It has been said before that surfing is ultimately a selfish sport. When we compete as a team, or go surfing with a friend, we are ultimately competing to get as many waves for ourselves. The act of surfing is one person on one wave, and with crowds and limited waves we all go out there to look after ourselves and catch as many waves as we can for ourselves.
One of the best ways to get a high wave count up, and to completely bypass the crowds, is to have the knowledge of a secret spot.The Encyclopedia Of Surfing http://encyclopediaofsurfing.com/describes a secret spot as ’a surf break known by few but undiscovered by the surfing masses’ and in these radically crowded times, they are extremely valuable, for surfers to get their waves, as well as in rare cases, currency.
Still, on the whole, secret spots aren’t really secret, they’re more ‘lesser known’ or even just inaccessible.
So let’s have a look at the concept of secret spots.
Sometimes a secret spot is simply transitory. It pops up as a result of some natural phenomenon such as a lagoon breaking through to the sea or a river coming down in flood, and depositing pyramids of sand into the ocean. This sand sometimes formed a perfect-shaped sand bank over which a wave could break, for a short period, until the sand disappears again. The first people to find a wave like this would not be stupid enough to tell anyone except their most trusted friends, so they can all get a chance to glut on this secret wave.
Other times a secret spot is just inaccessible. Maybe it’s off some farmer’s land who doesn’t want surfers coming in, maybe it’s a location that just has no roads or safe sea access, or maybe it’s off land that is deemed too dangerous to travel to. Some islands in the Andaman chain, for example, still have headhunting tribes on them, so the legend goes, and there is no way that the Indian government will let anyone travel there.
There are apparently secret spots off the Chagos island chain, as well as an ongoing land ownership dispute. The Diego Garcia territory however, is at this stage leased to the United States Government, who has over the years built an enormous military stronghold here, making the island and the surrounding islands, a no-go area. If there are waves there, the only people who know about them are US Military personal, and they’re trained to be tight-lipped.
Similarly, the actual construction process of a nuclear plant seemingly creates perfect waves. A breakwater jutting out into the sea has the power of creating perfect wedge-like waves, but the fact that nuclear plants are protected by armed military on all sides makes it a difficult place to access, and the waves remain shrouded in secrecy. In Cape Town, there is reportedly a perfect left barrel that breaks on the northern side of the Koeberg Nuclear plant, but no one can get there, the water might or might not make you sick, and even publishing photographs taken from the sky could be deemed an illegal offence.
Finally, we have the secret spot in clear sight. For some reason history books will show, many big wave spots have existed for years, in clear public view, but with no one being able to comprehend that they are in face excellent waves to surf. It’s as if the collective consciousness of surfers refuse to accept that such a wave can exist, that new waves need to be hard to find and hard to access, not just on their doorsteps. Sometimes these waves have been found right in front of people’s amazing beach houses, decorated with surfing memorabilia, yet no one could fathom that there was an actual wave to be ridden right in front. A prime example is the world renowned Mavericks big wave spot in Half Moon Bay, Northern California, could easily be seen from the road, yet remained secret for 15 years until someone let the secret out. It’s now home to one of the greatest big wave events ever, the Titans Of Mavericks