LUNCHING WITH JUSTLIKEBB
The bodyboarding session was bleak as the tide was coming up. Which means it was Monty Python’s fun in the water: jerking around small waves and pulling some pushups on the rocks (this one goes for Francisco ‘Cisco’ Monteiro). The waves were scarce, the sea was crystal clear, the water bounced like olive oil and small clusters of riders gathered in a chit-chat, like if they were all taking a long tea and biscuits together. I got to stay with justlikebb’s gipsies António ‘bòdecas’ Saraiva and Cisco. A quick sum-up about our lately doings and we found ourselves rumbling on the health of Portuguese bodyboarding.
There is no story here: as Vert - the only bodyboarding magazine in the country - basically died, the riders lost probably the best promotional vehicle for their features. People might say Facebook is a good replacement, but Zuckerberg’s baby is ephemeral and doesn’t convey the same prestige as a world class magazine. Another symptom of this single-man-stance arose from a story Cisco told me: this one time, during a world championship stage in Sintra, a prominent rider from Peniche grumbled with Vert’s director because there were no photos of Peniche’s guys in the magazine. The example of the unceasing bodyboarder’s self-indulgence profiling pretty well Portugal’s bodyboarding world way of acting.
In between the brainstorm, we bitched about the crowd at the peak and forecasted tomorrow’s surf. It should definitely be better. Back into discussion, I recalled how bodyboarding became so individualistic. Riders go to Facebook (once again) to nurture their egos instead of taking a global, friendship stance towards the sports. Later on, during a quick lunch at Pão da Vila, Ericeira, and while ingesting a diabetic cocktail of “Bola de Berlim” and “Azevia”, Cisco highlighted the fact that, “You can see a guy launching a massive backflip, but you’ll never praise him, you’ll envy instead of support”. I counter argued about the “death” of the sport with the fact that the industry is small and there’s too many brands for so little people. This indeed was proven this week with the appearance of a new fins brand, Supers. They are just the same shit as Stealth and the old, but goodie, Churchill Makapuu, so their usefulness for the sake of the sport is equal to none.
Justlikebb is a crew of bodyboarders, party goers and creative dudes. I’ve always perceived them as a chilled gang who banged the most out of waves with a grudging style and a unique sense of amusement for life. In or out of water, they just play fun with every situation leaving aside any taste for embarrassment.
The guys just released a film, “Gypsy, The Movie”, which was produced with a laptop that would break ‘n die every 10 minutes. They’ve got no revenue from it, just pure fun and the desire to share their mad adventures with the community. Manuel Barbosa, the producer, was also at the beach gathering some footage for some clips to be released soon. He stressed about the difficulties to yield the film and how it gathered little more than a few Facebook shares. “We’ve sent an e-mail pretty well made to several magazines and people and they just shared the film on Facebook instead of doing something more.”
"Gypsy" was an experience, a first attempt at something fresh. It might have a sequel, but it will take its time. Grabbing onto a soup and baguette, Manuel Barbosa was stark, "I’ll only start working on something else when I’m sure that I really have something good to work on."
As time went by, the crew started reviewing the day’s footage. Right before leaving the coffee shop, Manuel Barbosa was unsettled about getting some pastry. “I will feel naughty about it afterwards.” He eventually got a Pastel de Nata. Cisco cogitated on his chair listening to LeAnn Rimes’ “Can’t Fight the Moonlight” and bòdecas would just clinch to the camera. Outside we just traded the final arguments for tomorrow’s sesh. They went back home, only stopping before to get some grilled chicken.