We Countdown The 50 Biggest Moments Of 2017


Fifty of something is a lot of somethings. Don’t believe me? Just imagine trying to carry 50 oranges without a bag (comical!), or trying to count 50 moving ants (infuriating!). Or what about trying to remember your top 50 surfing moments of last year? And I’m not talking about moments like the ones we’ve compiled in this issue – the victories and losses, comebacks and capitulations, the moves and breakthrough performances, the films, the clips, the photos that stoked and/or horrified, or any of the other weird and wonderful events that shaped our lifestyle, sport and culture in 2017 – no I don’t mean any of that stuff, ’cause Mike Jennings has already done all that remembering for you (starts page 54 by the way). What I’m talking about here are your own surfing experiences last year. Could you name 50? You were the one living it. You were there, surely you can do it!

Cast your mind back. Maybe start with the perfect days. There may have only been one or two, but when they came and you were on it… unforgettable! Yep, lock those in for sure. Then what about the not so perfect days? You know the ones, where you slipped out for a late just as the wind dropped off and that little bank fired up and you had it all to yourself. Or that time you got up in the dark and scored three little racers before the sun came up. What about that trip down the coast? Even though it got rained out, you still had a dig at that one big onshore sesh that was victory at sea and all the more memorable for it. The camping trip with your mates! No swell but you surfed half a dozen ankle slappers and had a ball. Gotta chuck all those in the list too. And maybe you’ve got a few surfs you could put in there even if you didn’t catch a wave? Like pushing the groms into a couple and getting buzzed off their froth. Maybe you bodysurfed an agro shorey and jarred your shoulder on the sand… shithouse, but still a moment. Maybe a turtle swam under your board? Or a sea eagle swooped down and snatched a baby dolphin from the sea before flying it back to its nest under the cliff to feed its eaglets? Maybe you saw a double rainbow that had you wishing you had your phone so that you could Instagram a photo of it with the caption “Amazing double rainbow”. Did you pull into an over-hanging palm frond? Did you do a little air-drop into the pit as you stepped off the kerb? It all counts right? Even the day you should have surfed but didn’t, and that voice in the back of your head was nagging at you to paddle out, but you brushed it for whatever reason… yep, throw that in the can too because often the ones you miss are the moments that stand out most of all.

When you start to think about it, 50 doesn’t seem to be anywhere near enough space to lock in a year’s worth of surfing moments. Not when you’re living surfing every single day. But it is a number that has a nice ring to it and a good starting goal to aim for as you surf into 2018.  Vaughan Blakey

SW #394 Out Now

The Women’s World Title climax at Honolua Bay delivered one of surfing’s great sporting spectacles. In the end there were tears of both agony and joy, and it was Tyler Wright who would hold up a giant silver cup glued to a block of wood.

Compiling a list of just 50 moments from the entire year’s worth of surf action was a surprisingly easy thing for Mike Jennings to do thanks to the fact he lives in a windowless apartment in Montreal that’s buried under tonnes and tonnes of snow.

Has surf gone too serious? Are we too infatuated with miniscule refinement to enhance shred and not focussed enough on the potential of bitcoin stocks? Is 2018 the year we finally ditch going hard and embrace going soft? Yes to all!

WA photographer Russell Ord has survived first grade rugby league, fighting fires in the Aussie bush and been pitted off his dial at mutant slab Cyclops. He also captures amazing images that defy his artistic sensibilities.


Surfing World