Verbal musings in the age of Coronavirus.
It was a month like no other in recent history. Covid-19 takes centre stage, but the surf world doesn’t stop. Here’s what was said by surfing’s key players. After all, as Hunter S Thompson said, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
“It’s pretty much decimated our business in the space of three days.” Byron Bay Surf school owner Sean Riley after he had laid off 20 of his staff, most of whom were his mates and had been with him since he started the business 12 years ago.
“Can Aussie surfers really be trusted to obey this rule when the first crisp swells of late March and early April start rolling in, wave faces groomed to perfection by a gentle offshore breeze?” Asks Brad Sterling. The answer, so far, is no.
“Dooma pulls up to Maccas in his shiny, big car with his big ass trophy and $8,000 better off than me and I thought… well ‘Farrk you Dooma’, you just took my paycheck!” Rob Bain refers to the bitter pill of losing to good mate Dooma Hardman in the 1988 BHP Steel International.
“He's chosen the most remote of five favoured camping spots, and with the freshwater creek providing consistent banks halfway up the deserted 15-kilometre beach, reckons he can hold out for 18 months, or until the pandemic passes, whichever comes first.” From What Type Of Covid Responder Are You, The Survivor is well-prepped.
“My idea for this surfable skate rail. or you could say a floating skate rail made out of foam and fibreglass, comes from growing up, probably skating more than I surfed.” Julian Wilson on his successful attempt at rail surfing.
“Our problem was that we didn’t take the necessary precautions at the start and I fear other countries and people are making the same mistake. Us surfers and young people will be fine, but the elderly and the sick can’t fight it. They are dying. We have already 2000 deaths, so this is real and other countries can avoid such a loss. We have to do whatever it takes to get back to our normal way of life. The waves will always be there.” Italian surfer Robby D’Amico provides a stark warning on what may be coming.
“Maybe it was the board, or perhaps it was just the perfect line that Irons drew under extreme stress, but the wave seemed to capture the essence of his approach to his life and the way he deals with things – no holding back.” Craig Jarvis on Bruce Iron's wave at giant Cloudbreak in 2011 from his Waves That Matter series.
“Should pros be given a dedicated zone to freesurf, before and during events? On the flip-side, one may argue that the opportunity to surf Snapper with one other person during a heat is already a rare privilege that regular surfers never have the chance to enjoy.” After Griffin Colapinto ran over a kook at Manly, Alex Workman asked is it time for the pros to have dedicated freesurf area.
“You wouldn’t expect Lebron James to warm up with the crowd,” Jordy Smith, back in 2015, answering the question.
“Coming in from the hour-long session we were like groms back in those early Indo days. Swapping tales of big turns and open barrels.” Phil Leadley, a self-described Old Dog learns some new tricks at his first surf at URBNSURF.
“Seriously, we can all see that and what we can see is there’s no transition happening. The paddle-outs were great because they had a really good spirit to them, they were cool and a really nice feeling to be among a crew that were out supporting something bigger than just catching a wave. It’s woken up a crew that hasn’t done a lot in terms of activism for 20 or 30 years. It’s going to be really interesting to see where it goes in the next couple of years.” Ex-ed Sean Doherty on the fight after the Fight For The Bite