THETDWS: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

posted by / Magazine / January 19, 2012

This Has Everything To Do With Surfing

All things move toward their end. The cheers of the coliseum fade. The pyramid’s mysteries stand unearthed. And here in Indonesia, secret spot #555 ends up in another boardshort catalogue. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

There are nerds on the reef. Guys who’ve never seen the beach are buzzing an RC copter above the lineup. Around this once holy ground. This former mecca of stoke. This fabled secret spot. On location for a funeral.

The copter has a camera. Swivel system 7D filming, WT super pros dominating a lineup formerly proud with crusty tube junkies and a ragged tribe of local converts. Their time has passed, and yet they remain. Staring awestruck in horror as their temple becomes a soundstage. Booked online. Serviced by speedboats. Lights. Camera. Action.

We arrive 30 people deep. Just another surf trip. Our convoy of rented vans and hired drivers bumps onto the beach like conquering heroes. The natives don’t even throw a rock or slash a tire. It’s too late. The war is over. The good guys lost. Now let’s market some boardshorts already.

Six pros. Seventeen cameramen. Marketing dudes, boardshort fluffers and the copter squad. Not the horsemen of the apocalypse, just another plague of locust. The locals are frantically assembling more housing and sending scooters over the hill for beer. Lots of beer. Umbrellas for the falling sky. Resin for our steeds. The pros drop in on locals and throw shakas back at them in the barrel. We’ll edit that out later, and everyone will think we’re here alone. Living the dream. Paradise on a popsicle stick. Where do I sign up? And how much for those boardshorts?

You know this spot I’m talking about. Last year it was used in 51 percent of all surf movies, ad campaigns and blog posts. This year it’s just another overbooked soundstage. The pioneers grumble into warm Bintangs and blame the Velcro Curtain, but it’s really their own damn fault. Somebody told somebody. Somebody always does. And somebody can’t be trusted. Nobody can. The only secret is the one that doesn’t exist. The only real pioneer is the one who keeps moving.

You know this spot I’m talking about, so let’s just leave it at that. We wouldn’t want to trigger another Mexico Incident.

What’s that? You didn’t hear about the Mexico Incident? OMG I shouldn’t even be repeating this, but apparently a major surf magazine printed a feature totally naming this spot in Mexico where the other 49 percent of all surf media was shot last year. The locals shit hot wax. They banded together and blasted this bold edict decreeing that all magazine trips, team riders, filmers, photogs, team managers and boardshort-fluffers were hereby banned for a “time out” period of two years. No más, gringos. I treasure that email.

You should totally go there right now. A punter’s paradise. A flashback to that magical time before mags and pros and Chinese boardshorts ruined everything, right? Go there, not here.

But here, at this spot, the locals have yet to see the error of their industry. Blinded by opportunity. The shining sun. The pumping waves. Ding repair is booming. The beer run is returning. Paradise on a popsicle stick…endless beneath this dying star.

Sunburned and noodle-armed, we toast golden god Internet for always being right. We toast the nerds and their whirly-bird 7D thrill-ride moneyshots. We toast the corporate credit card that got us here and bought us beer. To boardshort fluffers, dial-a-speedboat and Third World ding repair.

We toast. To the first man to spill his guts. To draw a map. To whisper, “just don’t tell anyone else.” Of course we won’t. Never could have done it without you. And the waves were really fun today. A toast to waves. A toast to change. A toast to all things moving toward their end. To nowhere. To nothing. To us.

The sun is setting. The sky is falling. The pioneers keep moving. The rest of us keep following their footprints in the sand. Whispers on the water. Tears on the tideline. The only true secrets remain untold.—Nathan Myers

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