Would you be happy to sell-out if you found the dream wave?
Ever dreamed of finding a secret spot? A perfect right-hander reeling on forever, a thick left slab spitting over shallow reef, an endless left tube grinding along the shallowest bar on a sand peninsula, or a fun warm water A-Frame beach-break that holds perfection up to eight-foot?
They’re out there, these waves. Every year we think we have exhausted the possibilities of ever finding anything new, when a new and world class wave appears on websites, on Insta and on Facebook, Youtube etc. to shock us all, make us take stock, and decide that it is once again a worthy pursuit to burst out of the gilded cage of modern living, and head on out there to some dusty and dangerous country in West Africa, or plot a new trip to the Chagos Islands, or to head on down to that one other island with potential off the coast of south Sumatra.
Have you ever considered what you would do if you were to find such a spot? If you were to discover a grinding Donkey Bay, a barreling Keramas, an impeccable Telos beach break or a reeling Snake?
I bet your instinct is telling you that you’d keep it a secret, never telling a soul, so that you could return, maybe with a few trusted friends or family members, and score perfection for the rest of your surfing life.
It’s a noble thought, but that concept is unlikely. Someone, maybe a boat skipper or an airplane pilot, or maybe even your brother, will take a photo, post it on Insta, and give something of the location away. The next time the wave comes on, there’ll be a little crew of surfing Google Map experts in the vicinity, and the time after that there will be a photographer or two. After that there will be crowds. That’s how it goes. The ability to keep something like absolute perfection totally secret is incredibly difficult
Natxo Gonzalez was part of the West African discovery of a wave that resembled Donkey in reverse, and he struggled with the concept of discovery.
“To find a wave like that nowadays is a beautiful thing,” Natxo said in media reports. “It has motivated me to keep adventuring. I’m not going to stop. There are other waves out there. The next one I might just keep secret.”
What if I were to tell you that there is a currency in secret spots? That there are brands and people who would buy the GPS numbers to a perfect spot, if it was real, and a legitimate secret?
Think about it. A brand buys the knowledge, goes there to the spot, and films it at its best, with limited surfers ripping. The resultant video goes viral and gets the good part of a million views. That is a lot of eyeballs on your boardies, on your logos and a whole lot of human conscious thinking that your brand is cool, has good soul, is not an insensitive corpo selling over-priced t-shirts to the masses, and is instead focused on the good side of surfing. The photos amassed during such a quick-strike mission can be used for ad campaigns, for print, for web and for Social Media for the good part of a year, extending this cool vision of the brand for that period of time.
A powerful rumour circulating is that this knowledge, combined with a lifetime of secrecy and denial, is worth about US100,000. This figure, apparently, is the bounty for a legitimate A-grade discovery, and lesser discoveries work on a sliding scale of subjective quality.
It’s a good number for a feral traveler who has stumbled upon a new location off the west coast of Africa, on Madagascar, or in Timor for example. Hell, it’s a good number for most people, and it is particularly sweet if you’re Indonesian, (1 407 735 000,00 Indonesia Rupiah), Angolan (31 371 150,00 Angolan Kwanza) or South African (1 404 680,00 Rand).
Could you do it? The quandary for a surfer is momentous. Some of us need money, urgently. Every month is a shit-fight with the bank, to cover our bonds, to pay for the car, to put food on the table. For many of us it would be a no-brainer, or would it? Would such a Faustian Bargain lead to a life of torment and regret? Would there be a time when you will not be able to live with the knowledge of the location, as well as the blood money deal? Or would it make your life better, your kids happier and the daily grind a little bit more comfortable?
Either way, if you have something, I’d be happy to work as a broker, a middleman of sorts, matching buyer with seller, for a fee of about, let’s say, 10%*.
My team would need proof however, either photos or video footage, and we might need to do a test run if the dream is fairly accessible and doesn't need a military escort. The dream has to be real, otherwise no deal, obviously.
Who wants to help keep the dream alive?