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An earthquake session, with Matt Formosa

A super clean glassy wave
We surfed after an aquatic earthquake hit the coast of Greece. Find out about the conditions and this daring local

An aquatic earthquake just off the coast of Greece made for a Bomba chance encounter. The forecasts predicted wind up north, pulling all the surfers to the usual sandy bays. One local with his ear to the ground had a different plan. A super spot down south, directly affected by the distant quake. 

And he was spot on. Clean, glassy waves off a point break meant that for a goofy rider, the conditions were excellent. Something about quake waves excited me, so I brushed off a hangover and grabbed my trusted camera and GoPro. Down south I went, hunting waves. I expected 10 surfers, but found only one, enjoying the whole surf spot to himself. In I went, introducing myself…

As a photographer or videographer, the last thing you want to do is be in the way, but after a quick intro, Matthew was happy with me being there, and the fact that I had no board meant no drop-ins, so it was surf surf surf, wave after wave. 

Matt’s brilliant balance

Matthew bases his life at sea. “I own Mermaid Cruises, so I work in summer travel in winter; I’ve just spent my last two months in Bali with my (new) family, which was brilliant.” Matt’s a new dad with a new life of adventures ahead of him. His lucky tiny human has already ticked Bali off his bucket list!

This brilliant work/travel balance gives Malta the role of the perfect base: “Being surrounded by sea, having a good connection with the water throughout my work, surfing, diving, or just chilling off at a beach having a beer and watching the beautiful Maltese sunset.” There’s no place like home, even for a seasoned traveller with big ambitions. Our meeting spot is his favourite local spot, but we won’t reveal too many more details.

Matt’s surfed in four countries, with Spain, Portugal and Indonesia joining Malta. With an aim to surf Witch’s Rock, Costa Rica, currently Serangan in Bali gets the nod for the coolest surf spot in the world. Go on, do a quick Google image search, and you’ll see why. Clean endless barrels… need we go on? 

Bali has offered Matt the chance to combine both hobbies, as some surf trips happen off fishing boats, allowing surfers to go straight to the break and ride waves for a couple of good hours. The stuff of dreams! 

15 years riding waves

Matt has been surfing for 15 years, knows the island’s secret spots, and likes to avoid the crowded spots. He’s a real genuine local, and a nice guy to boot. 

His favourite country to surf in is Bali, while his favourite local spot happens to be where I just found him, a spot for the adventurous, advanced rider. He knows the islands inside out, hugging the coast as much as possible. Sea legs, surf vibes, a sun lover – a real pure island lifer. It’s impossible not to connect with souls like this, particularly those who also happen to love reggae music too. 

He uses a cool 39lt shortboard a Rob Machado board – one of our favourite riders – with a quad set-up, but is keen to go for a lower volume to help in duck diving. He looks up to John John Florence most, and a board with lower volume will help him carve like the two-time World Champion. 

Watching Matt zig-zag through some of the cleanest, glassiest waves on the island was a treat. The sunshine gave an extra pop to the photos and Matt’s chilled attitude made for a bomba Saturday. Bring on the next earthquake session!

The after party

We parted ways and I went for a nice small session at Ghajn Tuffieha, where more clean waves presented the opportunity to ride smooth longer rides. An after-party followed in Storeroom, as Bark Bark Disco and Joon played live… and we rolled on into an after-party at Valletta, celebrating Bray Grima‘s birthday.

It’s how we roll, the BOMBA way.


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We surfed after an aquatic earthquake hit the coast of Greece. Find out about the conditions and this daring local