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Beach Grit

Créme: Nias Spills its Guts

Michael Ciaramella

by Michael Ciaramella

Is there a wave more serenely tubular?

Diego Santos is living the endless winter. He splits his year between archipelagos Hawaiian and Indonesian, clocking the majority of his water time between two unlike breaks: Off the Wall and Lagundri Bay.

Off the Wall is a brutally straight reef that forces a surfer to commit heinous maneuvers like the “doggy-door” to escape from its greedy clutches. The prize for a completed ride is 20 waves on the head and the opportunity to introduce yourself to a few rogue lava rocks. For every person that returns smiling from a session poor-man’s Backdoor, Beachgrit makes a dollar. Need I say more?

Lagundri is the anti-Off-the-Wall. The bigger, the souther, and the longer period the swell, the more uniform Lagundri becomes. When it’s on, every wave offers a clean entry and exit. There’s a channel. A real live channel where you are entirely safe from death and destruction. The crowd can be dense but does not elicit the chilling fear of bloodlines Rothman, Alexander. It’s also a cheap place to go.

Of course I’ve never actually been to Nias, so it could just be tube-is-always-greener syndrome.

Still, we can agree that Diego is one lucky motherfucker. His main sponsor is FreeSurf, a corny Brazilian beachwear brand that apparently rakes in enough real$ to keep his ass tubed 365.

Which begs the question: is corny Brazilian beachwear the surfing industry’s secret to revival? Will Diego Santos lead us back to the days of luxuriant prosperity by way of multinational sea-spelunking?

Probs not, but here’s a nice video.