I don’t want to collect rainwater in a leaf on a surf trip. Or smoke cigarettes in the jungle while I wait for the tide to drop. I don’t want to eat rodents and lizards to survive or have to dodge roadside bombs to get barreled. That’s all terrifying and why we do interviews.
Don’t get me wrong, surfing will always need explorers to admire and to inspire us. I literally salute Timmy Turner when I see him and I hang on his every word because he’s seen some shit. (And I still can’t believe they killed that goat!) It’s a laudable existence wrought with hardships and setbacks and, I’d imagine, some pretty hearty rewards alongside all the danger, dysentery and goat murder. It’s just not for me all the time. And I want that to be OK.
I want it to be acceptable that when we leave home to go surf, it can sometimes be relaxing, or just plain fun as hell. It’s bad enough that we have to drag our boards through airports and pay fees higher than the price of a plane ticket. Do we really have to sleep in the mud after all that? Let’s agree that wandering to the far corners of the earth looking for that never-ending left is rad, but that looking for an air section and a Jacuzzi somewhere south of the border is pretty rad too. It’s all still surfing, right?
Ever since my first travel experience in Mexico, I’ve believed a surf trip is more about pleasure than about surviving the elements in search of some “ultimate ride.” I place just as much value in a pickup truck loaded with boards and ice chests blasting Turbonegro in the pre-dawn light as I do a lonely exit from a remote reef-break tube. Seriously. Give me a fun journey — peaky waves or walled, warm or cold, don’t matter. Girls we know, and maybe some we don’t. A roadside meal. I’ll even quaff a fruity cocktail when we get there, and find the nearest dance floor if it feels right. A bar on the beach that serves piña coladas? Sure, make it a double.
Let’s all admit that sounds splendid, and that all this surf travel really boils down to an excuse for us (surfers) to see the world and have a shitload of fun with our friends along the way. I think we can let our guard down for just this month and leave the exploring to the nomadic human range rovers like the Turners and the Longs. Let’s spend a month sticking to things we can do during a two-week hiatus from work or school. Real-life escapes, with surfboards. By all means, let’s surf our brains out, but just be sure our friends are watching and give us King of the Beach awards at the end of the day and throw us into the pool, hip-hip-hurray style. That’s why we made this issue: to remind ourselves to enjoy this lifestyle, because we’re pretty damn good at that.
And next month, who knows? We may feel the itch of our restless vagabond ways, and call Timmy Turner to see if he needs a companion in Sumatra to help fillet a gecko. We still know how to do that. We just don’t want to have to. —Travis Ferré