Borrowed boards: episode ten: the aftermath

UNLEARNING. At the end of the trip, the end of the experiment–47,501 miles flown, 11 nations stamped in the passport, and 29 surfboards borrowed-it all came back to what Yoda said. The proclamation to unlearn was literally written on board Number 10–Richie Fitzgerald’s Yoda-airbrushed quad, adorned with the words of a Jedi Master: “You must unlearn what you have learned.”

5_1At first, I absorbed this pop-culture koan at the most basic level: In order to master the strange crafts strangers loaned me, I had to forget what I knew about surfing conventional stock thrusters, and instead embrace each board for what it was. True enough, I suppose. But by the time the trip was over, I came to the realization that the process of unlearning had gone much deeper than that. I peeled back the layers further, all the way to the beginning. I questioned that foundational pact I’d made with myself soon after my first wave–the decision to treat surfing as a pursuit, instead of a pastime. I’d worked for a quarter-century to master surfing, whatever the hell that meant. It took borrowing boards to teach me that the more I worked to master it, to control it, the farther I traveled from the heart of surfing.

Like many of us, I’d been suffering under the tyranny of performance surfing for decades. Toiling, tinkering, schleppin9 all this baggage, literal and metaphorical, every time I set out to find waves. Trying to be a better surfer than I was. Before the whole Borrowed Boards saga, my coffin weighed in at 68 pounds. I took it everywhere with me. Four or five boards, wetsuits, leashes … I’d push it to the edge of the weight limit each time, without even wondering if I actually needed all that crap.

020915_africa_thumb4All that before I even set foot in the water. From there, things deteriorated further as I suffered under the weight of my own expectations. I acted as if surfing was something quantifiable and measurable, instead of the slippery, ephemeral dance that it is. All around the world, you see surfers destroyed by this delusion. They’re the ones who scream obscenities when they miss a wave or bog a rail–those sad souls who are driven toward frustration by the misconception that some grand accounting of stoke will occur, that eventually all our good waves will be quantified in Huey’s Ledger, with another column of deductions taken for each misstep. What egos we have. If there is a God, it’s doubtful she cares how well we surf.

All we can do is try to learn, or unlearn. When I showed up in Ireland, my second destination sans surfboards, I had only my carry-on. My wife and I spent a day meandering along coastal roads, immersing ourselves in the environment instead of simply immersing ourselves in the sea. The Irish coast is consistent only in its variety–but the particular peninsula we were exploring wasn’t supposed to have any waves. I’d happily forgotten about surfing. Yet when we rounded a hairpin-turn high above a white, sandy beach, there they were: waves.

After Greece, clean offshore ankle-biters looked epic. Three surfers were out. I wanted nothing more than to go surfing, but where would I find a board to borrow when the only surfers I’d seen in 100 miles were all in the lineup? I waited patiently, hoping one of them would take a break. No dice. They weren’t going anywhere. So finally I did the only logical thing–I swam out into the lineup to bodysurf a few and explain my plight.

Another thing I learned along the way: When you travel without surfboards, every surfer becomes your new best friend. Suddenly you’re not as concerned about who’s a kook and who isn’t–there’s no benefit in passing judgment when you don’t have a damn board to ride. When I reached the outside, I introduced myself. They were German students, a shade past pure beginners. I pleaded my case, and they listened dutifully. “I’m traveling around the world without surfboards, it’s like a project, an experiment …” After some discussion in their harsh native tongue, the least adept among them handed over his best longboard, and stood shivering stoically in the shorebreak as I had a quick session. “I’m not expert,” he told me diplomatically. “Perhaps by watching, I may learn something.”

I suspect they taught me more than I taught them. I envied their innocence, and found myself caught up in it. For these neophytes, it didn’t matter what they were riding, how good they surfed, or how much our little Irish peaks did or did not resemble Pipeline. They didn’t yet know enough about surfing to be disappointed in what they didn’t have. What was it Jesus said? The kooks shall inherit the Earth? I’m not a religious man, but I think it went something like that.

