The great American surf road-trip.
Anti-depressive news broke hours ago, buoying surfers who have become extremely morose in recent days. In a whirlwind of bummer, the World Surf League announced that Filipe Toledo will be crowned champion in 2024, premium subscription surf blog Stab got to work erasing the problematic word “Teahupo’o” from its archives in preparation and the Wall of Positive Noise grew that much higher.
But ho! What light through yon window breaks?
It is a 10-year-old boy and his 11-year-old sister stealing their mother’s car in Florida and making it over 200 miles in an attempt to make it to California and instantly becoming the heroes a beleaguered surfing community so desperately needs.
Police deputies stopped their car near Gainesville at 3:00 am after it had been reported stolen. They were prepared to face off with some hardened criminal though were shocked when a small pair of hands flashed through the window. The young ones were, thankfully, not harmed with their mother driving three hours to fetch them. Police marveled at what a good driver the boy was while surfers remembered that great American roadtrips used to be part of our culture.
When was the last time you tossed your board into the back, buckled up and really drove somewhere far away in order to surf? Ten-ish years ago, I was rented a car in Orlando and drove to every corner of the Sunshine State, sampling waves in New Smyrna, Pensacola, Tampa, even Miami.
Just me and the open road.
It was a wonderful time and, thanks to the brave work of that brother-sister duo, front of mind once again.
Exactly what we all needed.
But where would you go on your ideal great American surf roadtrip?
Or great Australian surf roadtrip, if you happen to be down under?
Did I ever tell you about the time that I was in Margaret River for the contest? So, I was in Margaret River for the contest, fourteen, or so, years ago, standing in the parking lot when the dustiest car rolled up. Bugs splattered across windshield etc. Chris Ward got out and declared that he had rented a car, after the Bells contest, and driven across the entire continent, arriving just before his heat.
Some 3500 miles.
Later, I learned that he had to drive the rental all the way back to Torquay because they wouldn’t accept it in Perth.
That’s the sort of pluck I’m talking about.