It's no secret that climbing and surfing go together like peanut butter and jelly. In fact, on certain fall days when the swell is up, it would not be a surprising sight to see a plurality of the Salt Pump management team spending elongated lunch breaks down at Higgins Beach in our hometown of Scarborough, Maine.
Maine Breaks, the 7th member of our poster series, is a tribute to our local surf culture. You can order your own print here. Done in collaboration with Maine-based graphic designer Scott Whitehouse. The photo was taken by our friend Joe Klementovich.
BEHIND THE SCENES
"Klem" as Joe is sometimes called, is a long-time New England climber, a UNH grad and engineer, adventure photographer and volunteer SAR leader from North Conway, New Hampshire. Joe also enjoys salt water fly fishing, and happened to be prowling Higgins Beach one moody day when he saw a lone surfer honing his craft...
Here's the photograph he took:
Scott delivered the following draft:
The combination of Joe's soulful photograph and Scott's reductionist touch made for an exquisite design - but there was one problem.
"He's surfing the chop", head route-setter Tino Fiumara immediately said when shown a draft of the artwork.
"That's not exactly good form," general manager Taki Miyamoto agreed. "It looks kinda cool to non-surfers," Taki continued, "but it's not exactly inspiring to us."
... to us ? ! ?
What was happening - was Salt Pump secretly a climbing gym run by surfers?
Here, in effect, was what management was requesting:
On the left quarter of Joe's photo, there was enough clean wave to play with. With a few clicks a mouse, Joe's anonymous surfer was given a style bump down the wave... and Maine Breaks was born.
Why Maine Breaks? Tino, who came up with the name, explains: "In surfing, the break is your home, your crag. And in Maine, a lot of the surfing doesn't have beaches - it has breaks... Especially because of how three-dimensional our coastline is, there are so many different rock piles that combine with the swell and tide to create surfing. Of course, Higgins is the outlier - it's one of the sandier beach breaks we have."