Fifty Shades of Blue

Humour me a little here and look at the palm of your empty hand. What do you see? Nothing? Look closely again and you will see a series of lines (not unlike swell lines) which will tell you a lot about your life. The life you only get one chance at…
The heart-line runs horizontally across the top of the palm. It reflects the state of your heart on both the physical and emotional level. Surfing, we concur, is great for the heart and the well of emotion it beats to
The headline runs horizontally across the middle of the palm. It reflects the state of your mind and brain. Offshore winds, new worlds and waves, the sting of a hot beach in a foreign land are great stimuli for the mind. The brain, how ever, must be punished. It must be surfed into submission. To become “surfed out” to become so overloaded on stoke that it buzzes into bath-warm submission.
The lifeline curves around the base of the thumb, starting between the index finger and thumb. Contrary to popular belief, this line does not actually indicate how long you will live but rather aspects such as strength, vitality, and prosperity. Three things you cannot enjoy while sitting on your arse looking at a screen.
The fate-line runs vertically from the base of the palm up the middle of the palm (not everybody has this line). It indicates aspects such as success, career path, and vocation. Don’t wait for fate. Only your own actions determine it...
So get ready to go on The Search…
Then: make a pact with yourself and simply decide to have a good time. Say: “I will always go with the flow…” “I will stay polite and in good spirits…” “I’m lucky...” That way you will never be disappointed. Gabriel Medina was not disappointed on this trip “It was just us, me, Wilko, Mason and Bruno surfing out there…”
“It’s fun to explore some new waves, some new places. We didn’t always get the waves every day, but in the end we found them…”
“Life is never the same on The Search. Every day brings something different, says Gabriel, sharing the water with a little black tipped friend.
“There are a lot of colours of blues here,” he said on arrival deep in the South Pacific, mesmerised by the ocean. “Dark blue and light blue. Hey, what kind of blue is that, that’s beautiful I think,” engrossed. “There are seven kinds of blue that I can see. And look at that shade! That’s the kind of blue I was looking for right there! Hey how’s that blue? Come here and look at that shit! There are 50 shades of blue in my eye!”
“There are a lot of colours of blues here...”
An empty blue peeler appears to roll by, but look again. That’s Medina hiding from the heat back there and copping a peace sign from the ever-happy Hawaiian Mason Ho.
Afternoon clouds approach, but that only served to ratchet up Medina’s mood from cruisey to explosive…
In one of the “shit almost happened” moments of the trip, Gabriel bottom turns, corrects at the last moment and cuts back to dodge the camera boat that has drifted too far into the lineup. Click play and watch it again.
Near death aside, he said “That was one of my best trips I’ve ever done and it feels good to get some barrels and be doing airs and having fun with the crew. No pressure…”
But at the after surf poker table, the pressure is always on. Ask anyone who travels with him: you don’t want to play poker with Medina!
“This Search trip was like… you’ve got this nice crew together, and we are going to get the best waves ever,” said Mason Ho summing up his experience. “And you’re just like, you’d think, but then it was like… well, reality hits and you just kind of like, think, whoa the swell can change, we just barely might not get any of the waves coz that’s how it works, but then the swell comes and you do!” We hear you, Mason. Clear as a bell…
Mason is not defined by the normal and so photographers often get options to shoot him at abnormal angles. Sometimes the best of him is caught in the moments between turns or in waves and locations others would not bother with. Here he is, falling from the sky where the light blue meets the dark blue and the bright white lives in between.
Pulling in, driving forward, waiting to unweight for the bowl…
With just four guys in the lineup Mason felt the freedom to continually try things beyond the basic…
God knows what this is or where it came from but it’s 100% Ho!
If you wanted to, you could squint so it looked like it was back in the past and caption it “Michael Ho”. There’s been a generational style in both stance and power from father to son with Michael and Mason and that connection and spirit is one of the things that makes it great having the Ho clan join Rip Curl.
Mason: fitting in well with the locals as he does wherever he goes…
Bruno Santos is as cool as... In water or on land, you will find him styling through the day, non-fussed, non-plussed with the world and always ready for some action.
“My body was super sore and was rashed everywhere and sunburned,” said Bruno after an eight hour session. “But it was really hard to leave the water because I knew it as going to be empty if I got out and I could not miss any of the waves the place was giving. It would be over as soon as I was gone.”
Bruno has such epic flow, his next turn is as much about the one before as it is the one ahead and his placement in the pocket makes him a simply beautiful surfer to watch. “Mesmerising” is a pretty good way to put it.
There’s no left hand tube we have ever seen Bruno sketched out by. In fact, he won the Billabong Pro Tahiti as a wildcard in 2008 and he spends months on end in Indonesia getting shacked, but let’s not forget he can also carve out a hack with the best of em…
“The locals and the people from the island they are super friendly, and it’s a really good theme to be travelling around, meeting new people, making different futures. It was a nice experience in this land…”
“But today at the point was just a special day. We got lucky, we had some amazing waves and we were living the dream…”
The effort to get to this spot was pretty huge, long boats and dusty road rides, howling winds, uncertainty, but resident Rip Curl bon vivant Matt Wilkinson reckons it was worth it. “You could have been doing it tough for three weeks and today would have made it worth it…”
“That was an amazing session, that’s the bluest water I’ve ever seen. This is exactly how you want The Search to turn out,” Said Wilko.
Wilko is never afraid to take the piss out of himself, that’s a big part of what makes him so loveable…
Laying the layback to rest… “Even if it was two foot, it would have been epic to surf this wave…”
Wilko has been on The Search since November 1998 as part of the Rip Curl crew. Last year he has found some balance and fitness to compliment his natural ability and he finished at #19 on the WSL rankings. We expect that the moments between the heats on The Search will keep him on point and inside the top #10 in 2016.
One of the first “Searchers” of the early 90s Sonny Miller films was a goofy foot from Cronulla by the name of Gary Green. Much like Wilko; Greeny’s surfing was built on timing and positioning, as is his personality. Both guys always on and always fun – that’s a nice tradition to pass on when on The Search.
In the end Mason summed it up… “We came over here, just Search style. Super cool, rolling the dice, no plans, I like that kind of stuff…”

