What if I told you there was an unknown sand-bottom right that is five kilometres long, breaks 20 metres off the beach, holds six foot of swell and has only been surfed by four people on the entire planet? Would you believe me?
What if good-ol’-having-a-year-off-Mick Fanning was one of those surfers, and he told you that this wave had him haulin’ arse like an F1 driver down a strip of sand that never seemed to end. Would you believe him?
“My friend showed me this one little clip of the wave and I could see how insane it was,” said Mick of the original connection. “He was like ‘Pssst Mick, check this out… I’ve got this wave and I really want you to surf it with us, but I’m scared it will leak’. I knew he wouldn’t give it up easily. He wanted to keep surfing it alone with his mate. It took some back and forth to convince him, but eventually my friend trusted us. And then it was ‘go’ in a second. One text and it was on!”
…It was perfect for me at this stage of my life, because I’m trying to find myself in places I never dreamed I’d get to. – Mick Fanning
A mad rush ensued. We lied like Judas about our destination, telling our nearest and dearest that we were going somewhere, anywhere other than where we were actually headed.
The anticipation was very, very exciting. It reminded me of days in Bali when the Tubes Bar and Sari Club were the places surfers met, returning from distant reefs with wild eyes and strong paddling backs to relax and talk story. Back then, unless you really trusted someone you never told them about where you’d been surfing, so you often spoke with forked tongue to try to keep a little perfection for yourself. I am not sure how that notion got lost in surfing culture, but I think it should be encouraged.
Similar secrecy was applied here and our friend was dribbling us information on a strict need-to-know basis. By the time Mick and I met at the location of our first flight, we were still speculating on the wave’s whereabouts. In fact, we were sure our first stop was a red herring, a trading post to meet and gather supplies before being told to follow faceless men in nameless directions beyond.
It was cool finding out about a wave that no one else knew. I loved that feeling. said Mick.
Unlike a man-made, engineered wave, which is planned and contoured and sensibly designed within an inch of its life, The Snake actually defies logic.
Everything about it comes at you from random angles. On a flat day you’d never pick it for what it was, hiding quietly in the sand.
As old as the Garden of Eden it’s very own apple is a product of the tide and the wind and the storms that originate thousands of miles away. It seduces swell-lines that never seem to find their resting place as they slither on down the line, up the coast, across the next border and into another ocean.
I like this thought, about Mother Nature and the role she plays in the lives of surfers in this day and age of machine waves and 24-hour connectivity – a time where a clip of a girl on a mal behind a speedboat with a surfing dog perched on the nose can garner 1. 5 million views and Likes and Shares and what-ahhhh-ever.
This ain’t no fucking wave pool! This is the real world. This is The Snake!
Stay tuned for more twists and turns…