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Stop Giving Yourself Excuses

The Misc: Deciding to surf.

style // Jul 18, 2021
Words by Brendan Buckley
Reading Time: 5 minutes

There are good waves and there are bad waves and the difference between them is formless and make-believe. 

A proper wave at Kandui is definitely good and a 1-foot wind-torn shitbowl is definitely bad. But, is there some line you draw between the two? And, do you use that line between good waves and bad waves to decide when you will and when you will not go surfing? 

I think: Fuck no. 

It’s more a mix of how you’re feeling, how that old knee is feeling, how many friends you have around and the availability of their time, how many time-rich non-friends have already found their way into the water, if you’ve been feeling fat and got that big dinner coming up, if you just got that new epoxy and damn that thing’s fun, if you surfed for six hours yesterday, if you’re cutting it a little too close before work, and if you happen to see a set at the very instant you pull up. Etc. 

Variables on variables. All of which are ever-changing, most of which have little to do with the quality of the waves. So, when you decide to surf or not, you’re under the influence of a myriad of nonsense factors and proceed to gamble on whether or not you’d be able to extract a satisfactory amount of pleasure (another make-believe line) out of the experience. 

Bit silly. 

Could you imagine a—let’s say, for Bobby’s sake, a tennis player—pulling up to the courts and scoping things out before choosing whether or not to engage? 

I’ve been a long-time advocate for the no-look paddle out. Unless your goal is to find the best possible conditions for the day (a whole ‘nother story), why look? You’re only giving yourself the option to not surf. 

Go. It’ll be fine. Fun, even. What do you have to lose? 

There is something vital to mention here. 

You have no choice but to surf once you’ve already put on a wetsuit—that is, to strip nude and encase your body in a tight, form-fitting garment made from esoteric materials. 

Or if your feet hit the sand with a board under your arm. 

In either of those events, you surf. No matter what. Even if it’s massive, and the water seems to be moving in every direction, and the ambiance is pure violence, and that cliff looks a bit too close, and you’re way out of your league…you must surf. There is no other option. Find a way to get at least one wave—whitewater, whatever—that will propel you with enough force to stand on your board. 

Worst case scenario, you die with honor. 

And that will be a source of solace for your loved ones. 

Album’s Matt Parker Can (And Will) Change The Way You Think About Surfboards

Matt won this year’s E.A.S.T. according to Coco. But, before that, he’d already won a great deal of attention (a commodity these days) by shaping boards that enabled Asher Pacey and Josh Kerr to surf in such a way that produces strange cocktails of neurochemicals in the keen observer’s brain. I had a conversation with him, and loved every minute. Jump in on it here. 

And don’t miss the bottom of the page—we’re giving you the chance to have Matt custom shape your next board.

Brain Injuries Are Surfing’s Sleeping Giant

So, Jed Smith woke it up. This longform story shares the confusing, difficult, and ultimately triumphant journey Owen Wright went on after sustaining a brain injury. It also details everything you need to know about a problem that often goes undiagnosed and has been plaguing many surfers. Jed himself has suffered from brain injuries and, as he points out, there’s a good chance you have too. 

Surfing’s Olympic Debut Should Move to the New Japanese Wavepool

Seen that pool in Japan? If not, there’s a clip of it in this story. It’s got the best chlorinated air section we’ve ever seen—and we’ve seen ‘em all. A key player told us there’s a chance the Olympics could run there, so Mikey C laid out what exactly that would entail. It was a fun ride, though it provoked a quick response from the ISA’s president in which he explained why there is no fucking change.

A Gorgeous Dawn Gone Wrong: This Is What It’s Like To Be Attacked By A Shark  

Another headline option could have been Breaking: Jay Lammers Is More Core Than You. We caught up with the victim of this week’s Great White attack at J-Bay. While still in the hospital bed, he was quick to tell us that he’s keen to get back in the water—and that he doesn’t want this event to make people believe J-Bay has a shark problem. 

Respect.

Joyride Board Test: The Rusty ‘Keg’

Do you believe that opposites attract? Or that a lil’ bit of yin is best served with a hint of yang? Or that, perhaps, sparks will fly when the board model of a CT heavyweight finds its way under the feet of a featherweight test pilot? Yes! Yes, you do!

Comment of the week: 

This wasn’t on our site, but was an email sent directly to Zack. I found it wonderful. While our free shirt quota has been met, I do encourage all of you to reach out to Zack [[email protected]] whenever you have a problem—whether it’s auto mechanic, psychological, financial, relationship-based, surf-related, or not. For kicks.. 

One last thing: 

When crowds are thick, waves that feature exposed rocks are both the solution to and the source of many problems.

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