We throw that word perfect around a lot in surfing. We watch one good wave from the cliff, imagine what we’ll do with it when we’re sitting in the perfect take off zone, with the perfect amount of speed, and setting the perfect line to race through each section.
“That wave’s perfect,” you’ll say. “It’s perfect today.” And then you’ll suit up, paddle out, convined perfection awaits you.
Perhaps it’s that waves are fleeting, whether ridden or not, or that there’s something in the joy of riding a wave that makes us hopelessly optimistic that if perfection exists, it takes on the form of a moving wall of water.
Enter Teahupo’o. Most would look at her and think she’s often too mean, too scary to enter the perfection conversation. But then again…
“Almost every wave breaks exactly the same in the exact same spot,” says Albee Layer, supporting his claim that Chopes is, in fact, perfect. “It’s so obvious where the reef ends and where the wave’s gonna end.”
That’s one take. Another thing about perfection in regards to waves: it’s different for everyone.