The first of a three-part series about lesser-known but nevertheless compelling surfers…
Beau Cram, now that surname rings a bell, don’t it?
In the nineteen-eighties, his daddy, Richard, was a top ten pro with a physique that made women dizzy and a cutback that was all butcher’s knife.
Richard, who is now fifty-eight, quit the tour in his twenties, said the sorta focus needed for success made people “really weird”, got a job and raised four boys Baden, 31, Dylan 29, and twins Jed and Beau, 25.
Hit the play button or scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see what game Beau plays.
Like all the Cram brothers, Beau’s surfing DNA is unmistakable. The power through turns. The drooping left hand.
What marks Beau’s career trajectory from other shredders, and it forms the first of a three-part series of short films of interesting surfers by unsung auteur Danny Johnson (and funded by wetsuit company O’Neill), is the way he zigged into a carpentry gig instead of zagging into pro surfing.
“I accepted the fact that it was going to be a fucking struggle to get to the very top and there were a lot more paths to take,” says Beau who, at three-thirts in the afternoon has just finished his day on the tools.
Daddy Richard was smart enough to persuade all of his kids to get a trade. Let ’em chase dreams but, you know, listen kiddo, you gotta get something solid behind you.
“I spent my whole school life, as most young competitive surfers do, just psyched on surfing and not paying attention to the teachers,” says Beau, who says finishing his apprenticeship was a “slog” but it means he has a freedom, and the cash, to chase waves.
“I try work half of the year and go away for the other half,” he says.
And, says Beau, “It’s a life skill. You’re learning step by step, how to efficiently manage your time, and how to create something on a budget. Going from being a boy in year twelve to a full-time job, it’s pretty honest.”
Beau says working on building sites makes him insanely keen to get into the water at the end of the day; pro surfing has the opposite effect. Your love becomes your job.
Loosed from the shackles of competition means Beau can ride whatever gives him that flicker of sweet kinship.
Right now, his room is filled with surfboards, ranging from five-four to six-ten, shaped by the American Chris Christenson, who learned his craft at the side of the Hawaiian Dick Brewer.
It ain’t homogenous, by any stretch.
From pistols to guns.
“Thrusters, long fishes, fishes, a few finless boards. It’s a joy to experiment with,” he says.
This six-minute short was filmed in South Africa, Mexico, Western Australia and New Zealand.
“All pretty fucken nice trips,” says Beau.