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From the World December 19, 2023December 20th, 2023

BLOW IN feat. Noah Lane

Video by Joao Tudella & Andrew Kaineder | Stills by Andrew Kaineder

Blow In is a meditation on Noah Lane’s ten-year love affair with Ireland. Swept up by heavy left slabs (and the odd right), casual road rules, the warmth of the Irish community, dramatic landscapes, institutional pubs and Guinness on tap, Noah has slotted in on the West Coast as a permanent fixture. Or at the very least a well-received blow in.

As mentioned in ‘Blow In’, it’s been ten years since you first came to Ireland. What’s kept you there all this time? 

Yeah I originally came to Ireland in 2013 and after coming and going a few times, decided to stay and see how I liked it on a more long term basis. I met Tara (my now wife) at that time so that helped keep me here. Haha

You recently married an Irish lass and bought a house over there, do you see yourself in Ireland for the foreseeable? Do you ever see yourself moving back to Australia?

I’m actually just on my way back from visiting my family in Aus now. Both places feel like home; Australia for nostalgic, deep-rooted reasons and Ireland for its magic and wonder. I’ll be at home there for the time being. 

How often does the cold in the Winter months really get to you and you feel the need to book a ticket south? 

I’m not native to North Atlantic temperatures so for me the cold is less of an immediate slap than it is an ongoing, relentless barrage. In the first few years of living in Ireland, everything held novelty but like a dripping tap, the cold feels like it slowly wears you down over time. I try to get away during the winter for a few days here and there, more as a quick recharge than an escape. 

How did the idea ‘Blow In’ first come about? (Sorry I know I know the answer haha)

I’m pretty sure Joâo first coined the title and given he’s Portuguese (even though he has a Clare accent) and mine and Ak’s background, it seemed pretty fitting. 

You’ve worked with AK on some big video projects in the past such as ‘Beyond The Noise’ in the 2018… Can you tell us your relationship with AK? How far do you guys go back?

Yeah I’ve just spent a few days in daddy day care down on the south coast with him, Elle and Lou. Ha! We’ve known each other since I met him in Scotland while he was shooting BP’s Far North, I think in 2015? We worked on his film BTN, and we just clicked together as mates pretty quickly and easily. It’s a nice process to work with your friends and inspiring to see them consistently producing incredible work. 

Joao was also part of this project who you’ve also worked with a bunch since living in Ireland. How did you guys first meet? What’s your relationship with him? 

Like most of what he does, Joâo found the most interesting route to surfing in Ireland. He was studying in Tralee (middle of nowhere) because he thought it was near good waves and soon realized it wasn’t… I met him in the Moy Hill halcyon days when he’d come up to Clare on his days off and help on the farm. I’m pretty sure we crossed paths when I gave him a lift to Riley’s in this tiny Suzuki van I used to own. It was probably lucky he was a boog because there wasn’t a lot of room in that van.

Anybody else who deserves a mention on this project?

For sure, an honorable mention to the musicians in the clip. It’s an easy trap to fall into the stereotypical trad-fiddley-dee tunes (don’t get me wrong, I love trad) and if you’re not from Ireland, sometimes it becomes expected. It was epic to have an Irish band, Belfast’s Junk Drawer in there (they’re epic, check them out) and while Black Market Karma aren’t Irish, they’re all songs I like and listen to regularly so that felt fitting. 

Blow in was first premiered at the ‘Irish Surf Film Festival’ and took home an award. What award did you guys win? And is it a fairly new festival?

Yeah that was pretty special. There’s nothing better than seeing a film in the cinemas so it felt right to premiere it there and honor AK and Joâo’s work on the big screen in front of an audience of peers and friends. It won “best edit” which meant a lot given the caliber of judges (Mickey Smith, Laura McGann, James Skerritt, Cain Kilcullen). 

While there’s been previous (incredible) iterations (shore shots, doolin surf fest to name a few) this was the first year under its current guise as the Irish Surf Film Fest. As a spectator and attendee, it was a huge success which is testament to the amount of work the team put into it. 

You’ve been on Globe footwear for quite a while now. As an Australian brand, how has their footwear bared up against the Irish elements all these year? 

Every year there’s a range of winter boots that hold up against the elements here. I’ve still got a pair of the drizabone collab boots from about 7 years ago and they’re hanging in there. More recently the misfits and dimensions have been my go-to. 

Favourite Globe surf clip or video you’ve seen from Joe G? 

Loved the COF series. Creed’s Indo section to Dragon’s track, Rain was iconic. Classic, raw, timeless surfing. 

You also started surfing for Finisterre shortly after moving to Europe. How’s your relationship with them? It seems they keep their ‘ambassadors’ busy with surf trips and catalogue shoots, but also make sure you’re involved in their environmental activations and that sides of things?

Yeah Finisterre have been a huge support over the years. They’ve built such an incredible, transparent and authentic brand that, despite growing massively in my time, still retains its big family feel. While they’re different business’, I feel like I try to apply much of what I’ve learnt through them to the day-to-day of running foam; critically analyzing how we can be better in product, environment and people.  

Have you explored many other cold water zones around the UK and Europe with Finisterre? 

Yeah Ive been fortunate enough to visit much of mainland Europe with highlights in Norway, Iceland, Namibia, Senegal (not cold) and Cape Verde (also not cold). 

You’ve branched out from using the generic thruster a fair bit over the years with the Bonza’s and twins featuring heavily in most clips. Has that been an influence since moving to Ireland? Can you talk us through your quiver set up on the bigger days at home?

Yeah I think that’s due to a combination of factors. I’ve become more curious around different designs and applying them to the waves in Ireland. I also think the waves here demand specific boards for specific conditions. You can’t ride the same hp shortboard everywhere like you can where I grew up so my quiver has evolved to include boards for specific spots or waves. It’s fun trying to ride a twin-fin (for example) in an 8ft slab and I enjoy the learning and challenge in it. 

It seems to be a reoccurring theme around the world that crowds are an increasing problem. How has Ireland handled that considering the coverage it gets nowadays on those big swells? From your perspective as someone who isn’t from there originally? 

I can only comment on my time in Ireland but I’d say it hasn’t been affected as much as some places or for the same reasons. I was told that before the GFC there used to be way more people in the water and that’s it’s only returning to those sort of numbers at the busier spots now. So maybe surfing is just regaining popularity in Ireland as it was before? But of course there are always traveling surfers in the autumn and people coming for “swell events” but mostly lineups are friendly and respectful. You reap what you sow I suppose. 

Who’s the person you’ve been most impressed by showing up and going straight into a solid swell? 

I’d say for a singular swell, Mikey (Wright) in October 2021. It’s so hard to turn up and score, and then actually want the waves when it’s big but that day was pretty insane. I’ve dedicated 10 years to trying to master that one spot and it’s not particularly easy on any day but he just went out and, on his backhand, manhandled it like a beachie. Wade later said it was the best surfing he’s ever seen so I’m kinda glad someone else appreciated it as much as me.

Another notable is Russ over the years at the cliffs. Have you watched his and Ak’s new film? Some of those waves are era defining. 

What’s on your agenda for 2024?

Live, love, laugh. 

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