When you tell people you’re a surfer, what kind of reaction do you get? Is it positive, negative or indifferent? We know there’s certain stereotypes that people have of surfers, which are rooted in history and pop culture. The movie Point Break is often quoted, when you say that you’re a surfer. I used to find this reference pretty cringe, but nowadays I’ve become a lot more accepting of some peoples’ limited reference points.
These days surfing has reached the mainstream and the old archetypes have to be updated for the modern age. We can confidently say that there’s a multitude of surf tribes. In fact, we’ve previously produced an illustration of the kinds of different surfers you might come across at your local beach in your vibe attracts your tribe. From the soccer mom’s dropping of their little groms for a few hours, to the seasoned old boys hanging out and complaining about the kooks, surfing is a funny little world. Some beaches have more of an easy going vibe, whilst others you can be called out for doing the slightest thing wrong. Yeah, we’ve come across all types in the water from the super aggressive guys who wanna fight, to the more mellow welcoming surfers.
Why so serious?
These days, the general trend however is that way too many people are taking surfing way too seriously. Who can do the highest airs, or most rotations, it’s all become a bit ridiculous. As lineups become more and more crowded, with a mixture of competent surfers, to surfers who are more of a liability. It’s encouraging to see more wave pools open, and this might go some way to help beginner surfers get up to speed quickly, and perhaps ease some pressure on some of the beaches that are within an hours drive of a city. There’s perhaps a new trend emerging of cashed up surfers who have the disposable income to go to a wave pool every weekend.
It seems that these days surfing is becoming highly commercialised thanks to the efforts of the WSL to make surfing appeal to the mainstream, whose to say where surfing is headed in the next 10 years. More of the same? Will the sharks outnumber the humans in the water? Will climate change and discarded fishing nets make it impossible to enter the water due to all the dead carcasses that have ingested them.
The surfing community certainly needs to come together in these challenging times, regardless of our race, background, social status. There might just not be any ocean waves to surf in the future if we continue on the current trajectory.
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