Borrowed boards

The Germans’ generosity proved to be the rule, instead of an exception. What was it about surfers that caused them to be so giving to another surfer, across language barriers, across cultural bounds, despite the negative outcomes that were possible? It never ceased to surprise me. In country after country, surfer after surfer loaned me not just beaters but brand-new boards. Like the guy in Portugal, a Spanish surfer in a motor home, who gave me his white, gleaming, ding-less custom 6’2″, and proceeded to literally take a nap in his van while I surfed. After a 45-second conversation in broken Spanish, he somehow trusted me enough to assume that not only would I return his board without damage, but that I’d bother returning it at all … instead of, you know, driving away with it and trading it for some Moroccan Hash. Why on earth would he have that faith in me? If someone walked up to you in a crowded parking lot, and told you they were on vacation, traveling around the world without a cell phone, would you offer to loan them your iPhone for a couple hours, and then take a nap in your car?

imagesEvery surfer I asked to loan me a board let me borrow one. My complete lack of faith in both humanity and surfers went disproven, from Sumatra to Guatemala. In the end, I had to admit that those maudlin hack journalists might have been right when they pontificated about surfers worldwide being a “tribe” brought together by their love of the ocean. For 20 years, all that sentimental, spiritual crap had made me want to prematurely vomit up my cocktail. Surfing isn’t some religion, and if my forays into the dark heart of the surf industry had taught me one thing, it was that great surfers are not enlightened beings.

So how to explain this act of faith I witnessed time and again, as surfer after surfer allowed me to share waves with their friends, on their boards? Perhaps the surf industry was some great bonfire-those closest to the flames are inevitably immolated, while those at the periphery warm themselves comfortably by virtue of their distance from the heat. On some levels, this hypothesis proved true: groms in Sumatra and knee-riding beginners in Greece believed in the fairytales the surf industry spins implicitly, without cynicism or doubt. They were either like children who still believed in Santa Claus, or they were much smarter than me. Honestly, it was hard to say one way or the other. One thing was certain: These beginners believed in surfing more than I did and they had more fun doing it.

ill07bOne such devotee was Lino. I met him at a pension in the South of Portugal, when I was again called upon to teach someone something about surfing. Lino was a teen on his annual father-son surf trip. Lino’s dad was a windsurfer who learned to surf late in life, once his kids started. They lived in Barcelona, near small but surfable Mediterranean waves. After a number of surf trips to Spain, Portugal, and South Africa, Lino’s dad proudly admitted that his son had passed him by in the water. At dinner, Lino and I talked surfing. He politely asked me a million questions, and soon enough his father had offered me his board, hoping that Lino might learn something by surfing with me.

The next morning, we stumbled upon a little left cove. Small but hollow waves broke in that wonderful clear water characteristic of the cranny bays where the Med meets the Atlantic. Despite carloads of surfers at the beach around the corner, the lineup was empty. Lino and I talked strategy before the session. I found myself awkwardly playing Yoda. Once in the water, our solo-sesh didn’t last for long, as a carload full of Brit surfers pulled up. Lino looked crushed. As is my habit, I ignored the insta-crowd and took set waves out from under them. Lino impressed me thoroughly by following suit–paddling around the hapless Brits and taking every last scrap. Impressionable youth! The Brits grumbled among themselves as we held down the peak. Lino had been too shy to catch a wave when they first paddled out. But in the space of an hour I’d seemingly created a monster. Perhaps I was Darth Vader and not Yoda, passing on the dark side to young Lino. “You need to catch lots of waves to learn,” I told him. “Just ignore them and their whining. It’s not like they’re locals …” So Lino dug his teeth into the questionable Social Darwinism of surfing.

13391110934_f9fe29eda2_oI’d left my boards at home, but I’d brought my Ripper Imperialism with me. If I’d taught Lino anything about surfing, it certainly wasn’t to be generous to other surfers, as Lino and his father had been to me. When surfing is just about having fun, it’s easier to be generous. Maybe this accounted for some of the boards I was able to borrow–lots of the generosity l encountered came from unskilled surfers–but I was also loaned boards by hometown heroes and Spanish WQS warriors. Perhaps the globalization of stoke is responsible for their generosity. Surfing seems cool to them not just because it’s fun, but because they haven’t yet figured out how uncool surfing really is. They view surfing as the Japanese do baseball, as Russians view Levis, as Borat did Pamela Anderson. Surfing is a concept as much as an activity. It’s a physical manifestation of that mythical American Freedom, the thing all citizens of other nations secretly yearn for, even if they look clown their noses at it like the French do. When they are in the water, these foreign surfers are free. These Muslim kids from Sumatra, these debt-crushed unemployed 20-somethings from Athens, these Guatemalan Indios with no economic options. Surfing stands in stark contrast to their normal lives, and it offers a chance to be a part of something, to believe in something. They want to share it.




