The Man Who Thought He Was a Fish

Images and text by Thomas Ekman


La Jolla Cove has grown from 10 feet to 16 feet in the last hour, and Mark Drewelow is sprinting to get outside. Between a pocket beach and two ugly rocky outcrops is a very bad excuse for a “channel” – a small gap in the explosive swells that opens for a few moments, and then is swept by ugly sets that explode into the cliff. I’ve never seen anyone swim so fast.  


“I’m just gonna go say hi to the guys outside,” he tells me and filmographer JacuzziSurfer before jumping into the 56 degree water. He’s referring to 5 guys sitting way, way outside on guns. None of them has tried to surf a wave yet – it’s simply too sketchy.


Mark gets smaller and smaller, and then I can’t tell if I’m looking at Mark, or a seagull bobbing in 16 foot swells. Of course, Mark has no board – he’s a bodysurfer. The only thing you can see is his head in a black hood. Once in awhile I catch a glimpse of pink -- presumably his face. And I’ll be damned if Mark isn’t now sitting in the pack, a bowling ball in the water next to guys sitting high on 10 foot guns.


Mark is the real deal. And he’s part of a global conspiracy to change bodysurfing as we know it.


More to follow...

Thomas Ekman, J.D., M.Ed.
Thomas Ekman, J.D., M.Ed.


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