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Chasing typhoon swell in Taiwan

Chris Del Moro and Daniel Jones run into perfect surf and a massive language barrier in Taiwan
Surfers Chris Del Moro, left, and Daniel Jones check out typhoon swell in Taiwan. Frame grab from Se7en Signs.
Surfers Chris Del Moro, left, and Daniel Jones check out typhoon swell in Taiwan. Frame grab from “Se7en Signs”

A lot of surfers can muster up enough Spanish to get directions to a spot or order up a few tacos and a beer. But when confronted with a language as foreign as Taiwanese, things can go south in a hurry. Like when a die-hard vegetarian thinks he's ordering a side of broccoli only to be served pork head. "I have no idea what anybody is saying," said Chris Del Moro while on location in Taiwan for the upcoming surf movie “Se7en Signs.” "You just go with the flow. You ask for broccoli and get pork head. Part of the magic I guess."


Lucky for pro surfers Del Moro and Jones, 7-Eleven convenience stores dot the island, providing a taste of home in a faraway land. "7-Eleven in Taiwan is like a gringo's paradise because you know you can find something to eat. They literally have everything under the rainbow," says Del Moro, a Los Angeles native, in the video. "It's not like 7-Eleven at home, which I never, ever, frequent."

But to each his own, right?

"I've always loved 7-Eleven," counters Hawaiian-born Daniel Jones. "I've always had a special connection—there's a lot of great stuff. It's really exciting."

Daniel Jones reveling in typhoon surf in Taiwan; frame grab from Se7en Signs.
Daniel Jones reveling in typhoon swell in Taiwan. Frame grab from Se7en Signs

But enough about 7-Eleven, what about the surf? Governed by China, Taiwan is an island that sits south of Japan and east of mainland China—right in the path of western Pacific typhoons that can create outrageous surf during the fall months. As you can see in the video above, the guys scored at myriad spots, and a steady offshore wind seemed to follow them throughout the trip. Crowds rarely present a problem, too. "I haven't surfed for eight hours straight … for a few years probably," says Daniel. "That was the most surfing I've done in a long time."

Time to head back to 7-Eleven, huh?

typhoon swell
Chris Del Moro and Daniel Jones pedal through the crowded streets of Taipei while taking a break from the search for typhoon swell. Frame grab courtesy of “Se7en Signs”
Perfect typhoon swell in Taiwan with just a few cows as the crowd; frame grab Se7en Signs.
Perfect typhoon swell in Taiwan with just a few cows as the crowd; frame grab courtesy of “Se7en Signs”

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