Waves mean waiting, sharing and introspection, this longboard artist explains

“Surfing is equivalent to dancing, every time I’m in the water it’s like I’m dancing with the waves. I hate the typical surfing narrative: on the board you don’t ride or dominate the sea. It dominates you. It always will. Nature always finds a way to underline how incredibly powerful it is…”

Edoardo Cartoni is young. Young like carefree, young like the feel of the board on the water, young like maturity. Does that sound strange? It doesn’t have to. Because much more than a vacuous philosophy of standardised rebellion, insipid Instagram videos and clichés shines through the words of this little more than 20-year-old.

There is a rare purity in the reasoning of Edoardo, former Italian longboard junior champion and recognised all-rounder of the national surfing scene; there is the purity of knowledge, interest, and practice that flows into other areas: such as literature, photography, and education. Fields that have found home in the most underground and fascinating land of Italian surfing, in the city that used to be ‘Superb’: Genova.

“The surfing culture in my Genoa has ancient roots; it’s said that as early as the 1980s people started to use the boards. Another legend claims that Bogliasco was home to the first surfers in Italy. Genoa has learned more about surfing in the last period, thanks to the Blackwave school, the biggest school in the country. I’m a teacher there, and I realise day after day how much surfing is in danger of being a mere fad. For me it has always been something extremely personal, introspective…. That’s why I don’t show kids a schematic, serial sport, but a cultural element. And when I see someone who is really interested, I feel a fire inside me”

It’s a pure fire, a fire that hates the excessive sporting transition of an art form born as a sensory journey and not as a sequence of codified technical gestures. It’s, above all, a way of life punctuated with beach breaks and shared thoughts, long waits and precious people: concepts that make our minds travel to exotic and distant places. Conceptes that are recreated daily on the Ligurian Sea, where Edoardo has found his own formative and spiritual temple.

“Our condition is unique. We keep looking for the waves, because they are scarce in our area and in Italy. I think it’s a very romantic thing. Abroad everything is much simpler and, of course, structured, but here I was lucky enough to meet many people who inspired me and introduced me to this world. I’m talking for example about Alessandro Demartini, Matteo Fabbri, Davide Onorato and many, many others. All my friends have something to do with surfing, our whole life gravitates around waves. When we finish our lessons or works we always go to the beach, also  just to listen to some music and talk to each other…”

A student of Philosophy, International and Economic Studies, Edoardo dreams of the Los Angeles 2028 Five Circles, where the longboard will be introduced into the Olympic program for the first time. A goal dictated by a great desire for personal achievement rather than public recognition.

In the meantime, he jots down his reflections on the Tuttologic Surf portal and gives free rein to his creativity together with the GELOV collective, where skate and surf intersect with multimedia production, giving a new perspective on the Genoese scene: experiences that are laying the foundations for a professional future that seems already outlined.

“If you’re born and raised in Genoa, you have to build stimuli. With the GELOV community we create content in analog and VHS, portraying what we feel is our California. We’ve always been into film and photography, so I decided to buy a little camera for 10 euros at a flea market and started shooting. Tommaso Pardini, Fabio Palmerini and Filippo Maffei are reference points for the quality of their compositions, they allowed me to understand how important timing is in surf photography. I must admit, however, that I still prefer to get in the water with my friends rather than capture them…. In the coming years I will try to practice more consistently in order to aim for the LA Olympics. It’s a challenge with myself: it goes far beyond scores and podiums, it would be an unparalleled personal satisfaction. At the same time, I want to pursue my studies and work experiences. In the future I want to stay inside the surfing world: I don’t know if as a writer, talent scout, projects promoter or whatever…. I just know that I want to stay close to the waves”

Credits: Edoardo Cartoni
Text by Gianmarco Pacione