This Is The Last Stab Fwd
Well, sort of…
Subject line don’t lie. This is the last Fwd. It’s been over a year since we began. We’ve (nearly?) gotten through a pandemic together, now it’s time to get through a paywall.
Here’s how things will work moving, well, forward:
-The email will be sent on Saturdays under a new name, Weekend Diversion, or something of the sort.
-Only premium subscribers will receive it. It will also live as a Premium piece on the site, if you choose to consume it there.
-If you’re not Premium, you’ll still hear from us every week. The email won’t have an intro, though. It’ll be all links — which means it’ll still contain everything you need to stay on top of surfing that week.
Now, real talk: I had no idea how fun this would be. In the past, my writing has mostly consisted of indulgent rants and BDPS forays into the grey area between the unexpected and the offensive in search of humor. Whatever we have here made me shift gears and start writing about the ways in which I genuinely think about surfing, and the audience has been incredible. So, thanks for that. It’s been a pleasure talking with a lot of you.
See you on the other side (of the paywall). But, for now, some thoughts:
On waves that feel like home
I’ve moved around a lot, at least in my adult life.
Everywhere I’ve lived, I’ve found a wave that feels like home.
Not in the sense that it reminds me of my original (and forever) homebreak in any way. I’ve found that trying to replicate anything — a friendship, a substance, an experience, a wave — inevitably falls short. Better to accept things as different, opening to a new set of intricacies with eyes wide enough to see if any sparks might fly.
Instead, a wave that feels like home is a wave you develop a deep connection with. A wave you feel love towards, to the extent in which pride becomes attached. When a visiting friend surfs there with you, you want them to get good waves. You want them to understand that you’re doing well in life, at least surf-wise, and feel just enough of the wave’s gravity to envy your situation.
You always get into a rhythm more quickly with a wave that feels like home, and it silently becomes the measuring stick by which all other waves in the region are measured.
Somewhere along the way, it even begins to feel like the wave is an active participant in all of this.
Most of us, I’d imagine, don’t care to roam in the murks of metaphysics. However, most of us, I’d also imagine, will occasionally get the sense that a wave is providing us with some form of preferential treatment — a sense that defies rationale and requires a leap into that murky, metaphysical world in order to believe.
The funny thing is, we can see this, and even admit it without hesitation. But we still can’t shake the feeling.
This paradox — between reason and intuition, between buoy readings and gut feelings — seems to be constantly exposed by surfing.
The best part is, none of it seems to matter when you stand up on a wave.
Andy’s last dance, and the finale of our series. Most, if not all, of us have a favorite Andy section — but even the biggest fan may have forgotten how startlingly good he was surfing in the months that preceded his death. This was something that surfing needed.
Did you know, if you and nine friends split the cost to rent out the Surf Ranch for a day and took turns riding the 120 waves it produces during your 8-hour window, it would cost you $13 per second to ride a wave? You could chew through $100 on a single highline. Oh but yes, we did this sort of math for every surf-focused wave pool in the world right now. It’s fascinating, really.
Mason Ho has more fun than anyone. This, I believe, has been said so many times that the words have been stripped of their value. It has entered the realm of cliche, becoming merely the thing that you say, the same way a vaguely interesting sentiment about a baseball team gets parrotted by some dork after hearing it on Sportscenter.
Still, at day’s end, it is true. And you might not (let’s be honest, can’t) surf like him, but you can think like him. We talked to Mason to learn about the mental aspect of his approach and distilled it into a psychological surf guide of sorts.
Turns out, he’s bringing Charlie back. Just kidding. But maybe not… Only way to find out is to click and see who has (allegedly) accepted the peculiar job of telling Gabriel Medina what to do.
This was the most impressive (non-Andy) clip of the week, for my money. Jack Robinson is absurd. It’s hard to comprehend how well he surfs waves of consequence, even harder to comprehend how well he surfs waves of consequence and still finds the motivation to paddle out in waves like this. So, come now and appreciate unrelatable surfing in relatable conditions.
One last thing:
Traction pads with kickers smaller than 25mm should be banned, their production and distribution punishable by law.
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