We get down with Outerknown. The more we see from these guys, the more we like…be it Zak Bush’s photography from Montauk (dig), Kelly Slater’s surfing for the past four decades (3:01)—whatever their camp produces seems to grab our attention in full. To coincide with the release of our Travel Issue, we asked some of their well-traveled team members what their top travel destinations were and why. Check out their responses below.
1. Kelly Slater — Fiji
I fell in love with the small island of Tavarua along time ago and I go back a few times every year. It’s definitely my favorite escape and may be home to the happiest people on earth. The island has perfect waves—Restaurants is right in front of where we stay, Cloudbreak is about 2 miles away on the outer reef and if you’re paying attention there are a few secret spots that light up on the right conditions.
2. John Moore — Japan
No other place has influenced me greater than Japan in my lifetime. My design path first took me to Tokyo 20 years ago, and I’ve been back almost every year since then. Mostly because it’s the one destination where I can still count on being inspired around every turn. From the warmth of the people, to the way they embrace their craft.
Regardless if its food, art, architecture or fashion, they take so much pride in the finest details, and it’s not about being bigger or better than the craftsman that came before them. It’s about honoring the classics, and slightly improving on perfection season after season. For this, I will keep coming back for an eternity.
The bonus is that the waves are incredibly fun just an hour outside of the city and the water stays warm well into the fall. I love that it can be 45 degrees in Tokyo, and you can go surfing in Kamakura, about 30 miles away and the water can be 70 degrees in October.
3. Jamie Brisick — Brazil
I have been fascinated with Rio de Janeiro for a couple of decades. It’s the way the cariocas (Rio residents) live in the moment, close to the bone. It’s the mixture of high and low. It’s wedgy peaks bouncing off those iconic granite rocks. It’s as good a place as I can think of to shed the limitations of an uptight-middle-class-American-white-boy upbringing.
4. Zak Bush — New Zealand
The year after I graduated from college I moved to New Zealand for a year and lived in a 1970’s Nissan van. I drove around the country, found work where I could and surfed every spot I could find. The best thing about the NZ is how drastically the landscape changes. In one day on the south island, you can be on a beach surfing in the pacific, go for a rainforest hike and then end on a snowcapped mountain.
5. Mark Cunningham — Honolulu, Hawaii
I hate to say it, but I feel like I have it made here at home. There is great food, great surf and great people. I never a lack of friends coming to visit, last year the island had 8 million tourists pass through, that many people can’t be wrong.
For more travel-inspired goodness, check out Outerknown’s Instagram. Semi-awesome stuff on the reg.