Dave Rastovich Finds His Yeti In Himalayaland
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The best surfing I’ve ever seen is by David Rastovich nearly every time I surf with him. Every time, in any condition, he just rips.
We’ve had the chance to hang out and surf together a fair bit over the years. We’ve done a couple of trips to Indo, heaps of roadies through Australia, did the Maldives and we even used to cross paths through Europe back in the ol’ QS days when we both enjoyed red wine, the odd chillum, boobs on the beach and dancing in clubs till the sun came up far more than we cared for surfing heats.
On the Indo trips we’ve shared and surfeda wild and wide variety of waves. I’ve seen Dave surf two foot days at Macaronis where he’d take off and be in the barrel the entire length of the break. Then a few days later we’d pull up at some maxing 10 foot unsurfed reef and he’d jump off the boat with his red Gerry Lopez single fin and disappear behind the horizon and then reappear half an hour later riding a set that looks like the Himalayan mountains. That’s why I call him the Yeti. He’s so relaxed in that crazy heavy water.
You rarely see an expression on the Yeti’s face other than mad joy or monkey magic zen vibration. When he surfs there just doesn’t appear to be a single moment of doubt or fear anywhere in his being. His confidence in the ocean is nuts and when you’re that relaxed and unfazed it makes sense that you’ll rip. I wouldn’t know, but that’s my theory. Actually he’s good for a theory or two the old Rasta. He enjoys discussions about the physical and metaphysical planes. It was pretty interesting being on a boat with him back in those years when he wouldn’t eat or talk on Tuesdays. Back then he’d sit tapping away on one of his Middle Eastern drums. I think these days he plays ukuleles.
It’s when the swell picks up that you see Rasta inhabit a whole different energy. You can see it in his eyes. He goes into total gnarly beast mode. I think one of the best waves I ever saw him catch was in Indo when our boat pulled up to this really long right reef. The swell was huge, really unorganised and the wind was a bit iffy too. Right down the length of this wave you could see there were dry bits, double ups and boils and it was hard to tell if you could surf the whole thing or if it was just three different sections. Rasta was first one out and he paddled as deep as you could possibly go, took the first set that came his way and just ripped the absolute shit out it. He got three stand up barrels on that first one and made it look like the funnest wave in the world. Then I paddled out and barely caught anything. It was a nightmare.
These days we still surf together a lot. He lives just around the corner so occasionally we’ll share a wave. It’s just that wherever we go we always end up surfing overhead barrelling rights. Maybe one day I’ll take him to surf a one foot left shorey at south Narrabeen so he can see what I can do. Although he’d probably just sit on the beach playing his bongos.