For those that don't know you, who are you and where are you from?
My name is Stephen Alther and I’m from a small town called Berlin Maryland on the East Coast of America.
A lot of the waves that you scored throughout FMD were pretty fun looking. Is it common to get waves like this around where you live, or was it a matter of compiling footage over quite a long time?
We typically like the fall and winter for surf because of the active storm season. We get hurricane swells in the fall, and nor-easters in the winter. There are waves in the spring and summer too but smaller and less consistent. You can usually find a wave to surf a couple of days a week if you’re really jonesing. For FMD I had saved some footage from about a year of filming in between work or whatever but if you’re on it you can stack pretty fast.
A lot of folks outside the USA are aware that you get some pretty cold water, but is it cold year round?
The water temps throughout the year fluctuate a lot. It’s goes from as warm as it gets, to as cold as it gets. In the summer (middle of July) you’ll be hot in trunks, and in the winter it can be just as gnarly as Canada. The water can only get so cold though, which is like 35-37 degrees, so it’s kind of important to have every kind of wetsuit so that you're prepared for it all. My favourite is probably hurricane season in the fall. You're wearing a full suit and booties for about two months before you're bundling up for December to April wearing a 5mm steamer. Water takes a lot longer to warm up and than to cool down around here though so you definitely spend more time in rubber than you spend raw if you surf all year.
What other locations did you film in, if any?
Also filmed in Portugal.
Covid 19 has obviously put the brakes on travel for the moment, but what would be your first port of call if you could head off on a trip tomorrow?
Probably straight back to Portugal or somewhere else in Europe.
How is the local scene on the East Coast? Is there a strong local crew that motivates you, or do you find yourself drawing inspiration from further afield?
Local scene is epic. We are all friends and are always feeding off each other in the water. Nothing gets me more fired up then seeing one of my homies destroying! That’s where I get my inspiration.
Outside of surfing what gets you psyched?
I started playing recently and it’s been so fun. My buddy Simon Hetrick and I recently got a spot together that came with a garage, so we’ve set that up and have been playing heaps. It gets the adrenaline going! Aside from that, doing art has always been a big part of my life and always drives me in the creative direction. Creating anything whether it’s music or art or building something with your hands and some tools is what really gets me going out of the water.
Finally, what does FMD stand for?
I named this thing FMD short for foot in mouth disease haha, another real virus in this infected year. No correlation to the clip really.
Sounds catchy... Thanks for your time, Stephen.