I have constantly complained to my peers and family that my life is plagued with indecision — I can’t make up my goddamn mind about anything.
One of the biggest downsides to that has been my inability to choose a career goal or plan for the future — as a kid I never wanted to be an astronaut or a cowboy or a rockstar — I’ve never known what I want for myself. I guess you could sum it up by stating that foresight is not my strong suit.
On Monday, however, the most recent installment of RipCurl’s Infinite Search — a six-month trip of Indonesia in search of perfect waves — gifted the world with footage of arguably the most incredible surf spot ever recorded, and gave me a glimpse of the future. I was abusing the ample array of surf porn available on Surfline when I stumbled over footage of this unbelievable surf phenomenon, known as a tidal bore.
A tidal bore is caused when an incoming tide pushes waves up a river or narrow bay, counter to the direction of the current. Depending on the ensuing combination of swell, bathymetry, wind and tide, you can get surfable waves that travel up rivers, inlets and bays, although the likelihood of finding a decent tidal bore to surf is rare. I’ve personally never encountered one, but, from the looks of the delicious 8 to 10 foot caramel-colored peelers that legendary pro surfer Tom Curren and crew are pictured surfing up some remote Indo river on, that has to change.
I’ve seen footage of people surfing river waves before, but “7 Ghosts” (as the new Indonesian shocker has been dubbed) takes things to a whole new level. Hailed by Curren as the product of the best surf-search in 20 years, the video shows the crew charging perfect chocolate milk waves up a remote river in Indo, each wave a mirror-image of the last.
So now I finally have some material to put on my bucket list: I need to surf an epic tidal bore.
Having somewhat recovered from a rotator cuff blowout that kept me out of the water last quarter, I’ve been attempting to surf every day this spring. Unfortunately, trying to keep up that charade has been an obvious exercise in denial, and has left a sour taste in my mouth.
Sure, Rincon is good on a swell under 280 degrees, and Campus will light up on rare occasions, but we’ve been getting these goddamn steep norths that keep shutting the surf down to below chest-height. I haven’t surfed in several days and it feels like forever.
And now, having caught a tantalizing glimpse of 7 Ghosts, I’m not sure if surfing will be the same. I finally know what I want, but it’s not going to be easy to find.
If a wave’s quality could be compared to the common beverage, the typical Santa Barbara wave would taste like stale Natty’s and be as bad for you as Yoo-Hoo while 7 Ghosts looks like it’d have all the magical qualities of ambrosia — the sweet nectar of the gods.
So buckle up — we’re going river nug huntin’… even if it takes me 20 years.
Daily Nexus surf columnist Elliott Rosenfeld is a total bore.