The World's Best 10 Cities for Surfers: Tel Aviv
From Stab issue 58: Stab reveals the metropolises where a man can lock down a satisfying occupation, be entertained in the most degenerate manner, where he won’t be vilified for his free expression and where a hunk of fiberglass can be put to exceptionally good use…
Number six is: Tel Aviv, Israel
Words by Paul Evans, Designs by Shinya Dalby
Conveniently distanced about as far as you can get from Israel’s neighbourly gifts (Heezy-Bola rockets from the north, Hamas rockets from the south and Iranian nukes from the east), Tel Aviv pretends to not to be in Israel. The pervading attitude of much of her inhabitants is “You’re not still goin’ on about that are you?” Not so much looking for a two-state solution as a three-nightclub-and-an after-party solution, they throw drink down their necks, bugle up their ample beaks and make shapes to superstar DJ’s. And, when they wake up, sky is Yves Klein blue, water is bath warm and it’s time to shred! Mazel Tov!
Why you’ll want to live here:Well, if it’s good enough for God, Jesus and Natalie Portman, it’s good enough for you. The surf is pretty consistent. Okay, Cortes Bank it ain’t, but it’s fun. With a surprising amount of Eastern Med fetch, jazzed Jews regularly rip pretty much anything that moves. You’ll be liberating the fins on your wide 5’8″ like they were Gilad Shalit, while on the golden sands, mega hot Jewesses, from Arabian peninsula ravens to blonde Ukrainian ice queens, practice being hot. And sexy! They’ll say ‘Was that you, Crusader, blown up like the Iranian Embassy?’ And, you’ll say, ‘Thas right, and if all goes well later, I’ll show you the friction benefits of a still skin-coated glans.’
Where to stay: Hotels are fairly expensive. The main breaks of Hilton and Topsea are right in front of the Hilton hotel so if you wanna wake up early in the afternoon after a massive night spent breaking most of the 10 Commandments and paddle out direct, the Hilton will suit (350 euro a night). You can rent a two-bed apartment by the beach for 1500 euro a month or buy one for around 400,000 euro.
Stepping out: Stab’s fave discotheque is The Cat and Dog on Karlibach – you’ll find Tel Aviv’s hottest girls, richest Jews, gayest gays, and everyone that likes to party! Stab prefers pre-club drinks at Barbunya Bar on Ben Yehuda – a fish bar/resto with groovy music, beautiful humans… you can even smoke grits! It’s a 24-hour city – y’can even get a haircut at four am!
Grub: Middle Eastern staples are beyond yum. Fresh, green roadside falafels are life changing. Hummus so cool and powerful it almost stops wars (if only…). Factor in that Jews from all over Earth migrate here bringing their local flavours, and you’re in for a treat…. although it is tricky getting a BLT. Stab digs the very awesome Raphael at the Dan Hotel on Hayarkon street for the finest steaks in the Middle East, and Shila on Ben Yehuda St, which does epic modern Mediterranean cuisine, seafood and has a delightful bar to boot.
Surfers: There’s lots of em and the standard is relatively radical. Dorian Paskowitz brought surfing to Israel in 1956 and is still the man while Adi Gluska is the only local to have made a bit of a rep outside Israel. Notable shred cats descended from the 12 tribe diaspora include folk from Shaun Tomson to Fast Eddie to Kelly Slater, no less.
Violence: Bouncers stand on the doors of nightclubs trying to keep suicide bombers out rather than throw drunks down the stairs. With bigger things on their mind, crew don’t tend toward boozy fisticuffs like your average WASP descended whitey. However, the best breaks in Haifa (up the coast) are located in Bat Galim ghetto, where you might get your car window modified and wallet borrowed while you shred, and where local surfers are angry and like to rumble unlocals.
Cultural hits: The live music scene is alive and kicking in TA with tour dates by everyone from Madonna to Megadeath and there are your standard smatterings of galleries, etc. But, the real juice is in the history. Take a jaunt a few clicks south to Jaffa, a 4000-year-old port city named after Noah’s son, bodywhomp the left breaking off Andromeda’s rocks from Greek mythology. Of course, you could be at a gallery coo-ing over a few Rothkos, but you can do that in Jew York…
What kinda job am I doing here: A decent salary is somewhere between 12-30,000 NIS, depending (three to eight gees a month). You could be a bar tender and make good money on tips (contrary to popular stereotype). Despite hard times, construction work is readily available, with minimum wage at 7000 NIS a month (a bit under two gees).
How about the water? Bermudas mostly and a short-sleeved 3/2 in winter. Can y’believe the water hits 30 clicks in summer? Sixteen-to-18 in winter
The Good and the Not-So-Good
+ Cause of the existential threat from the Arabic boogieman, Tel Aviv is a town that boogies 24-hours a day, seven precious days a week. The gals are a genetic mix of everything best in the world and if you want to know why the Middle East (and by extension the rest of the world) is poised on a knife-edge of world war, this is the place to start lookin’.
– Y’might arrive on the day Heezy-Bola launches a strike or when the Iranian devil tests its new nukes.
Special thanks to Yossi Zamir.