Corban Campbell. Photo: Gabriel Abrego
Imagine if you had to eat at the same restaurant for twenty years straight. Even if you never ordered the same dish twice in a row, you’d still get bored. And so you’d try and find something new, exploring the menu like a married man explores the curves and crevices of his wife only to be greeted by features all too familiar. The server (let’s call her Stacy) would bring your food and you’d feel obliged to exchange a smile despite your severe lack of excitement — it’s not her fault you’re eating at this restaurant everyday, it’s my shitty metaphor’s. Meanwhile, Stacy’s just trying to support a newborn baby without the help of that douchebag Troy who knocked her up at last year’s prom in the back of his ’04 Subaru, but now claims that he’s “really focusing on his DJ’ing.” Easy Avicci, you’re five years too late and that earing is stupid.
Well, surfing can be like this restaurant. The ocean may serve up something new everyday, but no matter how it’s dressed up, you’ve had that meal in some form. You could surf a different board, or a new spot, or maybe even try going left for once — but doesn’t it feel like you’ve been here before? I’m not being cynical, or saying that surfing loses its appeal at the point of “too much” experience, but every now and then something completely offbeat is in order. Because in surfing, as with most things, new experiences appear exponentially more attractive when the taste of routine becomes dry and bland.
So indulge in the obscure. An honest person would shy away at the shamed thought of infidelity, but surfers hold no monogamous commitment to a certain place or practice. We can explore, try new things, and dance with all of surfing’s strange and foreign forms.
Here, Corban Campbell flirts with the weird in the Caribbean. And regardless if it’s simply novelty, aren’t those unfamiliar curves strangely arousing? —Dayton Silva