Friday, 2 October 2009

All Mouth No Trousers

Pecs to die for, a sculpted six-pack, boardies worn low and the latest board shaped by Al Merrick. Owning a pristine VW camper and spending a week each Summer in Newquay. Now that's what it takes to be a surfer. Facebook is full of people who pose as surfers in their profile pictures, but probably haven't been out back, let alone stood on anything more advanced than a foamy.

Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against people learning to surf. Totally the opposite. I love people taking it up and the excitement they get once they are hooked. I still remember the feeling I had when I caught my first ever wave on a big foam Swell board. It's the feeling I'm still trying to recreate 8 years on.

My gripe though, is when people lack humility, they have to act the 'big I am'. Owning a board, driving to Newquay and looking the part, don't make you a surfer.

I remember I saw a photo of a friends 'love interest', on myspace. The guy used to rave about how he was a surfer, yada, yada, yada. Sure he looked the part, the hair, the clothes, but this photo.......well, not only was he walking along the beach at sunset carrying his board (oh yeah a 6'2 thruster that would rarely get use in this country!), he had his leash round his ankle. Mistake number 1. Nobody walks down the beach with a leash round their ankle, you trip over the damn thing! I could have forgiven him though, I mean the guy might have been Jeebus and floated across the sand, avoiding leash tripping (yeah right!). The clincher though........he was wearing his skin tight white vest with his boardies. Was he gonna wear that out there or put it in his pocket?! It was more like the Abercrombie and Fitch 05 catalogue shoot.

Who cares what people ride or where they do it. Who cares if it's the fashionable surf spot to be at or the gnarliest. Surfing isn't about macho bullshit or partying 24/7 then surfing. Surfing comes from within. It isn't something you do, it's a state of mind. It isn't the physical act of being in the water and partaking in a watersport. It is something you feel. Something grounded in humility. Something anyone can be part of, but they cannot own it or allow their ego to be bigger than it.


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