A semi-regular segment celebrating the most ridiculed and under-appreciated member of surf culture, the kook.
Often found on headlands and in beachside car parks, these highly evolved beings are blessed with a gift the rest of us can only dream of having—the ability to read the ocean and the elements on a deep and all-knowing level. Like sage messengers of the surf-check, they stand with their eyes fixed on the line-up and explain at length all the subtle intricacies of waves, wind and tide that would no doubt be lost on you if it wasn’t for their presence. Never stingy or secretive with their knowledge, they are not only willing to share their expert insights on what is unfolding right in front of you, but also on what is yet to come.
Equipped with a divine understanding of nature and a reliable internet connection, the wave-wise weather guru is a swell forecaster to be reckoned with. Where you and I see a simple-looking surf report on Coastalwatch or Seabreeze or whatever our forecaster of choice is, they see an elaborate web of meteorological events unravelling in far off oceanic depths, and in fact, on many occasions, actually know more than the forecaster themselves. And while sometimes it may seem as if the predictions they provided during your last encounter were so far off they were clearly just talking out their arse, rest assured that this was not the case. In fact, the next time you see them you can guarantee they’ll have a convincing and totally understandable explanation as to why the nineteen-second nor-east ground swell they talked-up for half-an-hour actually turned out to be a short-lived run of onshore slop.
Although it may come as a surprise to some, the wave-wise weather guru is not necessarily the great surfer you’d expect them to be. Their talent instead lies in their innate ability to waffle on about synoptic charts and believe every word that leaves their own mouth. In fact, for them the joy of riding waves seems to come second to the joy of talking about waves, and more often than not, the wave-wise weather guru will conclude their hour-long sermon on the conditions without once having felt the slightest compulsion to join their fellow surfers in the line-up. Knowing they’ve helped enlighten the misguided and hopelessly uninformed brings them satisfaction enough, and so they linger for a few moments at the look-out, watching, assessing, willing to educate the next mere mortal to stumble along the path, while from the line-up two blokes glance silently up at the wave-wise weather guru and then at each other.
‘Jesus,’ one of them says. ‘Doesn’t that bastard like to yap.’