So we’re sitting in this beautiful little cove with Sebastian Inlet type of wedges coming through consistently. But something wasn’t right—it was sheet glass. “Man, it’d be so fun out here with some air wind,” Parker said to nobody in particular. “I know, it’s just not quite doing it, hey,” the Canadian Peter said with his funny “hey” that he attached to the end of every sentence. I couldn’t take it anymore and had to ask, “Are you guys serious? It’s perfectly glassy out there. You actually want the wind to come up?” They just looked at me like I was crazy. After an awkward silence, Parker held a moist finger into the air. “I think there’s a little air wind coming.”
At just 17 years old Parker is a real character and a founding father of Fat Boy Surf Camp, or as it’s known in social media circles, #fatboysurfcamp. If the waves, and of course, air wind, weren’t up to his liking, he’d go into a state of imagined hunger that was unbelievable. “I want an omelet. I want an omelet. I want an omelet. I want an omelet. I want an omelet. I want an omelet. I want an omelet. I want an omelet,” he’d mutter from the back seat until we couldn’t take it anymore and had to pull over to feed the beast. He’d eat his body weight in local breads smeared with honey and dipped in argan oil, take down a three-egg omelet, and wash it down with a cup of coffee. Needless to say the 45-minute ride back to camp was a gas-filled affair. Despite his disposition to overeat and affinity to fart bare-ass in one’s face, Parker proved to be a pleasure to travel with. I’ll say this about the kid: after cutting his teeth on the North Shore of Oahu for several years now, he’s not one to pull back on a six-foot closeout at The Slab—which will make for good fodder in the Tropically Yours wipeout section.
After a week or so of the same routine—wake up early, surf all day, and make it home after dark to the camp—we’d come to realize how lucky we’d been. “We’re in Africa,” Oliver kept repeating as prayers rang out from the local mosque. And we were lucky. Our in-the-know host, Denny, nearly called me to cancel the trip because the forecast looked so horrible. “Mate, I was shitting meself,” he told me one evening over an overflowing glass of red wine. “It was meant to be flat the whole time you were here, but this little bump came out of nowhere,” he added. But that’s the beauty of the region—you don’t need a ton of swell. In fact, we’d come to the conclusion that, for the waves we were surfing, a two- to three-foot groundswell was ideal. Down south picks up generous amounts of swell as it faces in a more northerly direction, and The Dark Side must have some crazy offshore canyons that funnel swell into it. Any bigger and the only game in town is the crowded points with ze Germans, hardly a bummer option.