The art of wave riding is very hard to describe. To paint surfing and time spent in and around the ocean with a single brush is damn near impossible. Surﬁng to some people is the freedom from the stresses of everyday life. A release or escape from the realities of a day working your ﬁngers to the bone. To others its their job or career. Working their hardest to sustain the life they love in and around the ocean.
As part of the celebration of Russian surfing here on Bali, this year’s Surf Jam Festival at Balian featured a photography contest. The results were extraordinary. A window into a surfing place that is a galaxy away from the Indonesian experience. A window into the power of the passion of surfers regardless of their environment. Surfing in Russia. Sub-zero weather, snow, ice, mystery.
The motivation of surf travel has shifted. Blame the modern age. In today’s world of selfie madness and Go Pro mugging, with most of a surfer’s day taken up by personal social media management, the travel experience has become something seen and not felt. These days a surfer has to get back to his phone to actually see where he was. Post it or it never existed. All website surf footage these days is just an exercise in advertising. We only see sponsored video shorts. With the touch of a delete button, Surf stars today are disposable.
World-renowned stretch of Hawaiian coastline located on the north side of Oahu; the undisputed capital of big-wave surfing from the 1950s to the early ‘90s; home to about 40 surf breaks, many of them hallowed. “If the surfing world has a shared mythology,” American essayist William Finnegan wrote in 1997, “then the North Shore of Oahu is its Olympus.”
Mason Ho hit the DNA lottery at birth. Consider the bloodline that he shares. Mason’s Uncle Derek was Hawaiian Amateur Champion at 14, he won the 1984 Duke Kahanamoku Classic with brother Michael finishing second. Derek Ho won the Pipeline Masters in 1986 and finished second in 1991. He won the Triple Crown in 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1993. By 1993 he was our World Champion, a two-time winner of the Pipeline Masters and a four-time winner of the Triple Crown.