January 1 is motivating. Because no matter the circumstance, by switching things up you're less likely to rest on success or wallow in sorrow. Change is a constant that keeps us inspired. It can be scary, sure. But it's necessary.
I'm a homebody from Florida and it was a hard decision to move away after 26 years back in 2011. I almost didn't. I nearly made enough excuses to convince myself that life in the Sunshine State would always suffice. That I had enough. And I did. But since making that change, I now have more. More experiences. More opportunity. More everything. I've since traveled to South Africa, the Caribbean, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Australia and Indonesia (twice). Met new friends, new girls. Scored the best waves of my life and become the editor at my favorite magazine. So many good things. So much great change. And because of it I've come to realize that routine can kick rocks.
A couple of days before going to press, while staring at our wall of images for this issue, we got into a staff debate about who the best surfer in the world has been in 2015. Everyone said John John. Everyone, except me. I just wasn't sold. Where were the results to back up that claim? After all, John lost to Glenn Hall at Lowers and Keanu Asing in Portugal. And have you seen his turns? Meh. Not this year.
The proof will be in View From a Blue Moon, they all said.
Yeah, we'll see about that.
That same afternoon, I received a text from VFABM director Blake Kueny inviting me to his office to preview the film and pull frame grabs for the feature you'll find on Pg. 66. I dropped everything and left SURFING as fast as I could. A preview of the most anticipated surf film ever? Fourteen days before the premiere? Talk about privileged information.
Giddy with excitement, I cracked a beer and Blake dimmed the lights. What followed was nearly unbelievable. From Tahiti to Australia to Africa to Hawaii. The highest. The biggest. The best. By now you know what I'm talking about. You've seen the movie. And if you haven't, well, you should probably go buy it. Like, right now.
“So, what do you think?" Blake asked, at the film's amazing f–king conclusion.
"So good." I answered. "So, so good. The greatest surfing I've ever seen."
"I don't think people will be saying anything about John's turns after they see this, right? He's the best surfer in the world right now."
It was the umpteenth time I'd heard that in one day. Except this time I was actually finally convinced.
"He is, absolutely, " I answered, confidently. Change is good. Even if it's as small as an opinion.” —Zander Morton
Speaking of VFABM, JJF and Hurley have put up 50 limited edition movie box sets for sale — including a beautiful hardcover book from the making of the film, boardshorts, a watch, sunglasses, socks, etc. — with all proceeds going to Friends of Sunset Beach and North Shore Junior lifeguards. Even better, musician Perry Farrell is offering to triple the total money we’re giving to these organizations. Basically, go buy one.