A surf journalist dives into the German Black Forest in search of hidden surfing secrets and discovers the iconic Kelly Slater who is no longer the world’s greatest surfer!


Yesterday found me in quite a state. There I was, in Munich’s perfectly utilitarian flughafen, slightly jetlagged and tragically without sunglasses. I had, a few hours earlier, lost my favorite pair of Garrett Leight during a ballet rehearsal with my wig and my hat. These were found later, in a pile, just in time for a great performance, but the sunglasses were missing and no time to acquire new ones before the flight.

What to do?

Duty-free sunglass purchases are rife with potential impulsive disasters. With the Tom Fords display with bent arms that slide right over the bridge of the nose or garish Guccis that feel good in the moment but don’t reflect the personal brand on the outside.

Well, by luck or chance, I stumbled upon a pair of Le Specs while almost falling into this classic Ray Ban Wayfarer trap. They were inexpensive but stylish, didn’t spread anything good or bad, and would be perfect for the quest I was about to embark on.

The lower leg of the German male has haunted me, you see, ever since it was discovered to be the perfect tool for measuring wave height. Kept me up at night. For decades and decades, our species has stumbled over the most basic task. What is the size of the swell we are surfing? Should I gauge in Hawaiian? Meters? Stathams? The World Surf League‘s forecasting tool, Surfline, has made matters worse by introducing utter nonsense into what should be perfectly scientific.

But then German Sebastian Steudtner broke the official world record for the “biggest wave of all time” and a team of elite scientists fell on the German man’s lower leg as the perfect calibration tool.

I lay awake in my bed, feverish, thinking, tossing and turning, unable to sleep. If the holy grail of wave measurement is hiding in plain sight in Germany, what else is there?

After six days, I couldn’t take it anymore, I made an offer to my in-laws auf wiedersehen and booked a trip to Germany for this most important crusade. And, now, with sunglasses on, I’m ready to see great hidden truths that will take our beloved surfing to hitherto unknown states of bliss.

Outside of Germany things are bad for our surf industry and getting worse. In savage protest at his condition and the possible lack of waves at G-Land Pro, a Florida man walked into a local surf shop and wreaked havoc on the floor.

According to the Treasure Island Police DepartmentGary Peter Bush, 69, walked into the Surf Style store, located at 10701 Gulf Blvd., exposed his genitals and began defecating on the floor near the locker room.

Witnesses told police that Bush wiped himself with a shirt belonging to the store, creating a biohazard from above.

Bush was arrested later that day after being recognized by the store manager.

According to the arrest report, Bush told officers, “I was at the store earlier to buy some clothes. I went back to the store to buy more clothes. I bought an outfit.


My next stop, anyway, will be the Black Forest where fables rise from the ground.

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