‘The times they are a-changing’ sang Bob Dylan in 1964, and never have his words been more significant than right now. Whilst we haul ass into the future, let’s stop and take stock of what we should be doing to keep morale high and kak vibes aside.
Featured Image – Alan Van Gysen
Sharing Aint Always Caring
It’s been said many times before….. yet it seems the message doth fall upon closed ears. When you see good surf, paddle out. Surf till you can’t surf no more. It is an unwell person who takes images of firing surf, posts them online and then wonders why the lineup resembles the bank on payday.
Further to this, if there is a three-day swell for the area, don’t post after day one. Wait until the swell has gone or the onshore is up. That way you will have your fill in a lineup that isn’t bloated. I mean, you wouldn’t dare rock up to a semi-secret spot with a van full of wave hungry ouens? There is a special place in surfing hell for those that share too much on a WhatsApp group. If you’re that guy, you should have to take a shot of beachfront bin-juice before being kicked in the shin. Yellow cards should be dished out on site!
Welcome the Groms
Groms, both a blessing and a curse all in need of direction. Although we’ve all thought of dishing out tribal justice on a couple of the cheeky ones the overall philosophy should be (where applicable) if there are young groms in the water who are just learning the ropes, help them if you can. Remember that you were also a grom once and thought you knew everything. Snaking a lightie, that’s akin to being a bully.
In many cases your paddle power is far superior, but one day your fitness will go, or you might need some help in the line-up, and it just might be one of those groms, all grown up, who could help you. Plus, kids are honestly hilarious. Their views and philosophies are more interesting and out there than ‘high-fashion’.
Marvel at the Ballies.
Similarly, if you’re an up-and-coming hotshot surfer, super fit and able to paddle around Australia, don’t be that guy who snakes the oldtimers. Those guys have cut their teeth years back. Rather adopt the joint philosophy and pass to the left. Keep an eye on those slower to get to their feet or lack that aforementioned paddle power.
Sharing, after all, is caring (just not online) so gift them a bomb. One day, who knows, when it finally dawns on you that you’re not the next Jordy Smith and like the rest of us you’re not gonna make a living out of surfing and you need a job, that ballie you gave a wave to might be hiring. We all start and end somewhere.
Swap Boards and Participate
In this day and age of acceptance of all modes of wave riding, it’s ‘cool’ to swap boards with whoever. Well, I use the term whoever pretty loosely. I’m not saying swap a 5’11 shooter with a 5’10 shooter. But rather that one should swap out with a logger (provided they can squeeze the trigger on your shortie), or with a twin-fin cruiser, or even swap boards with a fins free rider if the opportunity arises.
I guess the point of this is to breed tolerance and understanding in the lineup when you know what it takes to make a different craft dance, or what it actually feels like under your feet so you don’t just have to leave it all up to the imagination. It’s ok to ride fun boards, to have a fat-boy, or to go bouncing around on a soft top (time and place). Try them all, swap boards, experiment with new things. It’s 2019 the world has never been stranger.
Travel Yo Ass
There is nothing in life as good as traveling. NOTHING. It’s always money well spent going out of your comfort zone, meeting new people and finding new waves in places that you’ve never explored. There is a giant world out there, even tho sometimes it feels so damn small. There is plenty of crazy out there for all us crazies.
Then there’s coming home. You learn how good it is to have a place you can call home, and how narrow-minded and utterly puerile it is to shout at someone over a missed wave or something equally as silly. Life is so much bigger than that. Lower your stress and reignite that sense of adventure that got you into this surfing thing in the first place.