Surfing is about good times, good friends, and good waves. Unless of course it means that more people will show up at your ‘secret’ surf spot, right?
We took an informal poll amongst serious and week-end warrior surfers and the verdict is in … surfers love surfing and laughing merrily with their friends in the line-up, but there is a certain sense of disgust when a member of the pack brings new people to the break, or tells other people how to get to the break. It’s just that “there is already way too many people out in the water as it is.”
This moral imperative, this social dilemma if you will, divides more surfers than the whole ‘longboard’ versus ‘shortboard’ debacle. It all started when we received an e-mail from a reader asking for directions to a local surf break … a “how do I get there and where do I park?” sort of thing. It triggered responses that ranged from “tell them to park here”, to “why on earth would you send more people there???”. It was ugly.
Every surfer has a stance on this issue, and we are not about to light a fire keg and tell each and every waterman what the correct answer is, since primarily there isn’t one. It’s a matter of personal preference you see … a personal choice. If a cute boy or girl asks you for a good surf spot, and you’re sort of diggin’ on them … what do you say? Uh-huh. Like we said, it’s a powder keg sitting on top of personal choice.
But wash away all the veneer of so-called localism, forget how crowded the surf breaks could get, ignore the over-eager newbies, and increasingly present surf schools … and what is this really about? What does the surfer in you really say? At the heart of it all we agreed that the Dick and Jane books from kindergarten take precedence yet again: share. Yup. Share.
Share the waves, spread the joy, be the wave.
As much as it ‘could-probably-maybe-short-term-increasingly’ send more and more people to the already crowded spots, the bottom line is that all those people will be, if not already ‘are’, friends. Friends that we can share the good times with, the loud laughter with, and even at certain moments … the waves. The crowds thin out and thicken over time; much like the waves and the tides the coming of the masses is often cyclical. Once you get past the apparent demise of a once private sport or pursuit … it’s all about having someone nearby that you can look to after a massive wipe-out, or a wicked drop and bottom turn, and being able to say “Did you see that?!?!?!”
We know that it’s a thing of beauty to hear only your breath and your own splashes as you drop in on an isolated wave, with not a soul in sight. The silence being your only witness to a perfect session. And although the lone surfer in a beautiful wave may be a thing of the past, you now have more people to laugh and share with. Think about it.