Which Is Cooler: Surfing All Fifty American States Or Taking Three Bong Rips On A Wave?
This is what surfing looks like, right now.
Content, content, content.
It is king, some people say. And then they go on to divide the kingdom into territories like “evergreen” or “shoulder” and speak of it in variety of terms which are designed to confuse more than they inform in an attempt to create a veil of superiority, or at least intelligence, by asserting that they know these buzzy vain words while their peers don’t.
Anyway, we live in an era in which people have become brands and brands have become useless noise machines. An era of content, most of which is driven by clicks, likes, views, followers, etc, because there is no metric for cool in a monthly report.
I’m not sure exactly when watching someone arch their back in a backless wave or punt a six-foot straight air into the flats paired with an uncontrived representation of their personality became inadequate, yet here we are.
Content, content, content. The king we never needed.
Which brings us to a few major accomplishments coming out of the surf world recently. Ben Gravy completed his mission to surf all 50 states and Zoltan Torkos took three bong rips on a wave, earning separate but equal love from both CBS and CBD.
The engagement rate, reportedly, was quite high for both.
But is any of it cool?
Surfing 50 states is cool, I think... Painfully novelty, though.
I’d rather see a father and son do it. They would take the old family RV. And the father would have just been diagnosed with ALS. And the son would be battling an opioid addiction. And they would have never gotten along before this, regardless of the unconditional love the father has shown. And the RV would break down a lot. And there would be a fight and the father, with the new freedom he has found in facing death, would leave and the son would have to be the one that saves the father for once.
They would reconcile, the son would beat his addiction, the father would die and it would become a film, even though that was never the intent. Their characters would be played by Jeff Bridges and a young upstart hunk.
And, the bong rip. Kind of cool, maybe?
I’d rather see this one completed by a teenager wearing a cape. Still, I feel like this was somehow less forced. Like, homie woke up that morning and may have tried to smoke a bong on a wave whether the cameras were rolling or not. Wouldn’t take it to Hollywood, though.
The bottom line is that surfing doesn't need anything at all. It is a firework that temporarily captivates the entire sphere of consciousness and it is perfect. But the vast majority of "surf content" needs work. It needs to be genuine. It needs to be real. It needs to be unafraid of being labeled core — remember how things worked out last time we tried to go mainstream?
Only Ben and Zoltan will ever truly know if they did it for their heart or for their clicks. Either way, power to them. Just more power to them if it was the former.
And by the way, that wasn't the bottom line. This is: Just go surfing, and have a good fucking time.