Category archives for Surfing

A Surfer’s Reflections From on a Decade at Sea

For the last decade, Liz Clark’s home has been the ocean. The exploratory surfer-sailor set out on Swell, her 40-foot sailboat, from the coast of Santa Barbara in October 2005 to seek out unknown surf breaks and live a life acutely attuned to weather and the vast blue ocean. Clark now spends most of her time…

As Surfing Goes Mainstream, Old School and Newbie Surfers Clash

There’s a battle afoot in Southern California. It’s being fought with insults, vandalism, sexual harassment, and outright violence. And the winners get to surf near a posh Los Angeles suburb. A “gang” of local surfers, dubbed the Bay Boys, have been driving interlopers—fellow surfers, the general public, even the media—from their beach on Lunada Bay…

Largest Waves in 18 Years Beckon Big-Wave Surfers to Hawaii

Of the many ways in which El Niño weirds the global weather (see what it is doing for skiers), none is quite so dramatic as the very large storms it creates in the Pacific, which in turn create very large waves. This year the amount of very large waves being surfed in the Pacific Ocean,…

Beneath the Golden Gate, a Rare Break Draws (Experienced) Surfers

San Francisco may be a mecca for foodies, musicians, artists, techies, and skateboarders, but when it comes to surfing, the spots are, well, limited. And by “limited” I mean, “there’s really only consistently one that’s actually in the city, Ocean Beach.” Which is why, when the conditions are just right and the swell is hitting…

Faster, Bigger, More Extreme: A ‘Point Break’ Remake for Today’s Hard-Charging World

The 1991 release of Point Break was a perfect preface to the next decade, in which adventure sports, then called extreme sports, rose out of obscurity and gripped the mainstream consciousness in a big, bold way. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty), this campy film, now a cult classic, tells the…

Did Surfing Legend Kelly Slater Build the World’s Most Perfect Wave?

And what does it mean for surfing? As his technological feat is revealed, the surf world contemplates a game changer. A perfect, head-high, barreling wave has just been discovered. It doesn’t depend on the weather, or the swell, or even the ocean itself—and it’s always flawless. The first to surf it? Sporting icon and 11-time…

New Film Shows Lure of River Surfing

“It’s the ever-curling wave in so many ways,” says founder of Strongwater Mountain Surf Company Kevin Benhardt. The standing waves themselves, formed by rock features that sit along the riverbeds, actually do curl and break for as long as the water flows sustain them. However, it’s more about the water itself and the journey it…

Denali: A New Film About a Man, His Dog, and Saying Goodbye

Update: Meet Ben Moon’s new puppy >> If you’ve been touched by cancer or you’ve been blessed to have an animal friend in your life, you’ll want to watch Denali. As a juror at the 5Point Film Festival that awarded this film “Best of the Festival,” I can report that it was the one film the jury agreed…

Exploring the Cold Coast: Surfing Tofino – Dispatch #7

It has been raining on and off all day, and will continue all week. Or year round for that matter. We find ourselves constantly camping in these conditions, and I’m slowly learning why. When water particles add up between camera and subject, the light diffuses into something soft and delicate. This is a contrast to…

Exploring the Cold Coast: Beach Camping and Waterfall Hunting – Dispatch #6

Less an actual measure, “island time” is more of a mentality, one where each day, encounter, and moment is approached with its own unique respect and sometimes painful contemplation. Island time allows plans to adjust, fail, and reform with a certain fleeting fluidity that’s reflected in the winter sun as it makes its brief journey across the northern…