Surfing Raglan, New Zealand

we’d searched for places
as would throw us
clean and peeling waves
to run for miles
rising, falling

then this wild edge
with surging walls
that seemed to carry
all of history

they clamoured at the coast
in sun-shot mist and foam
save only round a point of rocks
it drew their waters
into full and flaring caverns
even gods would dream
to sport amongst
in early worlds

ours was the chance

we took it breathless
at the start, working surfaces
until we’d nerved ourselves
then cut back deep
through bottom turns
to drive the inside faces
broke out flaunting
on the hanging crests

while our bodies
learned a song of ancient mysteries
for we were lucky
as were any of the young
who ever lived

and surfed the place into our bones

A couple of months ago, I was in Raglan, New Zealand, a small town with a really nice lefthander (The Point), made famous by the surf documentary Endless Summer.

This poem (written by Campbell Ross, one of the original surfers of The Point) was hanging on the wall of the local museum which exhibited the surf history of Raglan (did you know that women have been professionally surfing New Zealand since 1967!?).

I think it’s one of the most beautiful surf poems ever. How about you?

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