‘Immersed in the moment.. that’s where life is experienced at its fullest’
matter. I made up the soundtrack in my head. There was mewling, followed by screaming and the roar of water surging and exploding over the surgeon table shallows of a granite seabed.
It really makes you appreciate surfers’ ability to manage fear. When paddling for a big wave on a 10 foot “rhino chaser”, it’s not easy to back away from taking off, once you’re committed. In that moment, this commitment to go must have a split second life-and-death struggle with a heart- in- throat stab of life-preserving fear.
You must force yourself over that watery ledge at the edge of the abyss.
This made me think of something big wave surfer Chris Bertish said: “In big wave surfing you have to be 100% immersed in the moment. It forces you back into the present. And that’s where life is experienced at it’s fullest.”
A local filmmaker, Rick Wall, is making a movie about this and other themes around our Cape Town big wave surfers. Called Satori, it looks like a refreshing antidote to the consumer- driven, machinewhipped gloop that makes puffery out of the big wave drama in a mushy smoothie made with the tears of hipsters, sales targets and fragments of neoprene.
The film needs a cracking winter of swell this year (and some further funding) before it will find fruition.
Apparently Satori is a Japanese word that means “sudden enlightenment” – an epiphany.
You don’t get that by mind-surfing. See you in the
Jordy Smith won his third consecutive Round 1 at the Margaret River Pro yesterday in heavy 6-8’ barrels at the alternate venue of North Beach. Cape Town’s Michael February lost his opening heat, and has been relegated to the man-on-man elimination Round 2, which he must win to progress.
The big swell has also landed in East London, where more than 100 of South Africa’s top open and junior surfers – with a small group from overseas – are surfing in the Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro presented by Reef Wetsuits. Conditions at Nahoon Reef look set for a solid 8 foot today.
Today, the surf is proper, at least 6-10’ with strong SSE winds. The onshore kills Muizenberg, although you should be surfed out after a purple patch of great waves there this week. Similar winds blow tomorrow, sadly, but the other side is cranking in pure SE and big gaping tubes on the beachbreaks.
THE RIGHT STUFF: Mick Corbett at the Right in Australia, a nomination for the WSL Big Wave Awards.