Nearly every surfer has experienced the sensation: pinned to the ocean bottom, trying to swim for the surface, desperate for a few quick gasps of air to avoid what might happen if they don’t. Water swirling; surroundings dark; up is down, down becomes up. It’s a scary moment and therefore, a tough time to stay composed – even the pros say so. According to Kirk Krack, who teaches a surf survival course around breath holding, composure is key.
The Great Surfer Migration happens every year. Each winter, the flights are booked, beds and couches reserved, and board quivers prepared. Beginning in early November, masses of surfers and team managers, industry personalities and bikini-wearing hanger-ons arrive to Honolulu International Airport ready for whatever the Seven Mile Miracle along the North Shore of Oahu may present.