Letter From The Editor: ‘QS dreams, Nuclear scares, and so much more, from the explosive week that was!
What a crazy week. I hope you made out better than I did.
The sun’s rising bright and warm over Los Angeles’ eastern hills, the last drops of an over-hyped swell dribbling into the Southbay, a few corners here, a few corners there; the San Diego reefs are supposedly doing their thing; with Montecito still in disarray, and the 101 closed northbound, Rincon and points north have been OK, scarce crowds some small consolation; the boys in San Francisco have been reaping their fair share, Marty Magnussen tugging my strings with a drone clip coasting into a proper one Sunday afternoon; Lewis Samuels tells me of hunting big game at points north. I’ve been blowing it.
Scattered, frazzled, two dozen boards stacked in piles in a new studio, clothes in bags, tchotkes piled in foraged cardboard boxes, milk crates, army chests. Chaos abounds.
My right-hand man, Morgan Williamson, has been hazily sending in dispatches from the Da Hui Back Door Shootout, stationed at the Weedmaps team’s not-so-humble Pipe abode, living fat on the lamb, chatting feverishly as stoners are wont to do. On Sunday, I woke terrified I’d never see the handsome bastard again, nor our dear Rory Parker, with an imminent threat upon Hawaii, for forty minutes the entire island under the belief that ballistic missiles were inbound and set to wipe the 50th State right off the map.
Was considering the apparently very real thought of nuclear obliteration enough to push you over the edge, book that trip you’ve been holding off on, go full Eat, Pray, Love? Do your New Year’s resolutions seem pointless, or do they now enjoy some urgency…
Mike Ciaramella’s been revisiting childhood dreams, punching the numbers on the ‘QS, considering how one might really take a crack. And from the unanswered calls to his cell phone the last few days (and the capture above), it seems like he’s been putting some hours in the water, too. Have you seen that munchkin surf?
We’ve been throwing around the idea of putting the precocious little bastard on tour, get him on the ‘QS grind, embed him in the various traveling camps, often Nationalistic in nature (I.e. the Aussies travel together, as do the Brazilians, Euros, Central Americans, and US hopefuls). Regular dispatches from the road, which let me tell you, anyone who says the ‘QS ain’t a round-the-world-ticket, and opportunity to pursue remarkable experiences alongside some of the world’s most interesting, talented, hard-working dudes, never got the chance to hang around the Pro Zarautz, or the Martinique Pro…
And we’d just love to see what he gets into in Brazil.
I’ve got Mike reading Plimpton’s Paper Lion, from the author’s season embedded as a rookie with the Detroit Lions. Though I doubt he’ll read a page before this swell’s through.
Jake Howard hung backstage with Willie Nelson and profiled his son, Lukas, a Maui-born surfer and rising star in the American roots and country scene, who just so happens to call Matt Meola his bestie, helped launch Matt’s sis, Lily’s, fledgling music career. Jake got to see Willie play a few songs, before the old man almost died right there on stage in front of him. (As if we need to lose another of the fucking good ones right now.)
He’s also been chatting with Kepa Acero, who over the last decade has dug deeply into Africa’s remarkable northern and western coasts, the Caribbean, and many other “shithole countries.”
Isaac Jones delivered a lead-footed clip of our childhood hero, Matt Hoy (who we apologize for ageing an extra decade).
We got excited—ok, maybe a little too excited—over WSL Deputy Commissioner’s candid thoughts around the WSL’s next evolution.
Albee shouted from the Pe’ahi cliffs: Something has to be done!
Taylor Knox and Sam Moody put a strong case forward for the Bonzer.
Back in Oz, the Gold Coast points flipped their switch, and we’ve been busy shooting our newest episode of About Town, catching a few sessions during this last run with Mick Fanning at D’Bah and Burleigh, getting shown the sights by Occy, Noa Deane, Mitch Crews and Jay “Bottle” Thompson.
This morning I loaded up some shortboards, a funky little Wayne Lynch-inspired single-fin, and set out looking for somewhere to rinse off the week, when a text from a friend left me feeling homesick as hell: today starts the waiting period for the Florida Pro, the first stop on the 2018 ‘QS (opening day!), and a very big deal indeed for the East Coast. For decades, Floridians occupied several slots on the top-32, all surfers who cut their teeth amongst first Peak’s finest. Slater, Lisa, Cory, Shea, CJ, Damien, Gorkin, Evan, Eric, Oliver*…
I doubt one contest will return Florida surfing to the competitive level it’s once enjoyed, but it’s still nice to see…
These days, we’ll take our Ws wherever we can get them.
I hope you’ve been getting some waves, wherever you are. Keep it cutty, with a little class, Stab.
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