Is the confetti out of your hair, yet, after celebrating the winds of political change a’ blowin’ through Australia or is it still there dusting your crown, bejeweling your pillow? Exciting, in any case, and nothing better than waking up in the morning after a big night, sliding feet into slippers, torso into linen robe, heading downstairs to French press a cup of dark roast coffee then retreating straight back up to bed, New York Times tucked under arm, coffee in hand.
The good life.
And this morning, celebrants will be treated to a loving profile of the big wave bodysurfer from Brazil Kalani Lattanzi. The twenty-eight-year-old was made very famous, to our watery kind, for bodysurfing Jaws. Living legend Kelly Slater, who needs absolutely no introduction, called it “one of the greatest rides in the surf world.”
A compliment without parallel.
Lattanzi, who, has bodysurfed giants in Puerto Escondido, Arica and Nazare to name but a few, told the paper of record, “When I started bodysurfing, I wondered if it was possible for someone to bodysurf a big wave. Then I started to grow up and I realized, ‘OK, I am the one who is going to do this.’”
The story continues:
Lattanzi prepares like a professional athlete in order to meet the demands of his niche. He eats clean and cross-trains, lifting weights and doing yoga in order to sustain the many hours of swimming, negotiate huge waves and withstand their impact. He now has his sights set on Mavericks, a notoriously dangerous wave in Northern California that can reach heights over 60 feet, which he hopes to tackle this year.
“It takes a real tranquil mind. It takes incredible strength. Incredible lungs. Aqua Gorilla is what we all call him because he’s so strong in the water,” (fellow big wave bodysurfer Ryan) Masters said. “He’s the ultimate waterman.”
When Masters tried to conquer Mavericks in 2016, he bruised a lung, fractured his neck, broke his collarbone and seven ribs, and was airlifted to Stanford Hospital. “Mavericks is just a different animal that’s unlike any wave on the planet,” Masters said. “It’s incredibly savage.”
After much Gray Lady discussion about the savagery etc., surfing’s finest and only historian Matt Warshaw is contacted and declares, “It looks so much scarier, not having a board, but if you’re a strong swimmer, and have fins on, and know the lineup and have a high degree of big-wave knowledge, you’re better off than being on a board with no fins.”
It looks a lot harder than it is? Way to take the air out of the room, Warshaw. Sheesh.