Over the past three years I have dedicated six months of ever year to chasing XXL surf. Unfortunately, traveling with South African documents and currency is a little tricky and doesn't get you very far in a first world country. To fund my journeys I would spent the first three months of my trips landlocked, two stories underground, scraping the pulp and muck out of wine barrels in Germany. Once the money in my pocket felt sufficient I would go spend two months living and breathing for the big swells that bash Nazaré's Atlantic coastlines. Everything about Nazaré scares me. Gigantic cliffs, gnarly currents and worst of all, shifty peaks that often leave you staring down a wall of water after pulling off your wave. California has always been the last leg of my trip; for me personally the friends and extended family that I have been blessed with here are the reason this place keeps such a high place in my life.
I’ve been in California for a month now and although I missed the insane run of swell that they received here at the start of the year, I still managed to score one epic session that was more than enough to reconfirm that I am always exactly where I need to be. I know had I come to Cali earlier and surfed those consecutive swells I would be in a very different mental space now.
My brain took relentless knocks over the last three years that often left me in a questionable mental space, learning about concussions and the impact that they have on our minds and lives has been my number one priority over this last year. After taking a fin to the head in August last year I completely spun out mentally. The low is instant and unfortunately takes an incredibly long time to bounce back from.