Alfred Lomax: Liberia’s First Professional Surfer?

This is a pretty amazing story of a Liberian man named Alfred Lomax who, at the peak of Liberia’s civil war, stole a boogie board from a food container as he fled the country. He returned home to war-ravaged Liberia and discovered a love of riding waves and sharing them with his friends. Since his return and a surf session with Californian surfer Nicholai Lidow, Alfred has upgraded his equipment to a surfboard and his community has become an oasis of sorts in the still recuperating country. Anyway, it’s a great story about surfing leading these guys to a better life, read the entire article HERE.

As reported on www.timesonline.co.uk

Alfred Lomax gently lays his 6ft 3in surfboard down on the pristine sand of Robertsport and runs us through some basics. “This here,” he says pointing out to the waves surging down the beach, “we call this Camp Point. Then, up the beach, is Cutting Point — that’s where they break both ways. The next point is Loco and the one after that is Shipwreck. It’s not far. Let’s go. OK?”

Alfred Lomax Liberian Surfing

A few of the “Black Surfer Boys” get their shred on at Robertsport, Liberia. Photo courtesy www.timesonline.co.uk

For the next few hours Lomax and his five-strong crew, the Black Surfer Boys, show us the best spots in Robertsport. Lomax is the most experienced surfer here — he taught the others after teaching himself — but all use their battered hand-me-down boards to attack the waves with equal joy, shouting their approval over the thunderous roar of the waves when one of them catches a particularly good break.

Today the waves aren’t that great: up to only 5ft or so, but Lomax says: “The waves here get fine, playful. When they are high, March to October, they can be 20ft high and you get good barrels, sliding waves. You can ride one wave for a long, long time.”

In most surfing communities, from Sydney to Santa Barbara via Kuta and Cornwall, the best spots are jealously protected by the locals. And with reason: beaches there are often thronged with neoprene-clad waveriders — so much so that you have to queue for waves. In Robertsport, though, crowds are not the problem. Lomax and his crew (James, Philips, Samuel, Benjamin and Augustin) are the only regulars here. They are, as far as The Times could ascertain during our visit, the only surfers along this entire nation’s 359 miles (579km) of wave-rich coastline — apart from a few aid workers. That’s because this nation is Liberia, notorious for its horrendous recent history of blood-diamonds, child soldiers, rape, murder and war.

Read entire article at www.timesonline.co.uk