Zero: the most judged of all integers, barely even considered a number, ever-changing depending on the lens through which it’s viewed.
It can be the devastating failure of zero points to show for a whole heat, or the ecological ideal of zero carbon emissions. It’s a black hole where the entirety of existence disappears forever, or it’s the empty negative space in a photo that makes it true art. It’s also the name of Pipeline expert Danny Fuller’s new short film, an existential anti-edit where the number of waves surfed is — you guessed it — zero.
Zip, zilch, nada: a rose by any other name, zero was also quite honestly the amount of interest I originally had in watching a surf flick with no surfing in it. But at just two and a half minutes long, I gave it a shot, and here’s why you should too.
The concept of “ZERØ” is derived from the old-school surf term “the day you don’t go surfing,” meaning a day when the ocean is flat as a board at every spot you check, a day where most would just throw in the towel and find something else to do. But there are those unstoppable few who will paddle out anyway, and if there’s anything to find out there, they are the victors who get the spoils.
“The thing is, in surfing, even with these updated forecasts nowadays sometimes you have to roll the dice and you never know what you’re going to get,” Fuller said of the project. “That goes to be a test of one’s current state of mind — we can get so upset and defeated by things not being the way we want them to be, but sometimes things don’t go as planned.”
Nothing goes as planned for Danny in this movie, and anyone with a pulse can relate to the coffee catastrophe, the TP shortage, the endless paddling in an ocean that more closely resembles a lake. But as the moral of the story goes: if you never try, that’s when you’re truly left with absolute zero.
“I do everything in my power to stay calm and not react,” Fuller said of powering through the lows in hopes of finding something on the other end. “Fear is the ultimate enemy in every aspect of life, and especially surfing big waves.”
So quiet your doubts, f*ck the forecasts, take the knocks and go for it anyway — no matter what awaits you, even a little bit of living is better than zero.