"Something's not quite right."
I will now tell you a secret, surf journalism is not an honest profession and surf journalists are not honest professionals. Invite one anywhere, third class, feed hot dogs and tap water for meals, provide shared accommodation with underpaid day laborers and you will receive, in return, the most glowing review of whichever hotel, boat, camp is being junketed.
So starving for recognition, so famished for trinkets, handouts from those who tug the levers of surf power is he (or Jen See) that flowery praise is the only thing that flows.
It was with much shock, then, turning to pride, that I read Tim Baker’s bold, scathing description of new wave technology Surf Lakes as it opened for the press.
Baker, you certainly know, is considered by most to be the best surf journalist in the biz, an environmentalist of some note, and began the piece in typically ebullient fashion:
It all began with the proverbial pebble dropped in a pond.
Eight years ago, Aaron Trevis was skipping rocks with his kids when he threw a larger rock and watched the ripples radiate out from it and tiny waves peel along the bank of the pond, like countless others have before him.
Before deftly breaking out the knives:
They are producing sets of waves every six minutes, but there are frequent delays while they tinker with the machinery or attend to glitches in the system. When a crack in the lake’s cement floor begins turning the water from an aqua blue to a muddy brown we are encouraged to help lug rocks from an on-site quarry into a trailer to help plug the cracks.
And delivering a coup de grace:
By the end of the second day, it appears we may have pushed the Surf Lakes prototype to its limits. There’s a lengthy delay in the afternoon to attend to some mechanical issue, and when we eventually resume, after only a couple of sets, Occy sounds the alarm that something’s not quite right. The large concrete tower that the air compressor sits on top of looks dangerously off kilter. The force of the swells has knocked it off its footings and we are asked to clear the water immediately.
It is doubtful that Baker will be invited anywhere for a long time but fans of truth and honesty rejoice this morning for a brave surf journalist has finally been found.
Long live Tim Baker.