In a world where plastic bags are found in the deepest place in the ocean and where ocean levels are rising unchecked, it is good to know that there is only one difference between surfing and statistical environmental science. In the science of it the universe is in control. In surfing, you are. Because Science may provide an understanding of the universal experience, but it is our surfing that provides a universal understanding of our personal experience. Which is why, after 20 stoked years of publishing this magazine, we are even more stoked to tell you that all our environmental efforts are beginning to take hold.
La Laguna in Canggu hosted the 15th annual Surftime Awards under the stars on a magic night of friendship, community and appreciation this year. Feeling more like a private house party, our surf community turned out in force to support the Industry Awards and the Surftime Awards fueled by voluminous amounts of Skyy Vodka and Bir Bintang. Although a few of the surfers were over in Japan bravely representing us in the Asian Games, there were still enough stars at the event to fill the sky. With hoots and hollers coming from the VIP section at each trophy announcement, the party had a very homegrown feel on such a gorgeous night of weather.
You are from South Africa. You are are 31 years old. You have been surfing for 23 of those years. You are a good surfer. A few regional contests in your past. But University and then the kids burnt those dreams down. You probably weren’t good enough anyway. But you are still good enough to dominate the line-up of your home break. A goofy foot. You watch the WSL broadcasts religiously.
It is impossible to partner in the mind the breathtaking beauty of Micronesia with the greatest slaughter of human beings in history. And yet, it happened. Though the memories are fading, the Pacific theater of World War Two was fought so inhumanely in Micronesia, with such horror, with such blood, with so many men, women and children burnt and blown to rags, that surfing in these graveyard waters seems almost blasphemous. But history marches on, on to new horrors, one bloody thing after another, and the battlefields and the guts and the spilled blood are forgotten.
What do you do once you have reached the summit of the tallest mountain on earth? Do it again? Or climb a different one? In Kelly Slaters case, he’s doing both at the same time. Mick Fanning? He’s keeping it alot more simple. One of the only 26 men on earth that can call themselves World Surfing Champions, Mick’s path seems to be full of bubble gum and happy dreams. Especially his first search trip since his official retirement seen here. His is the ultimate retirement on the ultimate search. One where the back slapping need never end.