Leave your crust behind!
As a younger boy I’d get very flustered when non-endemic venues took surf and ran it through their unsalted prisms. “Kooks!” my heart would scream… “that’s not how it feels! That’s not how it looks! Koooooks!”
I was a righteous zealot.
Now, as an older boy, I read these accounts and smile. Our glorious pursuit is so well-loved! The tent is so big! Oh, not The Inertia big, don’t get me wrong. What the hell is going on over there anyhow? But definitely big enough for Vogue.
Two cute friends decide to hop in a Jeep and take the great American surf road trip. Should we read? Of course!
It’s nearly midnight in Topanga Canyon. A layer of sea mist hangs over what would certainly be a starry night. In the amber glow of strung lights, my belly full of wild salmon, grilled vegetables, and strawberry rhubarb pie, I take my place on a pile of pillows next to my travel partner, my college roommate, a former T Magazine camping columnist, a broken-toed ballerina, a Shiba Inu, and a Formosan Mountain dog. The air is thick with salt, bright with sage and eucalyptus. A world champion longboarder—a woman whose surf films I have pored over since high school in order to teach myself the craft—has offered to give us a sound bath. She shimmers bells above our heads, then gently bats a gong. Our chests begin to hum with a subtle vibration, and we are pulled toward a unified energy. Soon there are singing bowls. The Mountain dog curls up beside me and rests its head on my stomach. We buzz together. This is a scene that, seven days prior would have been unimaginable to me. But a lot has happened since then.
Getting here was something of a schnapsidee—the word Germans use to describe a plan hatched under the influence of alcohol. Emilie Hawtin (my travel partner) and I hadn’t really seen each other in years—we’re old colleagues from our college days when we made pocket money as shop girls. We’ve kept peripherally in touch: generous Instagram likes and the occasional email. But over dinner one night and a few drinks, we discovered just how parallel our lives had run: that we had both dedicated our summers to surfing, that amid the perennially image-conscious fashion world we were hungry for the experience of wind in our hair, and, even more surprisingly, had also found ourselves with the same week in August free.
Why not answer that London-ian call of the wild with the most ad hoc of all vacations? The Great American Road Trip. Only ours would have a twist—we’d head to the California coastline in search of the best waves and surfers the Golden State had to offer, a few beautiful scenic views, and more than anything, an excuse to unplug from screens, desks, and good behavior.
And don’t you want to hop along, leaving your crust and jade behind? Just do! Right here!