Stab Magazine | The Best Surfer Is The One Having The Least Fun

The Best Surfer Is The One Having The Least Fun

Opinions from an intern. 

cinema // Sep 7, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Who is the best surfer? The one having the most fun, right?

Absolutely fucking not.

If you believe in that adult learner catchphrase you might as well stop reading now. You’re candy ass won’t like the rest of this poorly written temper tantrum. I don’t wake up at 3am and drive 4 hours to the gulf coast to have the most fun. I don’t paddle battle with angsty “pro but not pro” teenagers at the local pier for fun. I certainly don’t limp into an 8 hour work day in 90 degree weather because I was busy having fun. 

I’m hungry. Scratch that, I’m starving. I have been desperate for improvement ever since I learned how to get down the line. Is surfing fun? Sure, maybe, I don’t know. Depends on the day. Not as fun as it used to be. Those learning years are nice. You genuinely believe you have a spiritual connection with the ocean, you neglect hair cuts for a couple months, horrific GoPro footage floods social media. Simple, awkward turns are enough to boost your self esteem. 

Not for long though. The local ripper suddenly starts to damage your fragile surf ego. Progression becomes desirable. Frustration kicks in. Stiff upper body doinker turns just don’t cut it anymore. Buddies snaking you start to piss you off. No more hollering “PARTY WAVE” when getting dropped in on. Every session becomes a mental heat, and you always seem to fucking lose. 


The board has adapted to its daily beatings and learned to dodge the intern’s often wild punches.

One of my favorite surf related quotes comes from the mystic twin fin wizard man, Asher Pacey. Don’t remember what it was exactly, something along the lines of “you could ask what surfing means to me ten different times, and i’ll give you ten different answers.” We’re emotional beings. Surfing is an outlet. Anger, joy, fear, etc. It’s a NutriBullet of mental torment. 

Sure there are days filled with laughter in the lineup, but that’s just because it’s one-foot and there’s no wave to fight over.  I’m supposed to be happy just because I’m surfing? Fuck that, fuck you. BOGGING SUCKS AND I’LL MAKE SURE TO PUNCH MY BOARD SO HE KNOWS IT’S HIS FAULT. (My board is a dude, his name is Jermaine.)

Straddled and submitted, Jermaine takes a well-deserved beating.

Sorry, but this isn’t the YMCA. The best surfer isn’t the one having the most fun. The best surfer gets the deepest barrels. The best surfer throws air so high you reevaluate the earth’s gravitational pull. He or she catches the best waves, and absolutely ravages the sections that make most of us shit our britches. Keep telling yourself that having fun is why you surf. I’ll make sure the participation trophy is nice and polished for when you’re done frolicking.


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