Follow the Vane

Follow the Vane
Why I Do What I Do — Basque surfers Erika Susperregui and Jokin Argote are evolving a photographic travel journal into a life project.

In 2010, surfers Erika Susperregui and Jokin Argote, a couple from San Sebastian in Spain’s Basque region, started a blog documenting their surfing lives. They felt an urge to share the stacks of awesome photos they had accumulated while travelling the world. Three years later, Follow the Vane has sprung to life as a real-world project and the couple are embracing new ways to express their creativity and love of waveriding.

Erika is an artist who draws her inspiration from travelling and the people she meets along the way. She knits and designs vintage clothing and handmade accessories as part of the project, most of them born from fabrics and materials she finds from stuff others have thrown away.

Both Erika and Jokin are now showcasing their line of one-off pieces at surf festivals like Quasimoto Burrifornia in Burriana, Spain, and surf shops like Magic Quiver in Ericeira, Portugal. The intention is to turn Follow the Vane into a something that sustains and inspires their everyday lives. Huck sat down with Erika to hear more about the project.

What is Follow the Vane all about?
Follow the Vane started as a means to document our experiences of lives lived around surfing: moving around, going to places, crafting, creating, looking for stuff that we like and meeting people. We are not photographers, but we love using photography to document these experiences with others. I’m also starting to create new material, like handmade bags and vintage clothing.

What motivated you to start project?
We had so many photos that we thought were so cool we had to share them with people. That’s how the blog started. My previous project making board bags, called Sew ‘n Sing ended so badly as business just dried up. I needed some space so I travelled to Australia and met lots of creative people which inspired me to get energy again and do something new. I wanted to use the name Follow the Vane because it was something my boyfriend and I were doing together. Like I said, it’s a life project; I’m going to create things that I know how to make. I don’t want it to be a brand that I’m constantly trying to expand. The trips we do, the people we meet and the surf are what inspires me the most.

What is the connection between Follow the Vane and RVCA?
I’m an RVCA advocate. Both I and Jokin are part of the artists network program at RVCA. They started supporting me when I was doing Sew n’ Sing. They know me and know what I do so they wanted to keep supporting me with Follow the Vane. We do projects in common and they treat us really well.

What made you embrace the surfing lifestyle?
I started surfing when I was around 18. I didn’t live by the beach, so it wasn’t that easy. I had my studies, I was a gymnast when I was young and then I started going to the beach with my friends and stuff and I started surfing. It really gave something that nothing had given me before, you know what I mean? It was something new, something special – being in contact with the nature, meeting people in the water, travelling. All of that made me feel really good. I met my boyfriend four years ago through surfing and that allowed us to connect and travel together. That’s what so special about surfing: you meet people, you surf.

What does the future hold for Follow the Vane?
I don’t know, but what I’m sure is that I don’t want it to be big; I just want it to be a life project. I would love to be able to keep on doing it, that’s all. Be able to keep travelling, keep surfing and keep meeting people that inspire me and inspire us to do more stuff.

Go with the winds and sail over to check out more from Follow the Vane.

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