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Turn The Page

Issue 8, 2014Remember the opener of Taylor Steele's Sipping Jetstreams? Scene: An exotic bazaar on a cobblestone alley. Women in burqas. Smoke. The silhouette of a scruffy traveler enters the frame and the whiny Moroccan music gets louder. The silhouette enters the light and the traveler's face comes into view. It's Dan Malloy, and he provides the voiceover. "Someone long since gone once said, 'The world is a book, and those who don't travel read only one page.'" While making this issue, I kept going back to that scene. That quote. It's almost painfully cliché, and yet I remember getting goose bumps the first time I saw the scene. I f–king loved it. The visual. The metaphor. The message. I loved it because I loved traveling, and yes, I wanted to read the whole book.

You learn a lot from traveling. And not just about cultures, people, virtues and life. You learn a lot about surfing, too. Traveling takes you to new waves. Hollow waves. Long waves. Big waves. Small waves. Localized waves. Empty waves. Waves that are rippable and waves that scare the shit out of you. And regardless of size or power, surfing a new wave is scary. You show up and you don't know where to park or paddle out or where to sit. Who's a local? Who's a fellow visitor? Where do you take off? How close to the rocks can you surf and where do you get out? It's certainly easier to surf your homebreak, just as it's easier to stay in the town you grew up in. But just like traveling, surfing new waves will stretch your comfort level and make you better. After a few trips you acclimate and start surfing well. And these new waves allow for a progression in your surfing that your homebreak just can't offer.

The same way some people travel for food, architecture or just a good time, each of us has a unique agenda when we pack our board bags and head to the closest international terminal. What kind of surfing traveler are you? In "Destination: Progress" on Pg. 88, we detail nine different waves around the world that are perfect for advancing your surfing. No matter your skill level or the area of your surfing you want to improve, this feature will help you decide where your late-summer travels will take you. And when you're not surfing, take some time away from the ocean and read some more of that book. It's quite the page-turner. –Taylor Paul