Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Check-List

Sometimes we can all get a bit picky when checking the surf.  I used to employ a rule that if I saw a surfer do three turns on a wave then I'd get straight in there, but if not then I'd stand and scrutinise the waves for ages.

How're the sets hitting the sandbank or reef?  How many waves are there in each set and how long between sets?  What're the wind and tide doing?  How many guys are there on the peak and are they getting good waves?

I hate driving away from good waves, but I also hate paddling out and just wearing close-outs on my head every couple of minutes.  In horse racing they check the "going" of the track, whilst cricket commentators always talk about the state of the wicket; in surfing we stand and observe so many interconnected variables before making the decision to commit our time to a particular spot.  But at the end of the day, plenty of non-surfers find a lot of value in staring out to sea - we get to do it all the time and with a purpose.

I seem to have an inordinate number of images of the back of my friends heads with the sea in the background.  A few years ago I collated a whole load of them into a photo essay called "Watching Waves" which was published on Drift…probably about time I updated that set and framed a load of them.

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