Absent Without Leave [Parker Coffin Surfari]

If I were to depict my dream surf trip, it would look pretty damn similar to this. Not because the waves they get are perfect, or because it looks easy, and definitely not because it seems cheap. More because the adventure detailed in Absent Without Leave feels real — it’s not merely fabricated for film.

Chasing waves on New Zealand’s southern coastlines is anything but comfortable. There’s no accommodation near almost any of the waves, rogue storm fronts will blast through your campsite without warning, and many of the fickle set-ups are prone to swiftly shifting sand and incorrect swell directions.

So, the fact that SSOTY nominee Parker Coffin and the Roark fellas hopped in a bush plane and flew around scoping river-mouths until they found a (really) good sandbar is both admirable and enviable. Tack on the fact that they scored big beachbreak barrels and, uniquely, a river wave, and you have a very enjoyable 20-minutes on your hands.

Plus, who doesn’t wanna drink beers and ride dirt-bikes on the beach?