You know the deal: A location shrouded in secrecy, the Rip Curl team embark into the unknown and are thusly plied with exotic ocean vistas and 6ft plus of pumping surf. But where? Camera angles are cropped tight, a 3x time World Champ threads a funneling tube that fills your entire screen… Does that warble in the lip look familiar? You immediately tap into your inner Sherlock Holmes/Nancy Drew, fire up Google Maps, and delve into the depths of your mental surf spot rolodex… You’ll figure out where they are this time, you curse out loud, “OR MY NAME ISN’T-… Wait, what? Is that the Golden Gate Bridge?”

Alright, you caught us! This episode doesn’t abide by our traditional recipe. The crew are very much on the beaten track, gargantuan Californian landmarks are dotted along the way… but that doesn’t mean they aren’t Searching with a capital S. This is the full surf gamut, a multi-stop, strike mission, careening down Highway 1. A relatable, gritty road trip with bucket-list destinations, good grub, and an all-star cast that operate in an elevated state of perpetual wave-lust. The spirit of adventure, fun and mateship are at the fore. It’s a regular surf-eat-sleep junket that abounds in the kind of car park banter and feverish spot-checking delirium that only surfers blend up, and chug down. So buckle up. You’re riding shotgun with the sultans of slash, the titans of tearing, the kings of… well, you get it.

From youngest to oldest, enter San Clemente’s baby-faced ectomorph, the 2019 Pro Junior Champ, one Crosby Colapinto. Doe-eyed and humble on land, it’s evident Croz is soaking up every bit of his idols’ surfing savoir faire. But when the SC local buries a rail, or levitates from the lip, there’s no doubt he’s earned the right to be in such good company. The other Californian native on board is Conner Coffin. 2021 Rip Curl WSL Finalist, armed to the teeth with local knowledge and time-logged in the Pacific, he’s a smiling assassin with face-melting guitar chops and a sea-parting carve of biblical proportions. Last but not least, the thrice world champ and affable fixture on The Search, Michael Eugene Fanning.

Crosby, on Search missions with heroes:
“I really liked going on this trip because I’ve never been on a trip with Connor and Mick before and I felt that I really learned a lot from just being around them both and hearing what they both had to say about surfing. With both of those guys as guys I looked up to my whole life it was cool just hanging out and having some good laughs.”

Surprisingly, this was the first time this trio had teamed up for a Rip Curl trip. The expected group dynamic was turned on its head when the sage, well-respected, Mick, claimed early on to be “Mason on this trip”. This gave Fanno full license to operate with unabated froth, hyping up sketchy waves from lookouts and dragging the local boys out come hell, high water, or full stomachs. Surfing’s hairy history of grom abuse was continued with Crosby being dutifully renamed along the way. The flatulent young buck let one too many jam tarts loose in the car (while the windows were still intact) and Mick’s laconic aussie wit reared its head. Crosby’s crop-dusting saw him dubbed “Crop-sy” for the remainder of the trip. We’re yet to see Croz update an IG handle or refer to himself in the third person as Cropsy, but watch this space. On top of that, MF launched an impromptu game of who-dares-wins offering Cropsy a cool $500 to drink bootie juice… read on.