Stab Magazine | Stab Debate: Should You Marry A Surfer?

Stab Debate: Should You Marry A Surfer?

Contrary opinions collide. 

style // May 20, 2019
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 5 minutes

It’s been a few weeks, but we’re back for another round of wasted oaf versus man-baby!

This time around we’re bickering about a subject near and dear to us all- should you marry a surfer?

Only one of us has actually tied the knot, but a lack of personal experience has never stopped my opponent from opining loudly and vehemently. According to scientists, it stems from the inverse proportion law of body mass to ego, something I just invented but am positive is true. This is a man who once said he could ride me around and we’d be like Freak the Mighty, and didn’t understand why it wasn’t taken as a compliment.

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Michael: Was I wrong though?


Surfing is, almost without exception, one of the most selfish and self-centered subcultures in existence. Totally preoccupied with a past time that contributes nothing to the world, yet smugly self-assured that their favorite hobby somehow sets them apart from, and above, all others.

A lifelong devotion to surfing turns people into egotistical curmudgeons. Not a positive set of personality traits, destined to torture partners with nonstop bitching and moaning when denied access to the ocean. New devotees are no better. They come wrapped in an aquatic-bodhisattva delusion- all crystals and yoga and blog posts about how the life lessons surfing taught them.

Partnering with a surfer is always a mistake. Even if you already surf, pairing off with a person who shares that interest is a recipe for disaster. Surfers make for terrible husbands and awful wives.

Is there another hobby that revels in blowing off obligations? That glories in missing important events in order to chase the result of an offshore storm?

If you’re with a surfer, you should leave them. My wife included.

If your partner doesn’t surf, don’t make the mistake of encouraging them to try. It won’t work out well. You will regret it. 

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Babe. BABE!


I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said above. Surfers, myself very much included, are unbearably selfish and oftentimes terrible partners because of it.

I also agree that it would be a fool’s errand to encourage a non-surfing partner to pick up the habit. It’s like heroin for the soul.

However, one would be so lucky to couple with a fellow surf fiend. Your fortune increases when their ability level is comparable to your own, the reason for which I’ll explain below.

The thing is that non-surfers don’t get why we “need” to be in the water at highly specific times. To them, the ocean is the ocean. It almost always has waves, so why can’t we just go tomorrow, instead? They have no concept of the elusive wind/swell/tide/mercury in retrograde combination necessary to provide an epic session at Spot X or Y. Nor do they understand how a stellar window, or even just one wave, can justify our existence on this planet for some small portion of time.

Can you believe Jack and Alana have been together for six long years?

To the non-surfer, we’re just being selfish dickheads when we blow off a baby shower for surf.

But partners who surf, get it. At least to a greater extent. And the level at which they understand grows with their ability in the water, which is related to the time they’ve spent searching for that same feeling (albeit in potentially different conditions).

All of which grants you more leeway to surf when those epic windows present themselves.

One issue, I’ll admit, is that when you have a surfing partner who prefers a different wave type to your own, you’re often forced to compromise your personal desires to satisfy theirs. But surfing a weak pointbreak in lieu of a rifling tube is still better than going to the baby shower.

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Hanalei Reponty thought about Rory’s advice, but decided to marry Pat Gudauskas anyway.


What a pleasant surprise! You so rarely admit that I’m right.

And so I’ll do you the kindness of admitting I understand your position. You’ve partnered off with a gorgeous Tica. One who rips. One who relates. One who is inexplicably attracted to the unholy union of a shaved otter and some dude who says, “Youse guys.” If I were in your position I’d delude myself into thinking that I’ve got things figured out. That the rules don’t apply to me.

But you’re a young man, and while it may seem like you’ve been with your stunning partner for a long period of time, the truth is that a couple years is the blink of an eye in the face of long term.

I’m sure you’ve squabbled, no doubt there have been tears and acrimony on occasion. But, mark my words, it doesn’t matter how much you love your partner. There will come a day when you wake up, roll over, and look at their sleeping form and think, “Jesus fuck, I am truly sick of your shit.”

It’s a normal part of any relationship. A true partner comes with ups and downs and anyone who thinks a fulfilling life with another human will be nothing but fun and splendor is in for a nasty surprise. Life ain’t a romantic comedy. There is no happily ever after.

Surfing is a great way to get some space, to cool off, to let absence make your heart grow fonder. A quick surf can wash away negative feelings. Adrenaline and endorphins go a long way towards clearing your head.

But when you share everything with your partner, including your favorite diversions, there is no escape. There is no freedom. Instead of rinsing away anger with salt you’ll be staring across a lineup and stewing.


You claim that my romantic situation is favorably abnormal. I’d argue the same is true for you.

While your smart, impassioned wife is off making stacks as a Kauai lawywer, you’re left at home with the sole responsibilities of walking the dog, keeping the place relatively clean and writing a few words when it suits. In reality, that leaves all fucking day to wait for the tide, winds, and swell to hit their peak hi-perf logging conditions (whatever they may be). 

So your little “escape” to go surf is a bit of a stretch.

Now imagine that you lived a normal American life: you and your wife both work 9-5 and are co-raising children.

In this situation, do you think a non-surfing spouse would allow you to slip out for a few waves before or after work, even on most weekends? Rightly or wrongly, most surfing parents/spouses are forced to hang up the wetty when kids come along, as to not upset their partner. 

“You’re going surfing, again?”

That all changes if both partners surf. Due to your mutual connection with the ocean, compromises will be made so that everyone gets their fill. She gets a few clean runners before work, you get a few air sections in the arvo. Whoever’s not surfing watches the kids, and nobody’s bitter. 

On the weekend, everybody goes to the beach and you take shifts between surfing and sand castle duties. 

This even satisfies your need to get away from the husband/wife, if they’re actually that intolerable. 

You’ve heard these idiots’ sides, but what do you think?


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