PROVING IT'S POSSIBLE TO RIDE TWO BOARDS AT ONCE
"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.