Don't Yell At People In The Ocean
"Let’s try to stay ahead of this instead of verbally assaulting children while wearing skin-tight oil suits."
Ed note: the following is the third installment of our new weekly email chain called the Stab Fwd. If you're into it, subscribe here.
A few days ago, I witnessed one of the worst blow-ups I’ve ever seen in the ocean.
The waves were fun, the sun was out, and the lineup was packed. The gross skill level was exactly that — gross. At one point, a punchy set broke out further than any before it and, while paddling for the second wave, I glanced in at an apocalyptic scene of white foam, neon foamies, and an army of zombie faces coated with an uncalled for amount of both fear and zinc-oxide.
That kind of session.
Shortly thereafter, the blow-up.
I didn’t see what happened, but I can say that it appeared as though a teenage boy had deeply offended a middle-aged man. It wasn’t violent, but it was loud. The altercation commanded the attention of the entire lineup. The boy remained quiet while the guy berated him for two minutes straight. Judging by the way they paddled, neither of them were good surfers.
I wanted to yell at the guy, but two things were in the way. The first was a language barrier and the second was the paralyzing irony of wanting to tell someone to fuck off for telling someone to fuck off.
So I said nothing, but I’ll say something now: Let’s not take surfing so seriously.
Surfing’s getting too popular to not make fun of. And if surfers don’t make fun of it, everyone else will instead. This video is a prime example of that. Let’s try to stay ahead of this instead of verbally assaulting children while wearing skin-tight oil suits.
Yell kind things at them instead.
Love is in the air. But so is COVID-19-2020, which meant that Jack and Julia had to say their vows in front of their loved ones on Zoom because the only other person who actually lives in Western Australia is Jay Davies. This was our most-clicked story this week, indicating that we all like to feel inferior to professional surfers in ways other than just wave riding.
This story is new, so it isn’t yet one of this week’s greatest hits. However, there’s no way it doesn’t get there. There’s no such thing as a Spartan hydrofoil double shark attack that doesn’t achieve internet greatness (which could be defined as a short and meaningless blip on the radar of digital consciousness).
Surfing saves lives. You see it in those documentaries on Netflix, and you see it here. I think it preventively saves a lot more lives than accounted for — meaning, a passion for surfing prevents a lot of people from making a lot of bad decisions. So, fuck, put on a wetsuit and scream at a child if that’s what it’s going to take to save your life. Or just go to Panama instead.
As we’ve discussed, the only thing separating each and every one of us from acquiring the keys to the universe and unlocking our potential — physically, mentally, spiritually but primarily sexually — is the right surfboard. So, isn’t it fun when a surfer with an identifiable brand of surfing makes a big switch? Click above and see what Conner Coffin looks like with a JS under his feet, then joust a stranger over how it affects his surfing.
Did you know that Connor O’Leary was working at a surf shop shortly before he qualified for the CT? He is a treasure and should be cherished. So is this gent, Letty Mortensen. One day he’s working in a shop, the next day he’s got a feature edit on Stab. Letty’s got a cool lanky man style and does some big airs. Plus you get two haircuts for the price of one, which is quite the bargain in this day and age.
This November will mark a full ten years since Andy Irons died. He was born on July 24, and the surf world usually celebrates his life around this time of year. I’m going to kick that off a bit early with this edit. I’ll share a longer piece here around his birthday.
Let’s catch up.
Last week, I asked you to share your irrational surfing pet peeves with me here. My favorite response came via a stabmag.com comment from an individual who identifies as Dirty Dan.
I think the most irrational thing that bugs me is when the water temps are in the mid-upper 60's and somebody paddles out in boardshorts and insists on announcing to the rest of the lineup how good the water feels.
"Doesn't the water feel great? I just can't fucking believe how good the water feels. The water feels unbelievable, I can't believe how warm the water is."
Yes, we have all noticed that you're skinnin' it. Nobody else cares what anybody else is wearing, except for you. Please pick a different subject to make between-sets small talk about.
I liked it so much because I’m guilty of it — maybe not to the entire lineup, but to some friends.
One last thing:
This kid is going to make the CT (if that’s still a thing after COVID).