PILLAR I: THE DECISION: Either a stroke of genius or the first mistake–but there’s just one way to find out

The Road to Osaka: Dane and Dillon’s Asian audible

By Leo Maxam



“Let’s go to Japan!” Dane Reynolds and Dillon Perillo are still dripping wet, boards in hand. Kai Neville is putting his camera gear away. The three of them are gathered around the car, overlooking this deserted Indonesian bay. They’ve just decided to make an unexpected detour. The boys will have to hurry if they want to make it to Bali in time for the red-eye flight to Osaka. They burn rubber back to the hotel, pack in record time, wolf down some lunch, and leave this quiet corner of the world in a cloud of dust.

For these guys, choosing where to surf is like a global game of poker. Don’t like the waves you were dealt? Trade them in for a new hand on the other side of the planet. In this case, they’re swapping jungle, fried rice and Bintang for skyscrapers, sushi and Asahi. The only problem with having a worldwide buffet of surf spots constantly at your disposal is making up your mind about where to go next. This time Dane knows what he’s after: big-city lights, karaoke bars, bullet trains–but most of all, a return to the Japanese river-mouth where he claims to have caught the best wave of his life. This typhoon swell is looking even bigger than the last one. It’s nice to know exactly what you want.


It’s come down to this: searching Wannasurf. com, surfing’s premier forum for desk-job daydreamers. We’re tracking a rumor of a fickle, seldom-surfed wave tucked deep in the straits between two Indonesian islands. But all we can find are grainy home videos of German surfers stink-bugging their way across small waves, with captions like, “Gunther gets the great wave, summer 2010!” We are officially grasping at straws.

The dilemma: The swell is too big for the playful waves out front, but not big enough to awaken the below-sea-level barrel nearby. For two days we’ve been calling connections on neighboring islands for reports and checking forecasts for swells in other oceans altogether. Of particular interest is a beast of a typhoon shaping up in the western Pacific near Japan. Do we stick around in hopes that the swell will once again get big enough for the dredging left-hand pits we scored a few days ago, or hit the road in search of greener pastures?

In an attempt to summon an answer from the surfing gods, we paddle out for a full-moon surf in front of the hotel. After a few Bintangs it seems like a good idea. But when Kai collides with a floating log and takes a huge chunk out of his board, we figure our offering is complete, and return to the bar to wait for a sign. We all wake up the next morning a bit hung over. Aside from ordering Bloody Marys, we are still unclear about what to do next.

Even earlier

“Well, needless to say, we’ve got a lot of work to do.” This is Dane’s conclusion after watching John John’s performance in Lost Atlas. Dane and Dillon are perched at the bar, watching Kai’s latest film for the third time this morning. They keep replaying the final chapter, which Kai filmed at this same bay just a few months ago, and after watching John John’s massive alley-oop approximately 20 times, we decide to go surfing around the corner.


Dane paddles out on a chubby 5’6″ with no rocker. It’s one of the biggest swells of the year at one of Indo’s most dangerously shallow reef breaks. Dillon, meanwhile, is pulling in on more customary equipment. He hits the reef midway through the session and continues surfing for another two hours, then returns to the beach after a long barrel. Dillon gets his new tattoos cleaned with lime by some guys eating fruit salad on the beach. The acid trickling into his fresh wounds doesn’t seem to faze him. He’s distracted, watching Dane casually pull into a long drainer.

“Dane is so gnarly,” says Dillon, transfixed. “That’s the best surfer in the world out there.”


It’s 3 a.m. when we come to a small one-lane bridge, a landmark that means we’re close to our destination. We’ve been traveling for 15 hours straight. Normally we would storm straight across, but tonight the bridge looks different. We stop the car and get out to inspect it more closely, and find that the bridge has been reduced to nothing more than a few rotten beams with cavernous spaces between them. All that remains for our car’s wheels to cling to is a pair of narrow tracks someone has sculpted from a mixture of thatched sticks and mud.

