Everybody’s heard of the “Endless Summer—chasing chicks around at the beach, backyard barbecues, and endless flat spells. But the “Endless Winter? You bet. Bombing surf, wetsuits, nine-foot plus boards and hungry sharks. The real deal, not some pansy ass, half-hour session at the local beach break. Jamie Sterling is a big fan and participant in the quest for an “Endless Winter.
TWS caught up with “Sterlz before he left for his first stop of a worldwide tour in search of waves that make the average surfer shit, Tahiti.
TransWorld Surf: First off, how have the waves been on O’ahu?
Jamie Sterling: It’s been windy all of March. Some blown out Lani’s sessions—just big and north, not a whole lot of surf to be had. Pipe’s nonexistent right now, there’s rights going all the way down the beach. Lot’s of parties, though. If you can’t pull into the barrel, you might as well pull into some…ha ha ha. Right now I’m getting ready for Tahiti and the never-ending winter.
Tell me about the endless winter.
The winter finishes up in Hawai’I, and I begin to make my travel plans to powerful breaks around the world. The first stop is Tahiti. I pretty much surf Teahupo’o the whole time, unless the swell calls for somewhere different. The whole surfing world ventures over there, so it’s a pretty ideal location for me—a big hollow left. I stay there for a month to lock in some tube time.
After Tahiti, I come home for a couple days, drop off my Teahupo’o quiver, pick up a whole new quiver of boards and head over to Puerto Escondido. I’ll be there for two weeks with Rusty and Greg Long, Jairus Cannon, and Otto Flores.
After Puerto, I’ll go up to San Clemente and pick up some boards for South Africa. Who’s making these boards for you?
Chris Freed, Glen Minami, and Glenn Pang. Those are the three guys that are gonna produce some magic sticks for me.
And then to South Africa?
Yeah, I’ll go down there for five weeks. While I’m there I’ll be competing in the Red Bull Big Wave Contest in Capetown at a scary spot called Dungeons.
What’s up with that place?
Dungeons is the scariest wave because it’s a really heavy wave and the environment is scary, too. Those are the two factors that try to make you not go out, but you do anyways if you want to ride big waves.
Isn’t there a seal colony between the break and the shore?
Yeah, there’s a couple of McDonald’s and Burger King drive throughs, seals popping up everywhere. There’s gotta be big sharks lurking for sure, but we go out there with safety crews, guys on jet skis, guys on rubber duckies, zooming around on the outskirts and retrieving our boards and watching over us. After the contest we’ll drive up to Durban and check out the whole coast, shooting photos and stuff.
From there I shoot straight over to Western Australia where I’ll go up to Gnarloo in the north part of the country. It’s kind of like a G-Land or Teahupo’o type of wave. A full-on camping, rootsy type of trip. Fishing, surfing, and no cell phones—it’s really relaxing. I’ll be up there with Tamayo Perry and I think Takayuki Wakita, the crazy nut from Japan.
Since I’m so close to Indonesia while in West Oz, I’ll take the four-hour flight to Bali and do Deserts, Lombok, and some G-Land. That will bring me right up to September, which is when the Hawai’i winter starts to roll around and do it all over again.
That’s my plan in a nutshell. I’m psyching, keeping the ball rolling and the boards wet.
Did you catch all of that? Talk about putting some stamps on the passport. We’ll catch up with Sterlz on the first leg of his “Endless Winter, Tahiti, and see how it’s going.—J.C.