey 16: Sri Lanka by Morgan Maassen


For Corona Journey #16, photographer Morgan Maassen looks back at the Team Average trip to Sri Lanka and how it unfolded from his point of view. Want to see the full photo series? Head on over to Corona Extra Australia

 

The heat. The heat was what woke us up. As soon as the sun rose at 6:30am, the air went from a balmy stillness to a blazing inferno within minutes.

In the far off distance, you could still hear the throbbing techno to which Swedish babes danced all night to… but where we sat, on the edge of a bay overlooking endless sandy beaches, the rising sun illuminated what we were truly after: perfect point breaks. The swell delivered head high waves, and we were immediately off, sniffing out the exact beach we wanted to spend the precious day at, via a convoy of gloriously small Tuk-Tuks.

Upon our arrival to a wave known as Peanut Farm, we were greeted by the sight of a rifling, crystal clear barrel with nary a soul out. We piled out of our Tuk-Tuks and attacked the waves, utilising our time before the high-heat set in. Stephanie Gilmore spent the majority of her morning in the barrel, exacting her timeless style on the reeling rights. Craig Anderson and Dion Agius, both progressive goofy-footers, traded-off bomb sets which they sliced to bits with their mean backside attacks. The skateboarders, Dylan Rieder and Andrew Allen showed off their prowess in the waves by holding their own with an impressive repertoire of cutbacks and style. As the sun rose higher into the sky, the turquoise water sparkled, the sea lice swarmed, and the elephants grazed gently on the beach up from us. It was surreal, and absolutely divine, until the clock struck noon and we all conferred: it was too hot to be in the sun anymore.

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After a gut-wrenchingly spicy lunch of curries, we took a brief siesta, only to be woken to the exciting news of a potential skate spot being discovered, less than kilometer away from where we were staying. We raced to the destination, which was a half-built concrete compound, only to find a cement quarter-pipe, not a meter off the ground. Regardless, the sun was starting to shadow the tall palm trees, so Dillon and Andrew were on it. Lo-and-behold, the ramp transitioned seamlessly into the concrete wall, so they took turns wowing the surfers with insane wall-rides and precarious acid drops. When they were tuckered from the extremity of the close quarters, Craig and Dion took to the ramp, and showed off a little knowledge to keep the ball rolling through the dense heat. Beers were cracked, stories were bartered with the locals, and everyone enjoyed the show as Tuk-Tuk’s whizzed past on the road outside and amazingly, coloured snakes slithered the perimeter. This was Sri Lanka, an odd land, and we explored it for all it had to offer.

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Issue 44, the Team Average Issue is on sale now.

When you first set your eyes on #44, you’ll either see a Blake Mills cover, and a Team Average 3.0 cover. Then you’ll open it to a smorgesboard of incredible content. Take your pick! (Don’t pick the dumplings, someone sneezed on them; and to be honest the pineapple looks like it came from a can.)  There’s the Team Average 3.0 feature, which showcases our latest TA trip to Sri Lanka with world champion Stephanie Gilmore, Dion Agius, Dylan Rieder, Craig Anderson and Andrew Allen. We squeezed them into a barely roadworthy, dilapidated bus and told them to go get lost. There’s also an 11 page feature on the incredible solo artist/guitarist Blake Mills. On top of that, we talk art with Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, get the dirt on Death From Above 1979’s break up and reunion, light up the pages with a photo series by surfer Dion Agius and treat your eyes to the divine Chanel Stewart as the coveted page 33 girl.

If that hasn’t sold you, we give up. Do whatever you want. Just don’t eat the dumplings.

BUY ISSUE #44 HERE.

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