Three important reasons to choose the best electric scooter

After many the innovative times, today the old electric scooters have become the modern fashionable products with environment-friendly functions. In general, the highest speed of these models is 60 miles per a hour using a full charged battery within 3-5 hours. Moreover, the best electric scooter have the ability to reduce both noise and air pollution. However, it is not the only reason for you to buy a electric scooter as soon as. There are countless reasons in order to select it but I merely mention 3 the most important reasons below:

scooter for adutls

1. You do not need to pay attention the shortage of gasoline

At present, gas is rare and its price is more and more expensive nationwide due to the refinery in the Gulf Coast is damaged with a down pipeline. For this reason, the petrol supply is drying up day by day throughout the country in Southeast Asia. The fuel is found more and more difficult even at the gas station. A reporter broadcast a related news that is at the place where the fuel truck prepare for the delivery, everyone flocks on this only gas station making a line of a miles in length. This situation is so chaotic that the police must intervene in order to solve.

Some of them have to wait hopeless. Though their waiting lasts more than two consecutive hours, no one can sure that the gas station still get enough fuel for their turn. A large of people in Atlanta have suffered a shortage of fuel for a month so some of them gave up their light motorcycle and bought the best electric scooter for adults. Using this model, you do not need to worry about searching petrol and the bad weather anymore. The only thing you need to do for your electric scooters that charges fully the battery within 3-5 hours, you can utilize it immediately without waiting for a long time like the past.

2. You do not need to care about whether the petrol’s price rise or not

Come back the situation above, I am sure that you are going to feel extremely lucky, if you are one of people who is pumped after 2 hours for waiting. However, is it really lucky when you have to spend $4.20 – $5.00 per a gallon with 2 hours for waiting? Perhaps this is only more fortunate with people who queue more than 2 hours without getting anything. You do not need to suffer like that when owning a electric scooter because it take you 3 – 5 hours a day to charge its battery for your using which means you purely lost 1 cent per a miles.

3. You know to protect our green planet

Finally, the data of the motorcycle’s emission was calculated: the hybrid prius emission is 1 per 10th, the SUV emission is 1 per 30th. There are not emission for the best electric scooter and Bill electric scooter. Although it can not be the official means all over the world, it should be utilized in some places where are near your house because the its environment-friendly features will contribute a small part in the protecting process for our living environment.

Perhaps you have known why we should utilize this electric scooter. You not only contribute to the fresh air but do not need to pay attention whether the gas’s price rise or not especially you are able to save a good number of money without pumping petrol daily.

Different kinds of chains for chainsaws

Except you are a professional you can simply get confused trying to recognize the diverse styles of chainsaw chain accessible out there. If you read this complete, I hope you will have anenhanced understanding of the chains of saw chain, which will benefit you in determining what sawchain you want to make use of in milling lumber.

Stihl MS201T Chainsaw

Types of Chain Teeth:

Chains of chainsawshave two teeth forms. read more best electric chainsaw ,The major is the round tooth along with the second one being the four-sided, or the carve tooth chain. The round tooth is recognized for its smoothed, curved blade along with the chisel tooth devising an angled point and compressed top.

Number of Teeth:

Such chains also come in different numbers and designs of the teeth. The distinctive way of chain owns teeth, which are located tight to one another, along with single, tooth on every single other link. This style comprisesof more teeth than rest of style of chain. One more style of chain is the one-half prance which has less teeth that are spread out further apart. The last kind is the full prance, which has the minimum number of teeth.

chain saw product

Chain Pitch:

The chain pitch is the space between three adjacent rivets on the chainsaw.It is an important feature of the saw as it is essential for the pitch to be harmonized with the drive projection and the nose projection of the chainsaw.

Chain Gauge:

The kind of chain is also demarcatedthrough the gauge of the chain. This characteristic is the term used to describe the drive link’s wideness. The drive link is the portion which is linkedto the guide bar. It is vital that the drive link’s widenessequals the guide bar’s width. The most public of chain gauges processes 0.063 and 0.050 inches.

Length of Chain:

The magnitude of the chain is measured bycalculating the drive links that are existentin the chain. It is important that this figure match the dimension of the guide bar on the chainsaw.

