In the middle of the South Pacific, there’s an island chain gilded with reefs known by a select few surfers to sculpt big northern hemisphere swells into beautiful, rifling barrels. Along these perfectly situated isles, there’s a specific wave that very few have ever glimpsed in person.
As far as surf trips go, it’s the kind of ultra-perfect, ultra-exclusive, ultra-expensive escape that we all fantasize over, but know fully well isn’t in the cards. Well, unless you’re the greatest surfer of all time and his rock star friend, that is.
Right before the 2017 Quik Pro Gold Coast, Kelly Slater saw a swell pop up on the charts, spiraling towards this far-flung paradise. The combination of swell angle and wind direction looked promising, but the window was tight–if everything went as planned, they’d take multiple flights and boat rides to the island chain for one day of waves, maybe two. Slater called one of the few surfers able to jump on such a strike, his long-time friend and world-famous musician Jack Johnson.
Johnson was game for a little wave-fueled jet-setting, and they booked their trip to the remote island. The pair soon found themselves in the most enviable of positions: trading world-class barrels by themselves in a tropical dreamscape. Most surfers would probably call it an extravagant trip, but if you’d asked Slater and Johnson in that moment, they’d tell you it was worth every penny.