Every coastal town has them, and we’re no different.
Those surf-minded folk out there would be able to relate to the scenario…….
You’ve just driven a few hours and rocked up to a great little surf spot. The waves are on the pump, there’s a small crew on it already but you’d now be willing to surf anything after being on your backside for three hours in a car.
You reach the peak and watch a few guys get some awesome waves. Your slowly making your way to the priority zone…..Sets approaching, you try and hide the excitement when out of nowhere you hear “yep…yep!”
It’s one of those guys from the set before. You sit in the lineup, trying to piece together the ‘who’s who’. The old guy on the shoulder, he’s a blow in just like yourself, he seems happy to stroke for any wave that the others are letting through. You’ve got him covered at least. You notice a small contingent of crew laughing and joking around, discussing where the best place would be for an arvo counter lunch….also tourists. There’s a couple of younger guys paddling around showing some sort of domination, yet they’re not on any of the sets. These are the ones that want to earn that spot with the others but still don’t quite get it why they won’t.
Then you notice them, sitting just beyond the main pack. Two guys (depending on where you live the size of this group varies) sitting on their boards, just talking, occasionally looking to the horizon for a sign of movement. If these guys paddle a foot to the left, the main pack follows, if one of these guys strokes for a wave, it’s like parting the Red Sea; the main pack simply get out of the way. They are the Mayors of this break. You can bet that the biggest sets or best shaped waves will have them on it, and for good reason….they just rip.
Mada and Otto are nice guys who just happen to tear apart the local waves in their spare time. Actually, they’re so keen on getting pumping waves that quite often work takes the back seat.
Is it fair that a small handful of guys have this power to be on whatever waves in the lineup they want? Probably not. But next time you arrive at an unknown break, test the scenario above out for yourself. Work out ‘who’s who’ in the lineup and you will soon realise that this happens at just about every surfing break, especially when the waves are PUMPING.