Tooth Arrangements:

Normal chains, also calleda full complement of full stock chains, locate single drive links among each couple of cutting teeth. These chains sustain the top possible proportion of teeth to drive links and therefore have additional teeth than other chains of the equal length. Full prance chains locate two drive links between every single pair of teeth, which decreases the overall number of teeth by 33%. Semi-skip chains conglomerate the two designs by interchanging between one and two drive acquaintances after each tooth. They have roughly 16 percent less teeth than standard chains.

Chains are one of the most luxurious parts of a chainsaw. It is also essential to remember that they can be pretty dangerous if not attached and used properly. Make certain that the chains that are actually used are those that were suggested for that specific model of saw and that the chain meets the mandatorystipulations. If the chain is not the precise size, it may halt during a development and injure the user. Therefore, the supreme safety must be followed.

The Last Leaves Falling

t#U1ea3i-xu#U1ed1ng* The Last Leaves Falling.

By Sarah Benwell.

May 2015. 368p. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (9781481430654). Gr. 7-12.

Suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), 17-year-old Abe Sora is dying. Confined to a wheelchair and convinced that if he goes outside, people will regard him as a burden, he lives in isolation in his bedroom, with only his single-parent mother for company. One day while surfing the web, he comes across a teen chat room and encounters a girl named Mai and a boy named Kaito. The three begin a tentative virtual friendship, and for the first time, Sora does not feel alone. Benwell’s debut charts the blossoming of the three teens’ relationship–which flourishes despite Sora’s insecurities–and realistically follows the inevitable evolution of the fatal disease. There are idyllic moments (a visit to Sora’s much-loved grandparents; time spent with his friends) but also ones that are deeply disturbing, such as a trip to the hospital ICU and descriptions of the disease’s worsening symptoms. Even through the worst, there is the nurturing presence of his friends, but will that be enough to sustain Sora as he loses the use of his extremities and faces the further debilities that will precede his death? Benwell’s deeply moving story is visceral in its answers to this question and psychologically acute in its portrayal of a dying teen and his loyal friends. Its shattering ending is sure to engender discussion among readers.–Michael Cart

Cart, Michael

Matahi Drollet

img-2AGE: 15

HOMETOWN: Teahupoo, Tahiti



FAVORITE SURFER: Mark Healey, Takayuki Wakita and John John Florence




img-3MOTTO: “Go big and then go home”

What inspires you the most? Big waves

What is your greatest fear? Snakes

Best surf video segment of all time? Taj Burrow in Fair Bits

Where was the last place you wore a tie? I’ve never worn a tie

Your proudest moment in life? My first barrel at Teahupoo

Favorite activity outside of surfing? Spearfishing, skateboarding and playing guitar

What’s your Instagram name? @matahidrollet

Why should people follow you? I’ve got waves to show

Favorite world champion? CJ Hobgood, Martin Potter and Kelly Slater

Best WCT event ever? Billabong Pro Tahiti in 2011 and 2014

Outside of surfing, what do you love? Girls

Where will surfing be in five years? Bigger airs, bigger barrels, younger chargers

Buddha or Jesus? Just spread the love, doesn’t matter who inspires you

What’s the farthest you’ve ever had to travel on foot? Two miles, home from school

If you were to start a business, what would you sell? Bikinis

Favorite non-surf film? The Dictator

Worst enemy? I have no enemies

Best thing a girl has ever said to you? You have beautiful eyes

Best text message ever received? “You made a cover”

Most scared you’ve ever been in the ocean? Face-to-face with a shark while spearfishing

Best gift you’ve ever given someone? I came back from fishing and gave all my fish to a friend who does not have money to pay for food

Is it OK to tow? Yes. When it’s too big to paddle

Best book you’ve ever read? I don’t like books

Tupac or Biggie? Tupac

Describe yourself in fewer than five words: Crazy about girls

Would you rather get a cover or win a Prime? Cover

What is your finest quality? Always smiling

How many boards do you order a year? One

What is your lifetime goal? To be happy

What do you look for in a girl? Her eyes!

What is your most prized possession? My life

Gender-bent barrels: forget the glass ceiling, Laura Enever breaks through the Off-The-Wall

img-1Remember that old ad of Laura Enever inside a massive, blue Micronesian barrel? You looked at it and thought, “But she’s too tiny, too hot, to charge that hard.” If you don’t recall the photo, don’t worry, Laura herself barely did.

