Exploration has always been an integral part of surfing – the constant desire to find and surf new waves is written in our DNA – as surfers we have an insatiable curiosity to know what waves may be found beyond the furthest point. And most importantly, are they rideable? Much of the legend and lore of our beloved pastime is built on these tales of discovery, and like any oral history, embellishment and exaggeration are woven together with fact.
From the beginning, one of surfing’s defining myths that put the very notion of surf exploration into popular consciousness, was obfuscated with artistic license. The iconic discovery of the seemingly endless peelers of Cape St. Francis (the defining sequence of Bruce Brown’s canonical 1966 film The Endless Summer) is given a full dramatic workup, with Brown portraying the films protagonists, Mike Hynson and Robert August, as having to endure Lawrence of Arabia-esque travails along their journey through the desert – with their ultimate arrival to a pre-modern surfing nirvana. While Hynson and August did in fact discover and surf the perfectly tapered right-hand pointbreak, the cinematic retelling of the journey was a work of fiction.
As acclaimed surf-historian Matt Warshaw states, in his comprehensive survey a History of Surfing, Brown’s tendency for hyperbole is easily forgiven;
In the editing room, Brown arranged events to highlight a universally shared surfing dream. A dream that occasionally comes true. It wasn’t deceit. It was a gift.
Fact-checking be damned, The Endless Summer at its core was a celebration of what each of us as surfers search for; the thrill of a new wave and the joy in recounting that experience with our friends, or in Brown’s case the entire world.
For the vast majority, circumnavigating the globe on a multi-year search for untouched perfection just isn’t in the cards. The elemental desire to seek new waves must be supplanted by experiencing the familiar in different ways, or narrowing our search to something closer to home. Here in the islands, close to home takes on another meaning, as the Hawaiian archipelago is blessed with some of the most varied and perfect surf breaks on the globe, all just a quick hop away. In this issue, we do just that, dropping in to one of the best swells of the season at Maui’s historic Honolua Bay.
Regardless of what stretch of coast you call home, discovery is within reach. It may be as literal as looking around that furthest corner, or it could simply be challenging yourself to a new experience; experimenting with different equipment, entering a comp for the first time, or charging into bigger surf. The roads to self-discovery are just as numerous as the plots on a map. Whichever path you take, be sure to add a little flair in retelling the tale.