I’ve already spoken on the poor town of Torquay. And how sleepy it must be as the world’s best are in bed by 8 each night in anticipation of classic Bells Beach. And boy are they getting classic Bells Beach lulls. But I am not here to gripe. I am here to sing.
Sing praise of Conner Coffin who was once let into a bar in Huntington Beach with me by a bouncer who said, “This is the worst fake ID I’ve ever seen…have a good time, kid.”
Classic. And now, all grown up he’s laying down classic Bells carves, smoking Mick, Jordy and Parko like he’s in an NSSA heat with Spencer Regan, Tonino Benson and Kai Barger (all former Conner competition). And it makes sense that Conner do well here. Conner goes to Hawaii (has a house at Pipe) and is not afraid to surf big Off the Wall alone. This has always been a key difference to me in dudes who surf without the same anxieties as many others. It’s a fucking terrifying thing to do and the likes of Mick Fanning, Kieren Perrow, Alex Gray and Michel Bourez are the type of surf pigs you see doing this. Conner too. And it carries over into heat surfing and big right-handers narrated by Pottz and Turpel and Raspberry. Nerves are calm and lines drawn are extra long. No fidgeting. No airs necessary (Conner doesn’t really do airs, nor does he need to). But I must say it’s nice to see Conner do well despite his insistence on playing in strange Hootie and the Blowfish cover bands all over Santa Barbara. Hopefully this surfing thing will keep his mind off that…
Other than that, it’s been a nightmare watching this contest for someone with little time and a pretty girl across from him at dinner because lulls and on and off calls keep one consistently confused and anxious. I’ve yet to watch a full and complete wave live due to inactivity and my new minute-long Instagram videos. But I’d be lying if I wasn’t sitting here on Friday staring at a fridge full of beer and a week of magazine-making in the can hoping I get to watch Conner carve a bell out of these mushy faces today.—Travis