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“Well-sorted” comes in a variety of flavors, but with some commonly held and rather doctrinaire rules in place: Fingers faired, not splayed. No rigid ape-bending at the waist. Arms artfully counterbalanced—not held in some godless, slackline asymmetry.

Of course, one can run the risk of being overly mannered. Some stylist manqués look like they spend hours in front of the mirror, duck-facing their reflection as they practice the “proper” degree of hand cupping. That’s not stylish. That’s vogueing. And the line between naturalistic and posing can be whisker-thin.  

Thankfully, the ocean doesn’t always reward such nonsense. And that’s when authentic grace shows herself.

When a surfer’s lifetime of well-founded muscle memory kicks in, they go to a place beyond form or fashion. The “pressure of office” is a steep-and-deep entry, a chained-off section, a high-line or no-line scenario. The bride stripped bare. It’s where one can see, often for the first time, one’s own true representation. 

Feature Image:
Harrison Roach, Desert Point
Photographed by Harry Mark