LUXURY SURF TRAVEL MAKES YOU SOFTER THAN WHIPPED BUT­TER

Tracks - - Stuff We Dig -

Dis­ap­pear­ing into the wild blue yon­der dis­cov­er­ing new waves and ac­quir­ing ex­cit­ing new dis­eases is still hap­pen­ing this cen­tury but it's less pop­u­lar than when it was the only op­tion. To­day the cashed-up surfer can score epic waves in a re­mote Third World out­post and ex­pect a full list of mod cons to be avail­able nearby. Luxe surf travel is un­de­ni­ably dreamy but it's hardly ad­ven­tur­ous. By def­i­ni­tion ad­ven­ture is "a bold and haz­ardous ac­tion of un­cer­tain out­come". Ad­ven­ture is stow­ing away on a pas­sen­ger liner like Bob McTav­ish; it's walk­ing across the Kala­hari Desert like Peter Troy; it's go­ing goat-slaugh­ter­ingly feral like Timmy Turner. The first high-end surf camp kicked off at Tavarua in the '80s and proved in­sanely pop­u­lar when word spread. The mar­ket has only grown since and ded­i­cated surf camps con­tinue to pop up each year through­out the surf­ing cos­mos. Surf re­sorts have made life eas­ier and world-class waves more ac­ces­si­ble but they've also had a shel­ter­ing ef­fect. There's no need to in­ter­act with lo­cals, to learn a new lan­guage, or to bridge cul­tural di­vides when ev­ery­thing's taken care of. The bub­ble ef­fect is fur­ther en­hanced by the swell-strike ap­proach: you zoom in, nail the best waves of a swell, and zoom home. The shadow ef­fect of all this may be a change in the surf com­mu­nity's shared DNA. Once it was un­der­stood and cel­e­brated that to score epic waves you had to be a balls-out ex­plorer with gypsy blood and a thirst for the un­known. Now you just need to be wealthy. That noted, risk and ad­ven­ture are in­trin­sic to the act of surf­ing it­self. If you're hol­i­day­ing at Namotu or G-Land you prob­a­bly don't need any ad­di­tional risks on the way there. Spe­cial in­for­ma­tion ses­sion to be hosted by Bob McTav­ish: Stow­ing Away 101.

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