Awaken Your Inner 16 Year Old
Ed note: the following is the 634th installment of our new weekly email chain called the Stab Fwd. If you’re into it, subscribe here.
Surfing has been illegal during France’s second COVID lockdown.
A new rumor has surfaced every week. You can get a ticket if they catch you driving with a board in your car, the fine is going up to 3k, a whole lineup got ticketed, a friend of a friend got arrested, they’re sending out boats to enforce it tomorrow, etc.
And it’s been firing.
Some people have organized demonstrations to express their dissatisfaction with the anti-surf clause. Others have just been surfing — rebelling against it, I suppose.
I’m in the latter camp.
Earlier this year, I wrote about Andy Irons, about the way he made surfing look like something that had a deeper meaning, like something that had to be done. It always felt rebellious to me.
Lately, while looking over my shoulder in the lineup feeling ready to sweet talk a cop should the need arise, I chuckled at how rebellious I felt for listening to sub-par punk rock songs and trying airs at 16. What, exactly, did I think I was rebelling against?
My best guess, after a few sessions of rebelling out of necessity rather than angst: Normalcy.
Surfing leads to a very abnormal life. Many would consider it strange to travel across the world merely to experience the result of oceanic wind descending upon a certain reef, let alone to wake up at 5 AM for the purpose of frolicking around in skin-tight neoprene before work.
But we know that we have something they don’t. And it’s not a solution to whatever problem the rest of the world seems to be caught up trying to solve — it’s a laugh in its face.
Surfing will be legal again here starting on Saturday. Maybe I’ll listen to some Pennywise so that I can feel rebellious again.
I’ve long maintained that Waco, Texas is the ideal place for a wave pool. Why? Because it’s funny. And if you’re going to build an expensive and environmentally questionable factory to produce something we already have an infinite supply of, at least make it funny. That said, I would still get a tattoo of an eagle on my forearm and wear a fedora in order to surf this place.
That is the conundrum we all face when it comes to wave pools, I believe.
Lemme tell you a lil something about the ongoing identity crisis within the surf industry. On one side, you have core surfers who are not savvy enough to efficiently run a business. On the other side, you have businesspeople who do not surf and therefore lack the intuition required to run a company that bases itself in surf. I don’t actually believe in either of these extremes, but they make fantastic scapegoats. Anyway, even though Burton seemed far from reptilian corporate overlords, this is good news for surfing.
Pro surfing may have swung too elite (in part due to this periodical). When the regional pro died, so did a sense of relatability. I see it coming back, though. Good surfing from interesting people should be enough to hook enough people who carry the same obsession. Enter: Mitch Crews.
The Intern has invited/challenged you to enter our fantasy surf league and he did it in quite a profane way. I like that about him. Hit the link above if you want to yell at strangers over Round 2 heats that are decided by .17 points.
It was a funny week in terms of edits. Here we have Mason Ho riding a 6’6” at fun-sized Rocky Point and here we have Seb Williams riding a 5’10” at solid Mexi-Pipe — boards that could have conceivably been swapped for a more traditionally appropriate response to those conditions. Watch both, try something new.
Creed. Coopers. Old cars. Old pubs. Australia is not my home, but this video kind of makes me wish that it were. As an aside: Neal Purchase Jnr makes going backside not look inconvenient, which is incredible.
One last thing:
Other than a few popular locations (like Wedge), bodysurfers are mysterious creatures and should be approached with caution.
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