I think Bali did it in for us. We were easily blinded by Bintangs and the novelty of it all the first time. The second time around we avoided it by exploring a few further reaches of the Indo archipelago; but even those blew up with the faintest whiff of an incoming swell. The third time was the anti-charm. I remember standing at the edge of a cliff on the Bukit and counting 90 heads out at Ulu’s, and I couldn't even see the track.
Not only that, we were over the overwhelming narcissism that’s infecting surf culture. It’s reeking with it. It’s a disgusting open reef cut that nobody is even squirting lemon juice on. Thousands of dudes trying to out-surf the next then motorbike into Kuta to try and get laid. It wasn’t for us.
We knew there was more to the sport than this perversion, so the question arose naturally. When you remove all components that make surfing inherently attractive, can that feeling of absolute euphoria still exist? Can we whittle the experience down to it’s most raw form and still find it enjoyable?
So last fall we booked a few tickets to Iceland. No palm trees, no sun tans, no bikinis, no trunks. It was the best surf trip we’ve taken.