Between Surfing & Not Surfing Is "The Chasm" - Stab Mag

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Between Surfing & Not Surfing Is “The Chasm”

Misc: Neither here nor there.

news // Nov 28, 2021
Words by Brendan Buckley
Reading Time: 4 minutes

There is surfing and there is not surfing, and then there is something in between. 

For the duration of this article, we will refer to that something as “the chasm.” 

You approach the chasm every time you check the cams, or look at the surf in person, or call a friend and ask, “How’s the waves?” The chasm is crossed every time you officially decide that you are going to surf.

There are instances when it’s very easy to cross the chasm. The decision doesn’t feel like a decision — surfing seems like the only option. The waves are cooking, you’re there, you’ve got your stuff, you’ve got time. You might even put your wetsuit on a frenzy and tear your car apart while searching for the bar of wax that you just threw your t-shirt over. 

We have all done this, but we all know this is not the norm. 

Let’s conjure up a cliche scene. Warm water, sunshine, boardshorts, fun waves, blue water, blah blah blah. You know the drill. It sounds great on paper, but you can find yourself in this scenario while also being fatigued from the days prior and from not drinking enough water and from feeling mildly ill from whatever the fuck it was you ate last night. And did you really need to drink that many beers? You’re in the tropics, shouldn’t you be more concerned about hydration? You’re not getting any younger, you know. 

And so you cross the chasm slowly, applying sunscreen with a yawn. 

Then there are days when it’s really hard. Rainy. Windy. Cold. The waves are awful. Your wetsuit is nearly frozen and smells like a dog who’d been swimming many hours ago and hadn’t adequately dried off since. Surfing feels like a chore. The chasm is pushing you away with great force. 

These, I find, can be some of the most satisfying surfs. Not because you get the best waves — that sure as fuck doesn’t happen — but because you go into with limited expectations.  

At least that’s what I’ll be telling myself next time. 

Who’s Going To Make The CT This Year?
In short: 12 men and 6 women. For a less straightforward answer — one that meanders through predictions, forecasts, and historical data while calling Kelly Slater a “wily Syrian needle-dodger” — do click above. Haleiwa, the final event of the CS season, is already underway.

“My Wife Probably Wouldn’t Have Been Bitten By A Pit Viper If We Lived On A Charter Boat”
We asked a land-based surf camp owner about how his life and business differ from that of a boat-based surf camp owner. After thinking about it for a little while, he responded with the above quote. However, for the sake of full transparency, we have had stories of snakes sneaking their way onto boats via boardbags. 

Watch: Final Episode Of Stab Highway Presented By Monster Energy
Don’t cry ’cause it’s over. Smile because it happened. “It,” in this case, refers to the most naked, loud, and rambunctious road trip New South Wales has ever seen — which is saying a lot. And for the record, we are already in the process of planning another.

Meet Liv Stone, The Pennsylvania-Bred Para Surf Gold Medalist
I saw Liv in the water a few months ago. While it wasn’t a particularly pressure-cooked wave, it was still incredible to experience the positive impact her presence had on the lineup. Everybody seemed a little bit happier, a little bit lighter, a little bit more in touch with the fact that we’re all just out there trying to enjoy ourselves.

Opinion: In The Age Of The Vlog, It’s Getting Harder To Find Good Surf Films
Mastering surfing — as we all know, or hope to know — takes years upon years of constant practice and is never really over. In this piece, Jed Smith posits that storytelling (ie: making a surf film) takes even more time to figure out, and overly-confident novice attempts at it are akin to the poo-man stance warrior who seems to be arguing with physics every time he attempts a turn burning you at Ulus. 

I get the sense you’ll enjoy this if you’ve ever felt repulsed by an unboxing video.

Comment of the week: 

I see no flaws here. 

One last thing:
As seasons change, the decision to shift to a colder or warmer water wax should not be taken lightly.


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