“My friend showed me this one little clip of the wave and I could see how insane it was,” said Mick of the original connection. “He was like ‘Pssst Mick, check this out… I’ve got this wave and I really want you to surf it with us.’ I knew he wouldn’t give it up easily. He wanted to keep surfing it alone with his mate. It took some back and forth to convince him, but eventually my friend trusted us. And then it was ‘go’ in a second. One text and it was on!”
A mad rush ensued. We lied like Judas about our destination, telling our nearest and dearest that we were going somewhere, anywhere other than where we were actually headed. “I blew off a lot of meetings,” said Mick. “And a lot of people were off me. But in the end, I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.”
However clandestine the mission, the wave – a hissing, spitting cobra of a thing – does have a (rather apt) name. The Snake.
The Snake does not break at the beach. It rushes past you down the beach in endless parallel lines as the lip coils and curls and crashes at striking speed, on and on and on into the distance, the tail never catching up with the head. In the lineup, you do not scan the horizon for sets, rather you look back at the beach and up the point at sets.
Taking off is easy, keeping up is another story. In the dawn, his mind blown by the scenario and his skills put to the test, the fastest surfer in the world failed to make his first three waves. “I was freaking out at first,” said Mick. “I was pumping through the tube just going peddle to the metal and I couldn’t make one. And then I got my groove on and sometimes I was on the foam ball flying; and other times just when I thought I would stall it hit the bank and took off and I would have to go top gear again to keep up.”
After a five-hour session, pecked to death by sea lice crawling in the sandy belly of the reptile, Mick was rooted. And despite contemplating “just having barrels for lunch”, sanity prevailed. It was food first and a good lie down second, which lasted about two hours, before he was up again and into the Snake. In the afternoon, the sun beat down like crazy and the waves went from slick exotic green to brown sandy beasts, but the Kirra Boardriders club champ was starting to feel it. He wanted a new challenge.
“We have to move up the point!” He said frantically after his first ride of the session, which was about 200 metres long and had three tubes on it. “Why?” I shouted, as he ran past. “That one looked pretty good!” He was getting it dialled. “Too fucken cute!” he shouted. “We didn’t come here for those ones. Let’s get back up there where it looks like there’s some grunt!” And that says a lot about how Mick charmed The Snake.
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