By Jamie Brisick

Hours Are Like Diamonds

Greatest moments? Hard to say. A torrent of them, really. I have vivid recollections of a sleepless night in Rio de Janeiro in 1990. I was jetlagged (jetlag can be more intoxicating and transformative than LSD), I was listening to the Rolling Stones “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll” on my Walkman. I kept rewinding “Time Waits For No One.” It created a sense of urgency. There was a life that I was reaching for, and somehow the song contained it. I was in Rio for the Alternativa Pro, and like every surf contest, I visualized myself winning it. That life, that higher self, that inner Superman was there for the liberating with every event—an amazing sense of renewal and self-invention in the pro surfing game. It was like 4 in the morning. I was pumped. I wanted to put on my clothes and ride the elevator down and cross the street to Praia do Pepe and sprint the soft sand beach in some kind of primal roar. But I thought better of it. At that time Rio was one of the more dangerous cities in the world. So I just kept listening.

September 22, 2015