Some waves seemed tailor made for pro surfing events. The Bells Beach stadium, the J-Bay racetrack, Pipeline’s gladiatorial pit. But regardless of the developments and the pollution and the overcrowding and yes, even the World Surfing League’s Cirque Du Soleil come to town, Keramas will always be the people’s break. One reason being is that it is one of those rare breaks where the locals who surf it are actually more in tune and quite often better than the big pro’s who get to paddle out alone for a few heats now and then. Perhaps this is due to the toughness of the Eastside surfers.
The Sky is falling. And our Oceans came from up there. Not surprising that surfing has always been referred to as a cosmic experience. After all, most of the earth’s Ocean’s were created by marauding comets.The bombardment would have happened some eight million years after the earth was formed. That’s right. Comets, not Asteroids.
1969. Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii. Way before man on man competition and leashes and thrusters and videos, the Duke Kahanamoku Classic featured 9 men in the finals Think about that. From left to right: Joey Cabell Eddie Aikau, Billy Hamilton, Fred Hemmings, Gordo Barreda, Paul Strauch, Mike Doyle, Rolf Arness and Felipe Pomar.
There are always at least two people in a surf photo. The surfer and the photographer. A surf photographer does not shoot what he sees, he shoots what we feel. And that puts him in the photo too. Funny how we use the term for surf photographers being “behind the lens”. When in fact they are in front of it. Surfers are not surfing in front of photographers, photographers are shooting in front of surfers.
Let us never forget that the Mentawai Islands and her magnificient waves lay in wait for us all. Haunting us. Like a monster under the bed, she is always on the edge of our consciousness. Ready to gobble us up in her life changing waves. And though she gives thousands of us our best fireside stories, here is her story. Of just who she is.