“I forgot how much I love big barrels,” she says, standing in the yard at the Billabong house, dripping wet from her session at Off-The-Wall. “I’m such an adrenaline junkie, always trying to go skydiving or bungee jumping, when really all I need to do is find some bigger surf.”

Amid back-pats and high-fives from anyone who’d witnessed her session, she explains how the lure of $10,000 helped rekindle her love for heavy surf. “We had the GoPro Challenge for the girls’ event on Maui, and we could use footage we got over here, too,” she says. “So I paddled out there [OTW] with Joel [Parkinson] the other day and just told the guys, ‘If you let me have some waves and I win, I’ll give you guys some of the money.”‘

Call it generous or call it shrewd strategy, but she bagged a clip that made the top three. Laura would lose to Courtney Conlogue’s Honolua Bay runner, but no matter. She was hooked on big tubes again and kept finding her way out to OTW this North Shore season. With 6-8 feet of swell, clean conditions and wise words from Rainos Hayes to “just put your head down and go when it’s your turn, don’t look back,” Laura snagged a handful of waves, including the one seen here, from the all-male pack. And of the gender barrier? Turns out, chivalry might not be dead.

“The boys were so encouraging,” says Laura, “just screaming at me to go on waves. One guy even paddled up to me and was like, T wish I were a girl, I’d get so many more waves.’”

OK, maybe it is dead.

Paul, Taylor


For many Westerners, surfing has become something else. A pissing match.A competitive buying exercise.A false idol that allows us to cloak our sins in mystical oceanic vibrations and salt-of-the-earth homily.A reliable western signifier, like blue jeans, Converse low-tops, or Apple products. We buy into surfing because it’s expected of us here on the coast. But perhaps our claustrophobic closeness to the act has worn the magic right off. We’ve pricked and prodded and tested the patient to the edge–over-analyzed, commoditized, worshiped and degraded. We’ve deconstructed surfing into its tired atoms, breaking a miraculous act into a series of step-by-step, trivial adjustments. More rocker here, less width there. More weight on the front foot through the second half of the turn. An assembly-line approach to the mastery of surfing.

t#U1ea3i-xu#U1ed1ng-2Meanwhile, outside of our bubble, on the periphery, late-comers give surfing just enough privacy to be what it is. After a while I went in and handed off the board to Lino’s dad, a man more giving than myself. When Lino came in, he politely followed suit, handing his board to my wife. “The waves seemed to go away as soon as you went in!” Lino noted. “But when you took your last wave, the bald British man said, ‘Finally, that bastard left!’”

That awkward social interchange didn’t bother Lino one bit. He was still high as a kite off those little spinners. Nothing beats those first few years of surfing. Each session offers some new revelation. The best wave of your life is always one wave away. Twenty-five years in, it’s a different story. Surfing becomes a nostalgic act instead of an exploration. One is left chasing a feeling that got left behind somewhere in youth. The best wave of your life is a world away–perhaps lost somewhere in the past, perhaps across the globe on some foreign shore, awaiting the lucky confluence of countless variables–swell, wind, tide, financial solvency, familial responsibilities. For me, in my mid-30s, surf trips had become a last-ditch effort to rekindle this stoke, but the harder I tried, the less likely the outcome. The entire idea of a vacation gave way to something else: surgical strikes.

t#U1ea3i-xu#U1ed1ng-1The Borrowed Boards trip was the opposite of a surgical strike. Unlike most modern surf trips, our around-the-world ramble was not planned like a small invasion. It lacked many of the tenets of a surgical strike: Careful study of the charts, all accommodations booked, all transfers paid in advance, bags stuffed with the latest unnecessary products–helmets and helmet-mounted video cameras, for God’s sake–and of course boards for every condition. It’s like the raid at Abbottabad, eyes always on Geronimo, our collective target. We try to control every variable, expect perfection, and stare glumly into our foreign beers when the surf is only very good instead of great and the wave of our lives doesn’t reveal itself. We’re not listening to Yoda. Perhaps we need to unlearn that desire to keep looking toward the horizon, trying to outdo ourselves. Perhaps we need to give up on the mastery of surfing–the path to salvation comes with the de-idolization of performance surfing, and performance surfboards. We need to learn how to suck again.


Samuels, Lewis