The SURFING Blog: Memoirs of My Month, Chapter 4

In the editing bay with Jamie's film.

In the editing bay with Jamie's film.

Editor’s Note: Chas Smith is SURFING’s roving reporter on things in and around and sometimes unrelated to the world of surfing. We don’t ask questions.

I am back from Europe and it was tres the best! Totally tres! I strutted down Milano streets throwing money to the wind and martinis down my throat. I had an anchovy one in the courtyard of Dolce and Gabbana. The Greek goddess across my table sipped a basil and strawberry. Amazing.

But I returned to Venice. California. Because I am directing a surf film featuring Jamie O'Brien. And I am running counter to the tour. They were in California, I was in Italy. They are in France I am in California. I am running counter even though I love the tour and thrill that Kelly Slater has returned to his perch, looking down at others. Sneering a little at past champions (Irons, Fanning) and future champions (Smith, Reynolds). He will win ten in ten. No one else will ever touch.

I was in a small café eating deer and drinking bottles and bottles of red when he won at Trestles. The news spread through my company and people clapped and whistled low under breath. Kelly. "Massively good, that one." "And still handsome." And he so is. I interviewed him for film not a month ago. He looks not his age. His bluest eyes even more intense than when he was a young Cocoa.

Kelly will win ten in ten. No one else will ever even win five.

And the tour is in France, basking in topless Gauls and cream and Manet autumn. Kelly will win the event. The crowds will cheer. And I am in Venice, sitting next to savant editor Dayten, blowing blue grey streams of Camel Crush smoke out of my mouth toward two large Apple monitors while Jamie gets real pitted in Tahiti.

How great is surfing? Tres!

—Chas Smith