Twenty Things To Do Before You Die

Photo: Domenic Mosqueira

Part 1: Get busy living.

Sometimes, sheer will trumps “the impossible.” Nathan Florence, against all odds, about to complete the best paddle-in wave ever at Teahupo’o. Photo: Domenic Mosqueira

No. 01: Tell yourself you’re going no matter what.

No. 02: Then go, no matter what.

No. 03: Surf Jeffrey’s Bay

Things that are more dangerous than sharks: getting hit by your board,
getting hit by someone else’s board, hitting the reef, this wave,
drowning. Ryan Hipwood, rewarded for risk at a fishy Australian slab.
Photo: Corey Wilson

No. 04: Know it’s sharky and paddle out anyway.

Your air doesn’t have to be this high. Andrew Jacobson, young and strong and flying against the wind. Photo: Scotty Hammonds

No. 5: Do a Proper Air.

Yes, you should learn how to do a proper cutback first. But if you’ve got the basics dialed, don’t be afraid to take flight. Aerial surfing is both today and tomorrow and you don’t want to be left riding waves yesterday. Nothing makes surfing go stale quicker than a progressive plateau, spending months trying to incrementally improve your whitewater rebound. Forget that. Embrace advancement. Embrace the future. Embrace flight.

No. 06: Enter a contest.

No. 07: Art up your board.

No. 08: Learn how to fix your own dings.

No. 09: Succeed in asking someone out in the lineup.

No. 10: Own a Wavestorm (you can always return it).

No. 11: Organize a “Lowers Raid” at your homebreak.

Take your prereqs in the morning and surf Greenmount in the afternoon?
That’s what’s called a two-for-one. Jordy Smith, guest lecturer for
Superbank 101. Photo: Corey Wilson

No. 12: Study abroad somewhere with good waves.

There is no greater college coup than studying abroad. It’s basically a yearlong vacation on your parents, plus you get school credit and learn a new language. And if you’re smart, you can surf, too. Forget Madrid, Paris and Florence, and don’t be fooled by coastal countries with programs inland (i.e. Santiago, Chile; San Jose, Costa Rica). Do your research and get somewhere coastal, with good waves and public transportatiom. A few options:

See the swell, buy a ticket, paddle out, pull in and then – poof – suddenly realize what all the hype about. Photo: Brad Masters

No. 13: Do a proper strike mission.

Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy you a luxury surf trip. Unidentified, more than comfy inside his personal villa. Photo: Ben Thouard

No. 14: Splurge

Tavarua. Nihiwatu. The Ratu Motu. You’ve dismissed them all because “they’re too expensive” and “you could never afford it” F–k that. Pick up extra shifts. Sell some shit on Craigslist. Sell some weed. Sell your organs. Hustle. Save up. Put it all on red and buy your slot. And once you’re committed, leave all expectations at home, and just enjoy yourself. Nothing spoils luxury like dwelling on its effects on your bank account.

No. 15: Learn how to fall.

Get away from your board. Penetrate. Everything else – from body positioning to mistime airs to closeout barrels – you just gotta
practice. Lawrence Knosp, prepping to pencil. Photo: Corey Wilson

No. 16: Aqua poop.

What’s cooler than being warm? This East Coast pointbreal. Photo: Scotty Sherin

No. 17: Surf while it’s snowing

It’s so logically wrong that it feels so right. Getting those weird looks from strangers as you suit up. Trudging across the beach making footprints in the snow instead of sand, watching the flakes fall silently onto water, where they melt on contact. Yes, it’s cold. But it’s likely uncrowded and definitely unforgettable. Five places to make this happen.

If for no other reason, when he gets older and overtakes the lineup,
he’ll owe you one. Kepa Mendia, Reef Road. Photo: Nicola Lugo

No. 18: Give a grom a wave.

No. 19: Shape a board.

Because getting barreled is happiness and happiness is only real when
shared. And yes, it’s fun to make them a little jealous. Oliver Kurtz,
inside the green monster while Bree Kleintop and Eric Geiselman go green
with envy. Photo: Jimmicane

No. 20: Get barreled in front of your friends.

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