a freelance journal

The Search

It's out there. Just got to look...

A few years ago Rip Curl had their “the Search” promotional campaign.  It spelled the idea that surf was “out there” somewhere and you could go find it.  That the real, dedicated surfer, the best surfers-like say its poster boy Tom Curren- were out there living the life.  So could you.  What we sometimes forget is that we are living the life.  Maybe not the one being sold to us from the glossy page but it is the search all the same.  Especially in the summer.

As a kid, I would hound the locals for tips on Pea Island sandbars or potential days at the Hatteras lighthouse.  More often than not they would throw a bone.  They may not give their very best spot or their newest discovery.  In fact, you probably knew the name of the street or marker at the same time as the rest of the island but they did share-as evidenced by the crowd all trying to find a place to park.  The names were half the fun. Winks, Honey Hole, Elizabeth’s, Boilers, Hamlet Dr, the Poo Pipe, Dios del Sol, Foodland, the Jetty, the Cove, 1st St. Jetty, Mase, Sunskipper.  Even the now famous S-Turns started as some name from the guys that “found” it.

Eventually the sand would shift and the guys that were surfing and checking the most would find a new spot and throw the name of the old to the wolves with the promise “that you don’t tell anyone else.”  Which is why they are telling you.  Do a little more surfing and a little more neglecting of responsibility and you begin finding those bars all yourself.  And yes, you throw the old ones out from time to time to the surf starved kid that just jumped out of the van from Pennsylvania.  Why not?  Share “the search.”  At this time of year it has to be part of the stoke.

This picture is that search and for that reason it is on the Wall of Fame.  Taken last July along Pleasure Island, it is the Right Coaster’s summer drive.  As the Bermuda high weighs down the summer surf with an unrelenting force, the search begins.  Somewhere along your stretch of beach there is just the right bar for just the right tide to actually make the knee-thigh high wave with a 6 second period rideable.  Get it when it’s “good” and it might even show waist-high.  A collective gasp just rose from the east coast.  Waist high?!  In July?!  Where did you say the spot was?

“It’s called ‘Hotels’.  But don’t tell anyone.”

One response

  1. Pingback: Patience « Notes from the North End

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