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Surfer Approved: Zipped Lips

Mick's Wave and the plan to keep it like a secret

Last year, some images came across our desk of a near-empty, ruler-straight, endless right-hand sandbank pit; near-empty save for Mick Fanning’s unmistakable silhouette, full-sprint, pedal to the metal, pumping through a heaving, below-sea-level drainer that stretched beyond the frame.

I immediately started making calls to people who might know where the wave was. Not only wouldn’t anyone offer details, but no one seemed to have any. That in 2016 of the world’s highest profile surfers could disappear and leave no trail, even for those closest to him, seemed impossible.

Finally, I caught Mick at home in Australia and started the interrogation, hoping he’d drop a few clues. What month had he gone? What did his friend who found the wave do for work? How long was the trip from Australia? What were you looking for in swell models?

Mick politely, and with a real resignation in his voice, answered each in stride: “Mate, I can’t tell ya.” “I wish I could tell ya, but I promised a mate I’d keep me mouth shut.” Much of the information was purposely withheld from Mick, himself, who after seeing a photo of the wave, put his fate in his friend’s hands. With a million eyes on him, Mick told his closest friends, 'Listen, I can't tell you where I'm going, but I'm going surfing.'" He was going to charm a wave called The Snake.

This week, the world got their first glimpse of The Snake, and theories were immediately floated as to its location. Comment sections pulse with speculation; keyboard surf explorers scour every warm, sandy inch of Google earth’s pixelated globe; amateur cartographers post latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates to myriad mysto potential set-ups.

Believe me, the answer is out there. And we think we found it.

Actually, we’ve known about where it is for some time, but had no idea it was the same wave. And trust me, if this is the spot, you ain’t going there. Without offering any details, it’s probably one of the most broadly dangerous coasts you could go swell chasing.

So listen, there’s no putting corks back in any bottles, but secrets are for the discovering, not sharing. Hell, I get frustrated when a Southern California point I frequent gets named by some half-wit Instagram attention whore. Naming secret spots, dropping pins: you’re either a troll or a kook and probably both.

Out of respect for those who have put in the hard yards, I beg you: leave it a secret. For the guy who first spied this wave years ago during a smaller swell, finding it involved more commitment than 99% of surfers will ever put into any part of their surfing life.

Right now there’s breadcrumbs for all of us to follow. Let each find his own merry way, and enjoy the personal satisfaction of knowing, or thinking they know. Live and let live.

Loose lips sink ships. Keep em’ zipped.