Today was a good day. After a Friday night mad dash into LAX involving a very nice, extraordinarily helpful Sea-tac employee, too much airport sushi, and more warm white tequila than I probably should have ingested, I arrived two hours earlier than my original ticket stated. Half-drunk and red-eyed, I turned my phone off airplane mode and received a text from the chief helmsman of this fine ship of the inter-seas telling me that our editorial intern Marvin Green was waiting for me. I found him outside the McDonalds, where we shook hands, quickly gutted a double shot of bourbon with a cranberry juice chaser and jumped in a cab to Santa Monica. On arrival, Zach Weisberg (the fine helmsman) opened the door, opened a beer, and told us that we were just about to watch The Inertia’s first feature film, Sine Qua Non: The Psychology of Big Wave Surfing with Greg Long (which premiered at The Boardroom on Saturday). The most recent edit of the down-to-the-wire video was sitting on his hard drive. This was exciting. We watched it on a small couch with fans blowing at us, sitting with our legs stuck to a white leather couch in the dark. Minds were blown. High fives were exchanged. The lights went out at around three am, and the alarm came in at six.
The Boardroom is the new name for Sacred Craft, a grassroots surf exhibition that draws a crowd and a few big names. Mark Richards sat signing autographs while Robert August wandered around in an old tee-shirt, a pair of shorts, and a smile.
Marvin walked out of the bathroom, wide-eyed. “I can’t believe this place! I just took a piss between Mark Richards and Robert August!”
Kids skated a mini ramp amidst clouds of hotdog smoke outside, and everyone shook hands with each other, exchanging stories and earnestly patting each other’s shoulders.
Then two o’clock rolled around. We closed up shop at the booth and moved to the Grotto, a small covered area with a big screen, where Sine Qua Non was set to debut. Amazingly, the video was put together in just over a month. From the very first email through all the interviews to compiling all the footage and editing the whole thing together, the whole thing took about five weeks. All the seats were full, and the moment had arrived. Greg Long stood quietly in the back with his arms crossed in front of him, having only just seen the version we were about to watch that morning. He’s a very calm person, when one considers that he spends most of his time chasing waves that have the potential to kill him. At first glance, with his easy smile and slight figure, Greg is not someone you’d expect to surf some of the biggest waves on the planet.
In front of a packed house, the film played. People cheered, and people laughed. The Inertia staff grinned maniacally at each other and breathed sighs of relief.
Then we finished the day, ate some Mexican food, drank a few margaritas, went for a night surf, and moved onto the dance floor. Today was a good day.
Sine Qua Non is available for free download on Tuesday, October 9th, exclusively on The Inertia.