Man surfs on skis; man snowboards on surfboard. It's extraordinarily fascinating!
If you wanted a word to define the current trend in surf, maybe absurd would fit. If this seems odd or exaggerated, let’s examine the evidence.
So far this year, we’ve seen the Hawaiian Jamie O’Brien set on fire at Teahupoo, Robbie Maddison ride the same place on a motorcycle and, as you’ll soon see, Chuck Patterson surf on a pair of skis and Quirin Rohleder surf powder snow on his regular surfboard.
The German label Bogner, who make civilised, if slightly pricey, sportswear, are behind this surf vs snow jam. Chuck Patterson is a SUP, ski, kite, snowboard guy and he is filmed surfing on snow skis. To compound our awe, Chuck appears unnaturally at ease in the waves.
The greatest challenge he said, “was the fact that my feet were steadily tied to the skis and the binding wouldn’t open up after a fall in the water…”
“When I was surfing on the wave and wanted to make a turn I instinctively used my sticks which is basically silly but I instantly had the feeling that it was much easier. That was pretty much an aha-experience.”
Quirin Rohleder is a Bavarian who learned to surf in Munich’s river wave. An old pal of mine, I can, and will, personally attest to Quirin’s skill in the ocean. My earliest etchings of memory are his frontside spins defecating symbolically on my Gold Coast-honed cutbacks when we both lived in Hossegor, France.
Here, Quirin greases good powder on his regular shortboard.
“It was almost like snowboarding,” he reports, “but with a less firm stand and a totally different drive.”
Do you like gimmicks? Is it restorative? Does it add something necessarily… unserious… to surfing?