The Island Of The Iron Slab

Following Bruno Santos and Guillermo Satt to the ends of the Pacific

"It only becomes surfable when the wind has some form of north in it," says photographer Ted Grambeau about this corner of a particular unnamed island in the Pacific. "We got that on two or three occasions throughout our trip, but some days were just too much – 15-foot grinding death pits. The whole island was almost like a smorgasbord of choices – only the choice isn't which wave you want to get barreled on – it's which wave you want to kill you. It's bigger than Tahiti here and it gets one of the most direct hits of swells in the world." The newest Search edit, created by Jon Frank (as true of an artistic visionary as you’ll find in our lovely world) followed South Americans Bruno Santos and Guillermo Satt, at the hint from Grambeau, of a remote, rugged island that gasps swell from nearly all directions and fires square-faced slabs at the foot of a volcanic mountain. One of them, a 12-foot cyclonic lefthander, requires a 20-foot jump to enter the water, each set threatening to smash you back into the jagged cliff face. “There are a lot of guys on the World Tour – most, actually, who wouldn’t be comfortable out there,” says Grambeau. In a time when hyperbolic backstories for edits leave us underwhelmed, this one has all the techniques, makings, and magic of an honest surf fable.