Riders On The Storm
Learn to love a stiff wind.
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.
It’s been blowing hard onshore.
30 mph, 40 mph? I don’t know. Enough to hurt your face when it rains.
In the winter here, it’s common to see belligerent surf conditions for weeks on end. I dig it — I’m a fan of seasons, of constant change. It’s fun to imagine the beach full of barely clothed people bathing in the sun when you’re jogging across it in a 4mil with your board strategically positioned so as not to have it tear your arm off in the wind.
(Keep it close to your body, nose pointed slightly down. It is still impolite to stare if you are seriously imagining nude-ish people.)
You usually get to surf by yourself. And the waves are always worth it.
Reasonable conditions are nice, but storm surf is a whole different trip. It brings you closer to the mechanics of swell generation and makes you think about waves in new ways. Watch closely. You’ll learn something.
I interviewed Michel Bourez in 2014, the year he won two CT events. I was surprised when I asked him about his preferred conditions for competition.
I like when it’s more of a mission — when it’s stormy, windy and when there’s a lot of water moving. I feel like that’s when I’m the most stable. When everything moves around me, I see clearer; I understand the ocean better.
If it’s good enough for a guy who grew up in Tahiti, it’s good enough for you.
Get out there.
It is commonly believed that advertisers have some sort of direct and nefarious control over surf media. I think the truth is closer to the fact that, for a while there, surf media cared about getting big numbers to impress those advertisers more than it cared about pleasing you. This Berlin paywall will be good for surfing, and good for you, even if it costs a little bit of money.
This was supposed to go behind the Berlin paywall. But, in a not very shocking turn of events, we are bad at technology and so now it’s free. Watch, enjoy, then subscribe because we’re probably going to get better at technology soon.
You know those Joey Turpel hype pieces the WSL airs at the start of an event? The ones that are pretty cheese-dick but designed to feel suspenseful? Yeah, those. Confession: I got goosebumps from the one before Pipe Masters and was legit upset with myself afterwards.
Anyway, I wonder if they’ll mention the COVID shutdown on the one that airs before the World Title deciding event at…Lowers.
In 2020, one of the hallmarks of a truly great surfer is their ability to make you want to incorporate bits and pieces of their approach. After all, imitation is the highest form of flattery. I feel that with Jai Glindeman. You will too, if you take this dose of him on Electric Acid Surfboard Test boards.
One person’s fake-positive Instagram comment is another person’s internet rant. This week, our lovely intern attacked social media participation awards. I agree with his take — but only in a digital world. In real life, good things often come from complimenting other people in the water.
I fucking loved the Mikey vs Leo surf-off. It was by-far the most entertaining matchup of the season so far, aside from maybe a Global Pandemic vs the World Surf League. I would like to think that somebody, somewhere in Italy, could pen a tribute to the Gucci-wearing Leonardo. But until then, join me in enjoying Jed Smith’s ode to the pig-hunting Mongrel.
One last thing:
Before one particularly atrocious session, I took a few photos that I thought would help contextualize the intro. A few days later, on a less atrocious day at the same spot, my car got broken into while I surfed and someone stole my phone. Break-ins like that are common around here in the summer, but winter is usually a different story.
Alas, instead of a bad photo, here’s a reminder to not let your guard down.
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