This Is The Most Important Thing You'll Watch Today - Stab Mag

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Surfing was never white.

This Is The Most Important Thing You’ll Watch Today

Surfing is not a ‘white sport’, historically or otherwise.

cinema // Feb 23, 2022
Words by Michael Ciaramella
Reading Time: < 1 minutes
Animation by Claire Pinegar

The first line of this video struck me.

“Recently someone asked me, ‘Is there a whiter sport than surfing?'” Selema Masekela’s baritone boomed through my speakers. “You’d think I’d be used to that question by now, but it stings just as much as the first time…”

That question — which most of us have heard and some of us have asked — can not only be isolating to surfers of different backgrounds, but also whitewashes surfing’s robust history. Regardless of which group you believe were the first to stand atop waves on a wooden plank — Hawaiians, Peruvians, Africans, etc. — they were clearly not white.

Thanks to Selema’s enduring patience and willingness to share his experiences, we can get a glimpse into the past, present, and future of BIPOC communities in surfing.

This short film by Red Bull (in partnership with 1 Planet One People) and Selema challenges the idea of a white-centric surf community and reveals the deep and diverse roots that shaped the sport we love. Hit play above.

Enter the 1 Planet One People surfbaord raffle here to support the movement.


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