THE WORLD CHAMP
| 1977 IPS World Surfing Champion + 6 TIME winner of the Gunston 500 in Durban |
"Being in the tube is surfing’s existential moment, the absolute essence of what surfing’s all about. The fear aspect, the exhilaration aspect, the intimate connection with nature. It’s just you, and the wave, and your board. That moment of absolute connection that’s really sublime. When it feels like time has slowed down, it feels like you could actually control the wave in some ways. There’s no sensation of sound, just for me, it’s absolutely silent. Because I think your senses are so focused on everything else, that sound is not important. You’re just striving towards making it, striving towards coming out and then you just have that feeling of being absolutely connected and part of the universe, a part of nature. You’re operating at the very best tubes, the most exciting dangerous ones, when the coral might just be a couple feet below you. You have this feeling of, it’s not invincibility, but this feeling of absolute supreme confidence, and this feeling of like “this is what you’re meant to do.” On the very deep challenging technical tubes, you’re always on that absolute balance, you’re on that razor’s edge of making it, or not making it. And then woooosh, that compressed air will often just blast you out. When you come out, you have this feeling of exhilaration that’s unmatched in any other endeavor."