Wax On: Abandon
The coolest thing in surfing this week.
Zak Noyle’s photo is an eye-opener. We try to avoid the obvious, and explore the more…well…unexplored sides of surfing, but this image of Tyler Larronde is a stunner, more so for its content than the visual.
Jaws was pioneered by sailboarders, and used to be the realm of tow-in surfing only. The world’s best big wave surfers, the same people that paddle themselves into giant waves at places like Waimea Bay, Mavericks, Todos Santos, Dungeons, and other spots didn’t even try it here. This was another level. If you’ve surfed anything approaching a big wave you know: these things don’t want to be caught. Catching a wave at Jaws by paddling just wasn’t doable.
Then someone tried it.
To be fair, Larronde isn’t the first to paddle-surf Jaws, but this photo may be the best one we’ve seen when it comes to capturing the true abandon of the act. Never mind that it’s the cover of a magazine. It illustrates a man connecting to an elemental power of nature on his own terms, while submitting to those of the ocean, in a way that is increasingly rare these days. Opportunities to engage nature like this, that only the ocean can provide, are a big reason we work to preserve it.
Here’s Ian Walsh, who was one of the first, breaking down how it works.
ps. Tyler Larronde is 16. Here is photographer Zak Noyle surprising him with the Surfer Magazine cover at school.