Passion Comes in Waves
Editorial

THE POWER ISSUE


dolphins

Speaking of power, we think the time has come to declare the eighth wonder of the world. It’s a matter of surfival. We recently discovered that SevenNaturalWonders.org is an organization created for the purpose of protecting and promoting the natural wonders of the world. The people at Seven Natural Wonders launched this effort by launching a campaign to raise awareness on a global level.

This campaign was further distinguished by avoiding the influence of marketing, advertising and social media, with the winning “wonders” being determined by “experts” from around the world who considered the criteria “statistical and traditional significance, uniqueness, and pure splendor”. Although there is some dispute about the exact list, CNN recently published the commonly accepted list: The Aurora Borealis, The Harbor of Rio de Janeiro, the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef, Mount Everest, Paricutin Volcano and Victoria Falls.

So all this made us think of the natural wonder of waves. Magnificent, bone crushing waves like Jaws or Teahupoo or even our beloved Padang Padang. What is so “wondrous and splendid” is that these waves are just huge mounds of displaced H2O molecules conceived by an even bigger energy spawned by giant storms thousands of miles away. This pulse of energy then lumbers across vast seas and into the shallows of continents and is warped and formed by underwater obstructions and is finally forced into birthing a gigantic, thunderous natural wonder by the almighty and unescapable force of gravity. So why not declare waves the eighth wonder of the world? Certainly waves also have Statistical and traditional significance, uniqueness and pure splendor. Surely. And certainly waves are on par with such thrillers as some boat harbor in Brazil or some big ditch in Arizona?

So, a declaration must be made. And in making this declaration, we can turn the promotion and protection of our waves over to someone else. Surfers ought to like that, Hell yeah. More time to surf and less time worrying about it. Let alone actually doing something about it. So let’s turn our well-being over to an established, international, well-funded organization that dedicates all its time to protecting these natural wonders, not playing in them.

Sort of like the WSL is fighting to preserve our contests, not our souls. So, to start the process we are going to have to apply. Sure to be lots of paperwork, yeah boy. And we can imagine the response. What? Waves? Natural wonders? Those things you play in on the weekends?

Alright then, consider this. What if waves were never ridden, but just looked at? Like geysers or lava flows from tourist vista points on the side of the road? Would waves qualify as natural wonders then? Maybe the fact that humans, having surfed these incredible natural wonders, having made them “a recreational resource”, has eroded their perception as a phenomenon. Lessened them. Making waves no more amusing to civilians than seeing someone getting pulled on a skateboard down the street by a dog on a leash. Forever knocking waves out of the running as one of the great natural wonders of the known world. Or maybe it is just that waves can be found everywhere but are not always there. Or maybe because waves can be invisible. Like air. (But then where would we be without that?)

So… in the end it seems waves are perceived as just another pile of misunderstood molecules. Just a playground for crazy “surfers”. I mean, let’s face it, the term “beachgoers” gets more respect.

And yet…waves are the power and the glory that shape the very continents beneath our trembling feet. Breaking as wondrous, watery sculptures with the seismic power of Gods. And we, as surfers, break these waves and bend them to our will.

Like wild horses. Wait a sec…doesn’t that place surfers among the most powerful humans on earth? Come to think of it…Maybe we should be considered the eighth Natural Wonders.

-Matt George, Ungasan, Bali, 01APR15-