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Going fast. Speed. Sometimes it’s important. Sometimes we want to know: “Who won the race?” “This board fast?” “How’s it go down the line?” Much ado about the thrill of zero-to-sixty and the forward march of progress and blowing through the occasional red light. But what of back-peddling from the finish line? Or wheeling the family convertible from the garage to stop hard at a few green lights? It could be nice—never know until you try—to get past cruising speed in some Central American backwater and tug on the emergency brake until it’s dislodged from the center console and you’re just left there, holding the disembodied piece of plastic in your hand like a single-fin out of water. What’s wrong with a little recession? A little addition by subtraction? Throw a power-bog in the mix. Photo: Chris Klopf, Surfer: Tony Roberts

"People often come two weeks and stay two months," said photographer and northwest Australian resident Scott Bauer of this camping post on the bluff near his home. Out at the shacks—off the grid and outside cell range—the swell is consistent and the elements harsh, with plenty of freediving and fishing to stay occupied while the tide gets right. Photo: Scott Bauer

It's difficult, during winter in the Northeast, to justify throwing ass over nose, weighed down by thick neoprene and a potentially frigid swim to the beach. On a clean New Hampshire peak, Mikey Moran enjoys the added flexibility provided by the springtime thaw, hip-checking the long wall ahead with little mind for the moment to follow. Photo: Brian Nevins

Some waves are best surfed on the Web. Take this backless reefbreak off the coast of Australia. Drop a ski and jet over to the shifting wave field. Strap in or paddle out and hope for a glimpse of order among the chaos. The same swell met countless tapered pointbreaks on this morning. Yet an open ocean chase still remains a game fit for a select group of players. Photo: Rod Owen

Desert Point, the site of at least one regrettable Warner Brothers film and often packed with 30-plus vans on a the right evening, there isn’t much that’s certifiably “deserted” about the wave. No matter, in the words of Robert Frost, "I have it in me so much nearer home/ To scare myself with my own desert places." For a quick scare Ozzie Wright made the ferry-hop from his expat outpost on Bali to the faux-solitude and coral skewers offered by a full moon low-tide. Photo: Pete Frieden

How easily the violence of South Pacific swell meeting a shallow Tahitian reef pass is muted by the imposing calm of a lush coastal backdrop, glass-framed with the quiet eloquence of an early twentieth century silent picture. Photo: Tim McKenna

There are many paths, short and long, for seekers of the culminating hover-and-stall through glassy morning beachbreak. Cory Lopez takes the abbreviated route to shapely Mexican peaks, his wetsuit still damp from a Stateside session. Photo: Anthony Ghiglia

The self-preservation impulses of fight or flight are rendered immaterial at late winter Pipeline. When sets organize on the reef more neatly than IRS filing cabinets, you can scratch for your life or stay planted in the sweet spot with no increase to the odds of gaining refuge. Photo: Sean Davey

Maybe you saw pictures of waves like this one labeled “Nias” and described with some amount of hyperbole. Adjectives like “perfect” and “empty” made the China Airlines spring airfare special and the requisite hustle through bus and ferry stations in 100-degree heat feel like kind of a bargain until you arrived, zinc-coated, with your board underarm, and realized that the wave described with some amount of hyperbole was in fact a slab of near-dry coral, unrideable for all but the most brave and desperate to escape the pack of 40-plus surfers on the actual peak—just around the corner from the wave described with some amount of hyperbole. Photo: Kevin Voegtlin

35-degree water, air temps in the 20s, and a few inches of snow blanketed Long Beach Island, New Jersey, on Saturday, February 9. An hour after watching a surplus of empty lefts reel by unridden, photographer Jonathan Hoover totaled his car mobbing through deep waters on the ride home. “Was it worth it?” his friend asked him. If Hoover were from Hawaii, his response may have been different. That he replied in the affirmative is testament to the high tolerance for suffering the cold that surfing in the northeast breeds. Photo: Jonathan Hoover

"Some turns are rare and getting rarer in the era of lightweight, disposable designs," Derek Hynd wrote of the vanishing art of the committed bottom turn in TSJ issue 22.1. Even on his friction-free crafts, Hynd still manages to commit to a few Barry Kanaiaupuni-inspired hooks off the bottom, noting that "B.K. could never plot a soul arch when a FOBT was in order." Photo: Pete Frieden/A-frame

Hello. And welcome to the Cacimba Café. I’m your server, Fernando, and today we’re offering our house special: the Waterberg Wedge, with an optional side of locally-grown, free-range peak-jockey Victor Ribas, tossed in mint greens, and served over a bed of sand churned in-house. Of all our cuts and varieties of wedge, it is by far our most popular and modestly priced. Enjoy. Photo: Pete Frieden

If "Surfers Paradise" and "Surf City" were ever accurate descriptors of their respective locales, they're growing misnomers as the sand in places like Australia's Gold Coast becomes an essential commodity for continued development. Still, when the fall-time deluge of cyclones push swells into the points and beaches, there are still more than a few sand-packed paths for the choosing. Photo: Andrew Shield

Airline flights compared and booked and measured against company policy and oversized baggage fees. Calls about text messages and emails about swell charts delivered to personal computers. Models, "the charts," approximations of the real thing. Men standing over coffins. Guns stacked in bags. Boyhood fantasies and larger-than-human projections resized to your handheld device. All of it forgetten between churning water and a pack of neoprene-laden men. All of it absurd when leaning into the bowl, blinded by an east breeze. Dan Malloy, thoughtless and pure kinetic energy at Mavericks. Photo: Frank Quirarte

Paul Has strains through a warm mucus of sand and salt, dilating the North Shore's walls to maximum capacity, straining toward the light for a fresh glimpse at the world outside. Photo: Foley/A-Frame