I love surfing lowers. Unpopular opinion for some surfers, but for me stroking into a lowers left is a feeling like none other. Sure, it might take a while to get said wave and sometimes you might leave a little disgruntled, but hear me out. For one, it’s a wave that’s so perfect you can go and pick how you want to surf it. Straight up and down, more round and directional, above the lip, or on the rare offshore day inside the tube. The mechanical perfectness is second to none. Two, it suits almost all board styles and is the perfect testing ground for new boards or styles of surfing (repeating myself here). Three, it’s the most condensed pool of talent you’ll find in America, from CT top fivers to up and coming groms, industry heads, and old mates that still got it. So even if you find yourself not catching a wave there’s at least some sideline entertainment.
It all started when I came out to CA to look at schools and surf lowers for the first time with my dad. I’d seen all the clips, especially the ones from one of my favorite surfers Kolohe. The nike wetty’s and graffitied mayhems were just as real as in the clips I’ve seen-considering we almost collided when he faded after I took off deep, and my floater to bottom turn almost connected with him coming down from a snap. Although a moment most would lament, this is seared into my brain as this was “california surfing” and a world collided moment for me.
Kolohe and plenty of other lowers clips usually featured one of my favorite artists growing up: The Red Hot Chili Peppers. What’s more California than RHCP? Nothing. What’s more California than lowers? Probably a couple things, but for me it’s up there. So without further ado-I present cobble hobble! 5 sessions from 5 days on the cobbles. 5 different boards. Initially, I wanted to stack up and have a proper multi-location clip but when I looked on the hard drive it was almost all from the fabled wave in San Clemente, so I decided to package it up and send it out. Watch now! Please.
Having a favorite surfer (or athlete, in any sport) is something really cool. It’s someone to root for during contest time, study their movements, and try to figure out as much as you can about that one person. If you could do what they do even with an ounce of similarity, you’d be able to sleep great that night. While you obviously could work on layup packages similar to your favorite point guard or practice dribbling like your idol, I feel like surfing is one of the sports where you can really try to follow in the footsteps of your idols. There are enough factors to get you closer and closer to your dream. Sure, you can wear the same kicks as your favorite all star, but it won’t dramatically affect the way you play. Jump on a surfboard similar to your idols and you will be forced to draw lines that are dictated by the piece of foam. Then, you need to watch all your favorite surfers movements in hopes of imitation. If you look up to the same surfers as me, it is pretty obvious we will never replicate their form, as they are of the highest caliber of surfing. But we can try! Here are 4 guys I’d love to surf like (and sometimes try my best to do it):
ETHAN EWING: HOW TO SURF
In 2020, Ethan Ewing is the surfer I would most want to imitate. With immaculate railwork, massive spray, and a relaxed style reminiscent of the surfer below, he embodies what my surfing goals that will never be. I’ve backed EE for some time now, and he is finally getting the recognition he deserves. (Mick ain’t too bad to watch either).
ANDY: THE ONE
Andy was one of the only surfers that could consistently give Kelly Slater a run for his money during his heyday. Never backing down from a section and charging massive waves Andy had no fear. Next time I shy away from a section I’ll think how Andy will surf it and go full commitment on the next.
BOBBY: BACKHAND ATTACK
One of the best backhands surfing has ever seen and one of the standout surfers from a wave that shaped my surfing (Rincon), Bobby Martinez surfs so tack sharp and is loyal to the rail. Jamming in 2-3 turns where most could fit one, Bobby surfs incredibly light, powerfully.
MEDINA: THE FLY BOY
While Ethan is my surfing goals, it sure would be cool to be able to surf like Medina. One of the best tube riders in the sport, highest flyers, and has a razor sharp forehand and backhand. While people hate Medina for his out of the water antics and competition tactics, denying his ability would be pretty kooky.