Kalani Chapman gets it. Photo: Nate Lawrence
Is It Sunshine You're Looking For?
Dark times? Allow us to draw the blinds.
When the world doesn’t make sense, go surfing.
That’s a remedy I’ve applied to a wide variety of disruptions in my life. It’s always helped. Maybe it’s the result of putting yourself into situations in which, if only for a few seconds at a time, your mind has to deal with the swirling mess of ocean you’ve seized and temporarily loses its ability to roam. Maybe it’s the comfort of knowing that that still exists, even in trying times. Maybe it’s both or maybe it’s neither.
It’s hard to make sense out of the world right now. A lot of us can’t go surfing, and that’s OK. It’s OK because surfing will always be there. Actually, it’s still there now. Potent as ever, in its beautiful form of a loose, joyous and bizarre distraction.
Now, should we poke it?
Somewhere in the fabric of my heart, there is a warm seat reserved for Central American law enforcement officers. They’re a magnificent breed. In an interaction with them, you may be summoned for doing nothing wrong, yelled at, threatened with a firearm and walk away paying a mere $20 all in the span of five minutes. It’s a thrill ride, and so is this story.
Which is higher on the scale of fitness — Spartan-ripped or prison-ripped? Only time will tell. While we wait for the answer, you can read this interview with Michel and see how he’s been handling quarantine in paradise.
In a parallel universe, we are currently rounding the bend into the final day of the unfortunately named 2020 Corona Open Gold Coast. So instead of featuring our third most-clicked story of the week (hint: still about COVID-19), I’ve decided to curate a handful of elite meltdowns from the event’s recent history. Here we have Parko flipping Kelly off in the tube, Freddy Patachia attacking a rock with his surfboard and Gabriel Medina’s friendly message to Glenn Hall. Those last two happened on the same day, in fact. Enjoy responsibly.
To surf or not to surf? That question has been sparking argument after argument after useless argument on social media lately. I don’t think there’s a universal answer to it. But, let’s be honest, we’re all exhausted with the fight.
So let’s argue over something new. Namely, the Electric Acid Surfboard Test feat Noa Deane.
Every surfer has a different way of thinking about boards and employs different ways of expressing those thoughts — through both speech and surfing. For me, that’s what makes the EAST so good. I’ve walked away from every installment entertained, of course, but also inspired to pursue new sensations under my feet. That’s saying a lot. I was a staunch 5’11” guy for years.
On to the argument. What are the moral implications of a media company asking its audience if they’d like to pay for a film? I hereby invite you to get in the mud. Then buy it, watch it, feel the sun shining on your face, try new things, become a better lover, etc.
What should we watch (for free)?
I gotta give a belated shoutout to Cam Richards’ edit, For What It’s Worth. Cam has had to work hard to get to where he’s at in surfing, and this clip shows you where, exactly, that is. A lot of odds are beaten when a kid from South Carolina is stomping such superbly technical airs and confidently navigating the insides of waves that kill people. Inspiring, in my opinion.
Also, it’d be a crime to miss Griffin Colapinto’s Why Not. It’s full of A+ surf smut and yet, for some reason, the backhand turn at 7:37 really resonated with me. Why Not, I suppose.
What else is going on?
One of my favorite things about writing this is the conversations it has started. Some with absolute strangers, some with old friends. One of the latter ended with me, over here in locked down France, saying something along the lines of get a wave for me — a usually meaningless remark. Shortly thereafter, he sent me a Surfline rewind clip of him forcing a turn on a small wave and explained that he’d yelled “Buck” while doing so. It meant a whole lot to me. Thanks, Matt. Love you.
Anyway, my email [email protected] is always open for anything you want to throw at it. Drunken rants, windshield wiper turns, whatever.
I maintain the irrational and easily refutable belief that if you own a website domain, you own all legal rights to whatever that domain name is. That said, I have proudly owned the Association of Surfing Professionals for years. I wanted to own Olympic Surfing in 2020 but was too late to the game. Now that the Games have been postponed, I scooped up 2021olypmicsurfing.com so it is my great pleasure to announce that I am hereby in charge of surfing at the Olympics. See you in Tokyo.
International President Of Olympic Surfing