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Beach Grit

Watch: Welcome to Barrel Heaven!

Michael Ciaramella

by Michael Ciaramella

Aritz and friends find the Indian Ocean sphincter!

You know the type of waves I like — looney toobs with minimal chance of death or dismemberment. That’s why this video, a short film about Aritz Aranburu and friends at Lagundri Bay, stood out to me. Nias is barrel heaven, as it radiates the ideal amount of fear-inducing power and wave-of-your-life potential.

The clip starts by chronicling the small days in anticipation of a major swell. Aritz and Leo are ripping, snagging a few clean tubs, but it’s clearly just a crescendo for the impending storm. The video starts to peak around the halfway point when the waves hit six-to-eight feet, and it doesn’t look back from there.

But this made me think, wouldn’t it be nice if swells came up as slowly as they died off? It seems that in most corners of the world, swells fill in quickly, with the first day of waves being the strongest, and then slowly back off over the following 72 hours.

And how stressful is that? The waves go from 0-100 overnight, and it takes a certain type of person to be prepared for it.

Usually by the end of the big day you start to build a little confidence, but by that time the sun has nearly set and the biggest, best waves of the swell have come to pass. Then you spend the next few days surfing the dying end of the swell, just wishing you could have the big day back as your confidence has finally peaked.

In a perfect world, swells would come up slowly and steadily over a three day period. Then, when your balls are hanging at a sufficient depth, the waves would max-out and you’d capitalize on the peak of the swell instead of shitting yourself in the channel.

Anyways, enjoy the clip! It’s the best barrel-riding you’ll see this week.