Happy Ending: The No-Look

Wade Goodall Photo: Woody Gooch Wade Goodall brought to you by a photographer with an amazing name. Photo: Woody Gooch

What you see isn’t always what you get.

You pull up to your spot. Warm coffee (or iced latte) in hand, heat (or AC) blasting in your face, perfectly dry wetsuit (or boardshorts) wafting the odor of piss and seawater in your nose. You know you want to surf. But you don’t. Not right away at least. Instead, you get of your car in your flannel and your beanie and stand there looking at the waves with your artisan coffee mug — is that from Anthrolopogie? — and you look at it and say hmmmmmmmm.


Don’t you hmmmmmmmm at me. You’re looking at three foot waves with the somehow condescending perplexity of a young adult male buying wine. Let’s face it — you don’t what tannin means and your movie night is really just the first fifteen minutes of Billy Maddison and then sex. And let’s face it — you’re going to go surfing anyway. So just buy the $7.99 Pinot and don’t waste your time contemplating the conditions. Just no-look it.

The no-look doesn’t give you a chance to conceive excuses in the parking. The no-look doesn’t care that it’s onshore, or too crowded, or too high. The no-look forces you to do exactly what you came here to do: surf. So don’t bother walking down the trail, or asking that guy you always nod at (haven’t got his name just yet). Don’t worry about what that wave four miles north might be doing. Instead, go surfing. It’ll be fun. Trust us.

Here, Wade Goodall turns the other cheek and abandons expectations in what amounted to be a peacefully devoted image.