Tracks - - The Long Lens No. 6 -

"What's that guy do­ing?" This was the gen­eral re­sponse from a crew of surfers on a re­cent trip when they pulled up at pump­ing HT's in the Mentawai Is­lands. A ropey-limbed, long-haired French­man was hov­er­ing way out­side on an in at­able SUP while si­mul­ta­ne­ously at­tached to an alaia with foot straps. As a the dumb­struck crowd watched on it soon be­came ap­par­ent that it was his in­ten­tion to catch a wave on the SUP and then leap off the rub­ber-mal and ride the rest of the wave on his wooden sled. It was kind of like driv­ing a car off the roof of a mov­ing bus. Of course he also had sur ng's ul­ti­mate sel e tool – the Go Pro – in one hand to cap­ture his am­bi­tious ride. This guy wasn't sit­ting on the shoul­der look­ing for a leftover, he'd po­si­tioned him­self deep at The Of ce, the hol­low­est sec­tion of the wave at HT's. It was a solid six feet and oily clean with a hun­gry pack all hunt­ing the wave of their lives. It wasn't the sort of set­ting where you'd imag­ine there was much tol­er­ance for a French guy pad­dling around on a gi­ant in ated con­dom with a nless sliver ply at­tached to his feet, but some­how the crowd warmed to his ab­surd stunt. When a solid set ap­proached the HT's al­pha males who were dom­i­nat­ing The Of ce take-off zone all pulled back and gave the guy his chance at ei­ther glory or a gory col­li­sion with the reef. As he stroked in the en­tire lineup hooted and the cheer grew even louder when he suc­cess­fully ditched the SUP and snuck into the bar­rel. As the se­quence makes ap­par­ent, he did the wave com­plete jus­tice, throw­ing in a heav­ing tail-whip to com­plete the ride. We later learned that it was Fred Com­pagnon, a se­rial per­former of alaia an­tics who has made a YouTube ca­reer out of get­ting un­ortho­dox pits. All of which raises one im­por­tant ques­tion. What would you call this kind of sur ng? Slay­ing, Two Stroke, Cheat­ing and Jump­ing Ship were a few of the op­tions we came up with. What­ever it gets la­belled we're pretty sure some­one other than Freaky Fred will be try­ing it soon.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.