PETER FREAKING MEL!
Of course, you must have seen it by now. “It” being arguably the greatest wave ever ridden on a surfboard by a human, man or women.
That is no exaggeration. However, we must also give a tip of the hat to Justine Dupont as well as she was whipped into a massive barrel at Jaws a few days later.
Sure, Pete’s a Mavericks local right up there with the best of ‘um and has put in countless hours at the spot leading up to this very climatic moment, but regardless of any of that it will be tough to beat this one anytime soon.
Well done to both.
Coincidentally, the last 12 months or so have produced quite a few “best ever” moments in surf. Nazare had what was called a best ever day. Sydney, Australia had two absolute banger swells leaving local Chris Lougher to bag what many are calling the best wave ever ridden on any of the Northern Beaches. The East Coast of the US flared up a couple of times, and obviously, Mavs just had its ”day of dreams” last week.
And, as we also know, Hawaii was going XXXL as we wrote this.
At least we had all of that to keep us occupied during the nightmare that was and is COVID-19.
Unfortunately, the 2020 Olympics, of which were rescheduled for 2021 due to COVID, are now again looking in doubt. According to a report in the New York Times that even though Japanese Olympic Federation officials are trying to keep a positive spin on it, each passing day closes the window just a little more.
Sadly, there are many, many athletes who have trained for this moment who are now having to come to grips with a very real possibility that these games just might not happen, as the calendar simply doesn’t allow for further postponement.
That part just sucks for those who might not get another crack at it.
And, finally, surfing was going to get its shot at the big time.
By all accounts this was going to be the silver bullet that would awaken surfing to the masses once and for all. Right all wrongs in the struggling surf apparel biz and generally put surfing back on the map as not only a sport but also as a legitimate cultural influence. Like somehow watching a sport they don’t understand in small surf of little consequence is going to be some kind of game-changing moment for a mostly non-surfing Olympic audience.
But while we waited to see what might become of the Olympics, something funny happened.
Surfing exploded on its own.
Try and find a quality wetsuit right now in the Northern Hemi. Or a custom surfboard just about anywhere? The demand for surfing products (ahem, real surfing products like boards and wetties) went absolutely crazy while all the other stuff that sells itself on the back of surfing – but is mostly nonessential to actual surfing – has remained flat at best. Much of it collecting dust in warehouses.
Surfing, somehow, actually had a few great moments during all of this.
Hopefully the celebration of some of that can help us enjoy each other a little bit more.