Surfing has been over-romanticized—the tube compared to the womb, the high-line streak likened to flying, the vertical lip bash called “kissing the sky.” Tom Blake dubbed it “The Church of the Open Sky.” Timothy Leary referred to it as “the spiritual aesthetic style of the liberated self.”
Continuing in that tradition, let us examine the jog from parking lot to sand to shoreline to mounting board to paddle out to that first glorious duck dive, a wash, a metamorphosis, a giddy feeling. It would be only slightly excessive to suggest that it’s a severing of ties with our terrestrial selves, that in the surf we shed one skin and step into another—think caterpillar into butterfly, Clark Kent into Superman.
In celebration of what’s shaping up to be an epic summer, here’s Dane Peterson dancing mightily across a sparkling blue wall—
The Dazzling Blue is a series of short pieces about things we do in boardshorts. It is written by Jamie Brisick. A Fulbright scholar and a lifelong surfer, Brisick has written several books about surf culture, including Have Board Will Travel: The Definitive History of Surf, Skate, and SnowandBecoming Westerly. He lives in NYC and rides a 5'10" Channel Islands Pod