7 Things Surfing Never Needed
Words by Morgan Williamson
Surfing's a simple pleasure. What follows below is lucid distortion, and not the Sonic Youth kind. You don't need much, so don't overthink it. Waves come to town, you go get at it. But some people see surfing and see a biz opportunity. Some ideas are great (removable fins), and some aren't (below). Here, we put together a list of 7 things surfing would have been better off, or at least the same, without.
1. Webbed gloves
If you need webbed gloves to paddle, you probably shouldn't be surfing. Humans aren't amphibians, and we definitely aren't ducks. So, we shouldn't mimic them and instead take notes from Icarus and stop floating so near the hot sun of square-dom. Wearing them is essentially a sign on your forehead that reads "hey bro, please burn me, I'm going down shortly after this take off anyways."
2. 'Diamond' nose guards
The nose guard, what a gimmick. Designed for cautious parents and unsure skill sets. Surfboard noses aren't daggers, rubber stoppers aren't going to tone down the blunt force trauma you'll receive when taking a board to the dome. They're a false reassurance and a waste of glue and money. "You'll shoot your eye out kid" is best left to Red Rider BB Guns and A Christmas Story.
3. In God's Hands
Three pro surfers travel the world in search for the ultimate wave. The 1998 film is just, so... 90's. In the trailer (above), you can almost smell the puka shell necklaces. Shane Dorian's got a leading role in this Hollywood foray into surf, along with Shaun Thompson. If Hollywood does anything notoriously wrong it's surf films. Spoiler alert: The dude that wants to paddle into a 40 foot wave, fails, swims to the ocean floor, grabs a boulder and drowns himself from embarrassment. In God's Hands is so bad that it's almost good. Regardless, over a decade on, Shane's had the world's best career renaissance (other than, perhaps, Occy).
4. Sex Wax: Dream Cream and Sticky Bumps: Punt Wax
It all started with Fu Wax in Brazil back in 2011. There was a stupid little wax theory, that all the CT and QS guys wanted to hop on… it was hush-hush, a secret weapon, a spitball. Because of this, Fu Wax started to gain some notoriety in the wax world, a world that hasn't changed much in surfing's recent years. After Kelly hucked that full-roter in the Quik Pro, New York semis while using it to beat Taj, there was a mad dash to get hands on it. How the hell did that board stick to his feet? It became a hot commodity. Because of this, Sticky Bumps and Sex Wax became insecure. They hopped on board, but, neither could quite perfect the formula. The wax became gooier, it got everywhere, an unstoppable force like TheBlob, consuming everything in its path, pasting itself to your wetty, ruining any shirt you wore while carrying your board. And so, they have landed into the fourth slot of this list of pretension.
5. Beaver Tails
Beaver tails had a purpose, they completed the dive suit. Before the wetsuits you know today, they were necessary. When left undone you get an unnecessary piece of excess neoprene that hangs from your ass and flaps in the wind. Beaver tails today are a bi-product of strange human desire for tails, something to allow us to fit into the animal kingdom. I imagine, people who wear them long for the ability to wag when happy or tuck between their legs when uneasy and scared. But, they just end up disappointed when they come to realise their tail is rubber, and the only wagging they'll get out of it is while pumping down a wave's face; happy wagging. Maybe it’s just a nostalgic yearning for the once-was. Whatever it is now, surfing doesn’t need it.
6. Surf Shades
Polarised shades for surfing, they come equipped with a leash that'll wrap around your head and neck to keep them in place. We get it, it'd be nice to have shades on in the water, especially on those seemingly electric days where the glare's so bad it's hard to keep your eyes open. But they aren't goggles, they don't keep water out, and if you do wear goggles while surfing, then... you cannot be saved. Surf shades will straight-up shot put you into the barney world, and not the Barron kind (RIP).
7. Leash detanglers
Leashes have rather plateaued since the development of the double swivel. Which was probably the best thing to happen in the leash world. The new development is the leash detangler. Here's the theory: the leashes are threaded through a little ring that will put extra weight on the leash and keep it away from your feet. And they might work, but it's high reach for leash innovation. You've got to give it to them though… how advanced can a leash really get? Next time you blow a wave because you leash wrapped around your ankles, you might consider trying it out.
What'd we miss?