Interview: Tiree surfer Ben Larg, 11, on representing Scotland on the world stage
There’s a picture of Tiree surfer Ben Larg, taken during the recent ISA World Junior Surfing Championships at Ribeira Grande in the Azores, that makes my blood run a little bit cold on his behalf. Whenever I show it to other surfers it either causes them to catch their breath or do that low, descending whistle that’s internationally accepted as code for “wow, that’s impressive – but rather him than me.”
Larg isn’t even surfing in the shot; instead, he’s paddling out through a swirling maelstrom of whitewater as a hollow, ten-foot wave breaks like a giant, watery guillotine a short way in front of him. There’s no obvious easy way through, no safe, deep-water channel to aim for. The only way of paddling out beyond the breaking waves at this spot appears to be Route One, straight through the jaws of the beast, with a few hefty beatings more or less guaranteed.