The Panic In The Atlantic
Letter From The Editor: Kerrzy and the WSL’s airshow tour, Stab heads to the Goldie, and dispatches from an Atlantic swell to remember.
God damn it feels good to be a surfer again.
As I write this letter, the Atlantic is on fire, and just beyond my screen Wilderness is big and blue—pumping being the word most tossed around the dirt lot, as people scramble to grab pintails and step ups. The entire island’s a week into what has been the best swell in a decade, at least.
Sitting beneath palm trees gently undulating in the crisp offshore breeze, despite spotty service and my best attempts to check out for a few days, our phones buzz with news and rumor, top-shelf gossip: Is an East Coast standout-turned LA stud snuggling up to one of Adult Film’s finest?
Did Firewire sponsor Michel Bourez’s wedding?
Is Josh Kerr and the WSL hatching plans for a renegade air tour?*
Between speculative threads, friends up and down the East Coast send over empty lineups, water shots of wide open barrels. Cory Lopez, Balaram Stack and a small crew are somewhere in the Bahamas, scoring hollow, electric blue barrels. Roaming packs of pros are scouring the Caribbean for the chance at some of the island’s rarest of reefs to show their fickle faces. Up north, reports of all time coldwater sessions from Nags Head to Nova Scotia, while South Florida saw its best conditions since the fabled Hurricane Sandy swell in 2012.
When the storm began to materialize, Mikey C. hopped on the first flight he could find, he and his Missus, Ana, two-stepping into his old stomping grounds, right as West Africa came to Dirty Jerz.
Hearing the gleeful anxiety in Mike’s tone was too much, as he checked in session after session, who could blame us for opening our laptops and pulling up some maps, just as Damien Fahrenfort rang to see just what, exactly, we were doing still in California: it had to be a sign.
There’s been one real day of waves in the last two months in Los Angeles, only a slightly better track record at points north and south. A single day without howling Northwesterlies and waves above chest high. All. Fucking. Winter.
So, yeah, pulling the trigger on a strike didn’t take much convincing, nor should it have. After three months of garbage surf, all work and no play makes Ashy and Dooma dull boys.
Superstorm Riley and the subsequent Panic In The Atlantic has sent surfers scrambling from Nova Scotia to Barbados, while Puerto Rico’s young bucks Mauro Diaz and Rolo Montes—as well as Ale Moreda, Carlos Cabrero, Otto Flores, and PR’s original gangsters were more than happy to stay home, everyone biting off more than their fair share of meaty Puerto Rican pits—are calling the biggest swell in at least a decade, a dozen rare slabs coming alive and some of the Island’s most iconic waves flexing their best muscles, 25-foot faces at Tres Palmas on Tuesday, and the entire coast from Jobos east still maxed out four days in.
Swell lines are stacked to the horizon and there’s little sign of slowing down.
While we’ll have a full swell recap once this gem’s over, I just couldn’t wait to share Dooma’s banger from our first day here (see above sequence), one of four or five absolute drainers he nabbed twenty minutes after I took a beating on a closeout, broke my leash, watched my beloved 6’0 devoured by the very same volcanic rock I clumsily and recklessly climbed over, filleting my foot deeply and sidelining me for the afternoon.
With four days left on our visit, the swell’s still massive, though the weekend is looking mid-sized, long period, and the reality of four days of bluebird conditions feels very strange, indeed.
Speaking of the Caribbean, last week, Parker Coffin sat down with the Prince of Jamaican Surfing, Ivah Wilmot, while Christian Fletcher sat down with Occy, for the best conversation in surfing since Christian’s rap sesh with Dorian and Noodles, Shane Beschen broke down speed management inside the tube, which Asher Pacey knows a thing or two about.
After retiring from tour last year, we were thrilled with the retrospective project on Mr. Kai Otton, one of Australia’s most beloved underdogs. Our RED Man, Sam Moody, spent the winter with last year’s Pipe Trials winner and this year’s World Juniors Champ, Finnegan Thunders McGill, who is a very kind, funny, and decent young man, with natural talent to burn.
Craig Jarvis dipped into his memory bank for some Gold Coast Moments; Brendan Buckley made the case for the solo session; and Griffin Colapinto set off alarms with this warning shot across veteran bows, and gave us a sense of the shape of things to come.
With the 2018 World Tour starting, as we speak pretty much the entire Stab team are in various states of transit, the crew set to congregate over the next few days on the Goldie, with a dozen massive projects, concerts, and parties to pull-off over the next ten days or so, and the closest thing to an all-hands situation us Stab scalawags ever see. And goodness is everyone excited—almost as excited as the bruisers clamoring for a crack at Mikey Wright’s Valiant. We’ll be keeping the party train going with Summer Bright, while diving head first and full-on into the Gold Coast deep end.
This week, surfing said goodbye to one of its earliest, as well as one of its saltiest, pioneers. Our most positive thoughts go out to those close to Founding Father George Downing, as well as Santa Cruz hellraiser and Mavericks icon, Vince Collier.
I hope y’all have been getting some, wherever you are. Keep it cutty, with a little class, Stab.
Editor In Chief
*Unconfirmed, but according to a few sources close to the parties involved, plans are being hatched currently, and we’ll hopefully know more very soon.
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