clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Weekender | May 9th-11th

Waves, man. Beautiful, wonderful waves. Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning face each other and the waves, plus Clark Little takes pictures inside of waves. Entertain yourself with music of Frank Turner.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

The Weekender

The Weekender is your guide and open thread for the weekend, presented by the fine folks at Viva The Matadors. Things to quote, read, look, watch, and listen to for the weekend. Let's do this.

Waves, man. Beautiful, wonderful waves.  Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning face each other and the waves, plus Clark Little takes pictures inside of waves. Entertain yourself with music of Frank Turner.


"Months later, when I rarely saw the Angels, I still had the legacy of the big machine -- four hundred pounds of chrome and deep red noise to take out on the Coast Highway and cut loose at three in the morning, when all the cops were lurking over on 101. My first crash had wrecked the bike completely and it took several months to have it rebuilt. After that I decided to ride it differently: I would stop pushing my luck on curves, always wear a helmet and try to keep within range of the nearest speed limit ... my insurance had already been canceled and my driver's license was hanging by a thread.

So it was always at night, like a werewolf, that I would take the thing out for an honest run down the coast. I would start in Golden Gate Park, thinking only to run a few long curves to clear my head ... but in a matter of minutes I'd be out at the beach with the sound of the engine in my ears, the surf booming up on the sea wall and a fine empty road stretching all the way down to Santa Cruz ... not even a gas station in the whole seventy miles; the only public light along the way is an all-night diner down around Rockaway Beach.

There was no helmet on those nights, no speed limit, and no cooling it down on the curves. The momentary freedom of the park was like the one unlucky drink that shoves a wavering alcoholic off the wagon. I would come out of the park near the soccer field and pause for a moment at the stop sign, wondering if I knew anyone parked out there on the midnight humping strip."

Hunter S. Thompson (via GoodReads).


The front page GIF on this longread is pretty cool, but the story is even better. The Deadliest Wave, Champion surfers Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning face Hawaii's Banzai Pipeline for the 2013 crown (via SB Nation).

To a casual spectator standing on Oahu's North Shore, Banzai Pipeline's picture-perfect barrels might all look the same — steep faces rising up fast and curling into powerful tubes. Surfers moving through the waves might look repetitive — a drop, a turn and a line; a drop, a turn and a wipeout; a drop, a turn and a line; a drop a turn and a wipeout.

But as every surfer who has ridden through a Pipeline barrel knows, each wave is an unpredictable force in the throes of arrhythmic flux. Pulses of energy have traveled unimpeded through the ocean for hundreds to thousands of miles up to this spot, where they struggle against winds, reefs and each other as they funnel into unique shapes that explode with the speed and irregularity of a racing heartbeat. Each surfer's path through the ever-changing barrel is unique. Each must glean cues from the wave's slightest wrinkles and react in milliseconds. Those subtle moves of mere inches can mean the difference between a fatal blow and the rush of a lifetime.

A surfer can't possibly take everything in. Even if one could, the wave is always different. Cues that offered rewards in the past might result in punishments in the future. Only one thing is certain. To surf the most beautiful line through this most dangerous wave, surfers must push back fear and commit to the possibility of something uncertain.


Beautiful pictures of waves (via Clark Little).

Award-winning photographer Clark Little was born in Napa, California in 1968. Two years later, a move to the North Shore of Oahu (Hawaii) dramatically changed his future. In the 80’s and 90’s he made his name as a pioneer of surfing at the Waimea Bay shorebreak. Clark had a unique talent for taking off on hopeless closeout shorebreak waves and surviving in one piece.

In 2007, Clark discovered his ability and passion to capture the extraordinary beauty of the shorebreak when his wife wanted a picture of the ocean to decorate the bedroom wall. With the confidence of an experienced surfer, Clark went out and bought a waterproof camera setup, jumped in the ocean, and started snapping away, recording the beauty and power of Hawaiian waves. "Clark’s view" is a unique and often dangerous perspective of waves from the inside out, captured in photos for all to enjoy from the safety of dry land.


Because it is almost summertime, it’s time to get in that mode where I post photos of the Tour de France and waves and beaches. This documentary (I think this is what I would call it) is about the guy that takes the photos linked above, Clark Little. Clark Little on Staring Down Shorebreak for The Perfect Shot (via Vimeo).

Getting tossed around by shorebreak and slammed into the sand day after day is a rough go; Clark Little wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact, for the North Shore local, it’s all in a good day’s work. But the Waimea addict didn’t grow up snapping shots with his father’s camera like so many photographers do. He instead set out to capture his longtime stomping grounds when his wife came home with a framed photograph of Waimea shorebreak, an image he figured he would be able to easily replicate. Having never owned a camera, he threw a cheap "waterproof" casing over a cheaper point-and-shoot and headed out to the beach. Since that first attempt, Clark has not only emulated his wife’s purchased wall art, but — with a gallery in Haleiwa and international recognition — has become a heavily respected fixture of wave photography.

CREATORS: Clark Little on Staring Down Shorebreak for The Perfect Shot from The Inertia on Vimeo.


These Tiny Desk Concerts are great. The Avett Brothers is one of the best I’ve seen, but this one with Frank Turner is really enjoyable and if I had to guess, Turner is hung-over. Turner is folk/punk and happy music. I really like happy music.