Third time is a charm | Industrial Barrel Practice
The engine of our surf van is barely keeping up. She had to work hard so close to here retirement. There’s a strong wind in this industrial landscape. First light is on the horizon. The heater only blows cold air. I can feel the tension. Everybody is stoked. I sit in the back and enjoy what’s unfolding.
Third time is a charm
For days on end we kept track of the forecast. It’s an illusion to think we’re the only ones who see the upcoming swell, but we remain very secretive about it. For a while longer we believe in this fairy tale.
It’s not the first time that I embark upon a surf mission to this special surf spot in the South of the Netherlands. Even more so, it’s my third time. But as they say, you need to go to this spot three times before you get to surf it. This has got to do with the special circumstances in which it work. This time however, I believe I figured it out.
The last time I went together with my buddy Sev. We knew for sure we were going to get some sick waves. In the end we made the trip for nothing and ended up surfing our home break. As you can tell by the photo’s below there was plenty of swell that day, but still not the right conditions for this special spot.
Just a little bit further and we’re there. The van hasn’t even stopped yet, but the first one is out. I take a little moment for myself. I am not a religious guy, but I briefly turn to Huey, the wave god. Afterwards, I run up the sand dune and take a look at the ocean. It’s ON! No one knows how fast they have to get down. What follows is an explosion of clothing. Absolute chaos. All of the sudden people need to change their fin setup. “Does anyone have wax?”. “Where did I put my leash?”. “Do you have something to eat for me?”. The pressure intensifies when a herd of groms show up. I am afraid the spot gets crowded within no time. From the corner of my eye, I see one of our photographers capturing the scene.
Rays of Light
The next couple of hours is one of the best sessions I’ve ever had in the Netherlands. It never gets crowded. The surfers who showed up all know each other. There’s a great atmosphere as the first rays of light make their way above the sand dunes. If someone makes a steep drop, the rest of the lineup cheers. The barrel master is there as well, and gets the most impressive barrels. Every grom try to impress the pro surfer and the water photographer.
Trial and Error
For me it’s all about falling and getting back up. I have never experienced this much power in Dutch waves before. With a lot of waves I barely make the drop, before being taken down by the lip. I take a breath and decided to chill for a while on the shoulder of the lineup. Just at that moment I see a pair of big black eyes emerging right in front of me. The seal looks at me and I swear he’s enjoying the morning just as much as I do. For him however, there is no epic surf day and barrels don’t matter. He just swims around, catches some fish, and enjoys the warmth of the sun.
The Early Bird Catches the Worm
The Al Merrick that I surf in this video is brand new. In this video show you how to attach a new tailpad, leash, fins, and how you can do a proper wax job.