“Technology and Travel” – the 2Ts – are akin to “Country and Western” – you simply can’t have one without the other. Or can you? Wandering into the various shades of real world blue, Gabriel Medina, Matt Wilkinson, Mason Ho and Bruno Santos pull-the-plug in the search for a simpler stoke.

Surf travel writer Daryl Davenport sums up the motivation…

With all of the evolutions in Technology and Travel that fly off the global interwebernet at us each day, it’s easy to do the ol’ wake up/pick up and look straight to the device in the palm of your hand and believe that’s all there is…

Humour me a little here and look at the palm of your empty hand. What do you see? Nothing? Look closely again and you will see a series of lines which will tell you a lot about your life. The life you only get one chance at…

  1. The heart-line runs horizontally across the top of the palm. It reflects the state of your heart on both the physical and emotional level. Surfing, we concur, is great for the heart and the well of emotion it beats to.
  2. The headline runs horizontally across the middle of the palm. It reflects the state of your mind and brain. Offshore winds, new worlds and waves, the sting of a hot beach in a foreign land are great stimuli for the mind. The brain, however, must be punished. It must be surfed into submission. To become “surfed out” to become so overloaded on stoke that it buzzes into bath-warm submission.
  3. The lifeline curves around the base of the thumb, starting between the index finger and thumb. Contrary to popular belief, this line does not actually indicate how long you will live but rather aspects such as strength, vitality, and prosperity. Three things you cannot enjoy while sitting on your arse looking at a screen.
  4. The fate-line runs vertically from the base of the palm up the middle of the palm (not everybody has this line). It indicates aspects such as success, career path, and vocation. Don’t wait for fate. Only your own actions determine it…

So like the modern device, your life (quite literally) appears to be in the palm of your hand.

Get ready to go. Then: make a pact with yourself and simply decide to have a good time. Say: “I will always go with the flow…” “I will stay polite and in good spirits…” “I’m lucky…” That way you will never be disappointed.

Can you (really) hear yourself complaining about a cancelled flight? Turning again to the palm of your hand and dipping into social media to complain ad nauseam because your bloody flight is delayed? I am sure some beyond skinny kid scouring a rubbish-dump in a godforsaken hellhole looking for enough discards to scrounge a meal for the day is not listening or looking at your dejected-airport-pouty-selfie.

Yes, I could be writing all of the above to you, dear reader, but even more so to pro surfers in general. More than any other occupation on Earth, theirs is the stuff of our dreams so their expectations can often be high when it comes to what’s real or unreal. And who else spends that much time racking up “Likes” and pushing out the days of their every breath to the rest of us? Surely only the Kardashiens…

Thankfully the guys on the surf trip you are about to see are well-adjusted humans, still up for The Search and keen to get away from it all. Even Medina with his 3,900,000 Instagram followers and clearly recognised as “The-man-most-likely-to- post” was keen to escape when he heard about the rarely surfed lefthander that might, if found, add to the depth and quality of the simple life lines written on the palm of his hand.

“There are a lot of colours of blues here,” he said on arrival deep in the South Pacific, mesmerised by the ocean.

“Dark blue and light blue. Hey, what kind of blue is that, that’s beautiful I think,” engrossed.

“There are seven kinds of blue that I can see. And look at that shade! That’s the kind of blue I was looking for right there! Hey how’s that blue? Come here and look at that shit! There are 50 shades of blue in my eye!”

I mean you just can’t get that weird looking at life through a screen, right?