So you’re 16 and an up-and-coming professional surfer from San Clemente…so what? There are a lot of those. Like a lot. T Street looks like an Olympic training ground of fluorescent wetsuits these days. So what are you suppose to do to stand out in the surf world? Is it the QS grind three to the beach and a reverse? (No it’s not) And it seems to be the clear choice of most kids these days. But for Gunner Day there is another option. An opportunity that only a few kids his age have: Go to Indo, shoot with the best, and get better at surfing.
And Gunner does this, with his dad. He hangs with Nate Lawrence and gets photos, and escapes the procedural surfing of So Cal. We recently drove, flew, drove some more, hiked a bit, took the rental car down some dodgy four-wheel drive tracks with mud pit exclamation points at the end.
We eventually ended up at a magical little bay filled with German tourists (none of whom, to our astonishment, seemed to notice the left hand slab out front winding away). Allegedly there are Tiger sharks and unmentionable things lurking in the channel — which was more like a rip current — but no one was out. There wasn’t a ‘QS beach break contest site for thousands of miles, just Gunner having a solo session away from the stress of chasing results, ratings and abiding to the norm of the surf industry.
The sun gave away to a tropical storm and an interesting photographic moment presented its self in the rain. I snapped a few pics while caught in the rip got pretty creeped out from what ever was swimming below and decided to call it a day. We got some clips had a few surfs in between chatting up the Euros on the beach. Then hit the road once again. But this time in search of some solid food, maybe buffet lunch and relaxing spa day.
There’s plenty of time to chase ‘QS rating but for today it seems like Gunner made the right call. Hang with the boys, surf empty waves, relax in a foreign country and call it work. Get a shot. Learn. And surf good waves. Gunner wins. —Timmy Ridenour