We wake up in the morning and put the coffee on. Take a look outside the window — yep, still windy — and stretch out last night’s beers. About 10 minutes later, Balaram and a new young woman emerge from his room and the girl scurries to the door, not making any eye contact, God forbid conversation, with the gauntlet of men. The 20 yards from Bal’s room to the Uber in the driveway is a marathon.

This is the third morning that this has happened with our same collective query: The f--k she come from? Like, the sheer logistics seem impossible, time-and space-wise. Did you see any girls out last night? I mean, I know there’s apps for this but we still can’t seem to comprehend how these girls keep showing up.

But Bal is like that. He’s subtly surprising. Different than a lot of pro surfers. And right under our noses. He’s from Long Island, for one. He parties in New York City, regularly. He’s not surfy, he’s not hipster; he wears Jordans. He’s got a diamond earring in both lobes. Name me another surfer with two diamond earrings. No, really…I’m listening.

At the moment, he’s the only goofyfooter in the group, which probably isn’t the easiest when all the crew wants to surf is slabby righthanders or windy right ramps. Which he also kinda doesn’t seem to have a problem with.

Even after a five-hour mega-session out at North Point, the rest of the crew is reasonably exhausted but Bal wants to squeeze in one more session before dark. He practically begs us for one, regardless of sharks.

Out at The Box on a treacherously shallow, fine, exposed low-tide evening, Bal was knifing into pits, behind the peak with astounding finesse and grit. On one in particular, he seemed to be steering his board — whilst pig-dogged — with his left hand on the rail like a f--king fighter pilot, the nose of his board piercing two different steps in the lurching tube before getting sneezed out.

“You see the way that c--t wrestled that thing?!” yelled Noa in disbelief. “He fully manhandled it!” Noa got a ringside view of the whole fight from the channel.

Typical Bal. You turn your back on him and he’s into something you didn’t even know was a thing. In the house there’s no kindling but he’s starting a fire in the hearth while we’re trying to figure out the Nespresso machine settings. I’m looking for the salt and Bal’s made eggs, Toad-in-the-Hole style.

Or in a local joint full of men and moms, we’ve sat down to eat our chicken Parm and look up and Bal’s at the bar next to a new babe and it’s difficult to say whether he’s chatting her up or vice versa. Regardless: The f--k she come from?

At a party out on the farm I watch the babes notice Bal and I can read the collective look on their faces: The f--k he come from?

Or out in the water and the boys are clicking full-rotator ‘oops off a perfect, albeit busy, little ramp and we look out and across the channel and Bal’s air-dropping into a slabby lefthander we weren’t so sure was rideable. Getting annihilated. Getting swallowed. Getting spit out. By himself. Wave after wave while everyone continues to wonder if the left is still a real thing. Wondering that, and where the f--k he came from.

I ask Bal about this understated, quiet cool and he is humble, shrugging off the question. “It probably helps that I’m from New York. It’s like a novelty, I think.”

But I disagree. Novelties are flimsy and without depth and Balaram is much more impressive and proven than “novel.”

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