The great Jamie Brisick explores!
Today Donald J. Trump is being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America and I only mention because he is very rich. If he surfed where would he go? How would he go? Would he buy property at The Ranch? Jump off a yacht? Go the the Four Seasons Maldives?
So many options! Thankfully the great Jamie Brisick explores some of them in today’s Wall Street Journal. I don’t mention Mr. Brisick here nearly as much as I should. He is one of the few surf voices that matter. An artist. And I will mention him more moving forward.
In any case, let’s read the beginning of his Journal piece. It is helpful and good.
AS I CLIMBED out of the bathtub-warm Indian Ocean and onto the deck of a motorboat, one man grabbed my surfboard, another handed me a bottle of chilled water and a third doused me in fresh water then handed me a fluffy white towel. Before I finished drying off, a fourth man offered me a plate of sliced cold coconut. I felt like a cross between a prizefighter in his corner and a starlet between takes on a film.
The Four Seasons Maldives.
It wasn’t always like this. As a lifelong surf traveler and a professional surfer from 1986 to 1991, I’ve spent untold hours sleeping on couches, dining at 7-Elevens and getting stuck on potholed dirt roads in poor countries. That was par for the course—surf trips meant roughing it. But evidence is mounting that surfing’s demographics have shifted. Shiny new Audis and Range Rovers have replaced the rusty pickups and vans that once filled the parking lots at popular breaks in San Diego and Montauk, N.Y. An investment banker friend recently referred to the “Wall Street surf season” without irony (meaning spring days when, thanks to daylight savings, stockbrokers can race to the surf before nightfall). There is a Middle Eastern prince who can tell you which Oahu North Shore spot to hit at high tide when a 6-foot swell rolls in from the west.
“About 10 years ago the market started shifting,” said Ross Phillips, founder of Tropicsurf, a surf outfitter that runs bespoke tours in the Maldives, Indonesia, Australia, Fiji and other countries. “A good portion of our clients were baby boomers who’d been in the office for 20 years and come back to surfing through the popularity of longboarding,” he said, referring to the larger, more stable surfboards. “At the end of our surf trips I’d ask ‘How can we improve our service?’ They’d say ‘air conditioning’ or ‘fillet steak instead of rice and curry every night.’ There was this call to make the quality of the trip better.”