With new technology and safety advances, big-wave surfing should be safer than ever, so why isn't it?
On December 22, 2012, a day shy of the 18th anniversary of Foo’s death, Greg Long nearly drowned at Cortes Bank. Long is an icon of big-wave surfing in modern times as much as Foo was in his, so perhaps it’s a macabre measure of how far big-wave surfing has come that when Long nearly drowned at Cortes he was being monitored by a dedicated “safety team” that he and his crew of surfers had hired to watch over them. Six people, each with a specific role in a detailed protocol, each driving a jet ski, tracked Long from the second he was swallowed by the ocean until he was airlifted off the nighttime deck of a yacht bobbing 100 miles off the coast of San Diego.
Arts and Culture
Why living a simple surf life is usually not that simple
One of surfing’s foundational premises, one of its principal allures, is its simplicity. Consider the fact that among the most famous words ever written about the sport is a sentence that comes from the first issue of this magazine. It’s a caption to a photo of a faceless surfer, back to the camera, knee-paddling in utter solitude toward a perfect, right-breaking wave at Hammond’s Reef in Santa Barbara. “In this crowded world,” SURFER founder John Severson wrote in that 1960 issue, “the surfer can still seek and find the perfect day, the perfect wave, and be alone with the surf and his thoughts.”
Patagonia Founder Yvon Chouinard's candid perspective on life and surf
Patagonia Founder Yvon Chouinard's candid perspective on life and surf.
There is a certain breed of man who gives up his surf sessions when he gets married and has kids. Don’t be this man. It is eminently possible to be gainfully employed, to have two children, to have a wife, and to surf everyday. I speak as a father of a two-year-old son and a [...]
The key is this, says Mickey Munoz: “Surf between the cracks.” That’s it. Easy. You’re working with two controllable elements here: Time and geography. Surf at odd times of the day and your world opens up. Dawn patrols are for people who want to be cold, tired, and surfing in a crowd that gets bigger [...]
Pay attention. A good surfer pays attention. Small children, newcomers, and people wearing denim sprint unknowingly into the surf. A good surfer pays attention. Don’t operate by guesswork. Check the surf. Know where the waves will be breaking, where they will not be breaking, where you’ll catch waves before you ever become wet, then paddle [...]
The Pacific Garbage Patch, and other environmental issues that remain off surfers' radars
The Pacific Garbage Patch, and other environmental issues that remain off surfers' radars.