No figure in surfing is as shrouded in mystique as the man known only as Camel.
Famous for long stints camped out in the Indonesian jungle, Camel is considered at the top of the chain when it comes to modern day surf-ferals – a breed of nomadic surfers that goes back to the early seventies and the likes of Peter Troy.
A highly talented surfer in his own right, he has a habit of popping up anywhere around Australia or Indonesia if the swell is macking and perfect – whether it be an offshore bombora in South Australia or to save a man being attacked by a shark in north west Australia.
“‘CAMEL, TAKE MY HAT OFF TO YA MATE!’ – JOEL PARKINSON”
Back in 2012, Camel had a brief moment in the spotlight when he collected the Oakley Big Wave Award for the biggest wave paddled into that year in Australia.
Waves like the one featured below, meanwhile, have received props from the likes of 2012 World Champion Joel Parkinson.
“Do you know how far up the reef this is? Do you know how shallow it must’ve been in front of him? Camel, take my hat off to ya mate,” said Parko after seeing it.
Travis Potter comes very much in the same vain as Camel. In fact the pair spent considerable time together camping in remote parts of Indonesia, with Travis attributing much influence to the great feral.
Travis has since become one of the great Indo ferals of his own generation having spent years travelling from tip to tip of this endlessly wave-rich archipelago.
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Travis, however, after nearly dying of cerebral Malaria while searching for waves in war-torn Papua New Guinea.
His feature film Second Thoughts, made with fellow Californian nomads Timmy Turner and Brett Schwartz, remains one of the seminal depictions of frontier surf travel ever. You can see it in full above.
When the surf’s flat, Kohl Christensen can be found tending to his avocado farm and installing solar energy units around Hawaii’s North Shore.
When it’s not, say like during the jaw dropping events at Cloudbreak in 2011 and 2012, the guy can be found performing some of the most fucked up shit ever done on a rhino chaser.
“This guy can be found performing some of the most fucked up shit ever done on a rhino chaser”
Having grown up on the North Shore of Oahu, Kohl cut his teeth on many of the island’s harrowing offshore reefs. Often he’d paddle out to surf in a pair of boardshorts covered in dirt and cement from the day’s hard labour.
An early pioneer of the feared cold water big-wave island of Rapa Nui (5000 km off the coast of Chile) Kohl leapt into the mainstream consciousness following his feats at Cloudbreak. The wave above was almost one of the great big-wave barrel makes of all-time.