Is France Cancelling Surfing Again?
An insider says maybe.
Ed note: the following is the 634th installment of our new weekly email chain called the Stab Fwd. If you’re into it, subscribe here.
This swell hijacked my mind for the past week.
It was one of the ones that appeared on the forecasts ten days out and had the miraculous ability of not disappearing or even downgrading. As the big day approached, headlines began surfacing calling it historic, supported by the claim that it was the “biggest European October swell in recent memory.”
The fuck does that mean? Whose recent memory, exactly, is meant to use that information as a point of reference?
Anyway, the swell-based mind-hijacking came to an end yesterday when France announced another COVID lockdown.
Another COVID lockdown.
The last one kept me out of the water for 60 days (aside from one foray in the dark). The thought of not being able to surf again began to haunt me more than the thought of wearing an XXM wave on the head.
So, today was a strange day, toying in the balance of trying to get a good wave on the first big swell of the season and not knowing if you’ll be allowed to surf again for the next however many months.
All things considered, it was one of the strangest sessions of my life. The long waits for large waves combined with the lockdown threat led me to reflect on the time we spend in the water.
Honestly, how much time are you “surfing” while your mind is mulling over some arbitrary event in the past or contemplating an equally arbitrary prospect of the future? It probably depends on how often you surf. But, if you’re an addict, I’d bet that most of your thoughts when waiting for a wave are not dissimilar from what you might experience while sitting in traffic. And you know you’re only one burn away from going into rage mode.
But here’s surfing’s superpower: When you do get a wave, all of that ceases to exist in such a profound way.
That’s why I’ll miss it, if it gets banned. Nothing else comes close — and it ain’t selfish if you’re a better person to the rest of the world when you come in.
Here’s to hoping France (and wherever you live) keeps surfing street legal in another round of Strange Times.
Ok now scroll down for the irrelevance.
Did you know that pro surfers think? I’ve seen enough WSL post heat interviews to believe they had no thoughts. However, Jordy Smith has some thoughts. And would you like to hear them?
There have been many phases in Kelly Slater’s career. He was the hero for a while. Sometime before he was the hero, I’d imagine, he was considered a villain by an older generation. But then John John became the hero and Kelly became the older generation. With all the shakeups happening, my vision for surfing is that Kelly becomes a deity and all of his earthly objects are taken as sacred and we all wear OuterKnown loincloth and join a polyamorous sex cult.
If you ever plan on visiting the Gold Coast, this is probably the best video to watch to familiarize yourself with the area. Get used to this view, except instead of Steph Gilmore and shit it will just be like twenty dudes who look like JS but aren’t.
This (No Contest from South Straddie) was a good watch and it prompted a great question — so great that the jury is still out and/or arguing about it in the comment section. The concept of a wave being better than another wave is as subjective as surfing itself. Like, is Teahupo’o better than Pipe? Is Cloudbreak better than Desert Point? Am I only naming lefts because I’m a goofyfooter?
If I wanted to stick to the Fwd format, this would be phrased as a question. I don’t, because this shouldn’t be a question. Click.
If so, please consult this interview with Mikey February and learn about his new charity. Automatic JUJU for reading, additional JUJU for buying a towel, maximum JUJU for making anything on a surfboard look nearly as good as M Feb makes it look.
One last thing:
A good turn looks better in person than in video. And better in video than in photo. Can’t say the same about airs.
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