Friday, February 27, 2009

Legitimize it...




My friend is a cheater. He is tall, athletic, an excellent paddler, a phenomenal natural surfer, and he insists on riding 9' longboards like they are shortboards. Yes, he occasionally nosetouches, but mostly just pumps, jives, floats, and bashes. When I used to be a diehard sponger he would give me a bit of a hard time because it was "easier" to ride prone than standing. Now he justifies his cheating. "Surfing is about catching waves and having fun." Simple. True.

Is riding a fish, log, mat, kneelo, glider, funnyboard, toothpick, or boogie cheating? Is surfing most valid when it is done in a more difficult manner? Who is qualified to judge which is the most difficult of wave riding arts? Surely someone who is accomplished in all disciplines. Is that you? It's not me.

I've been burned and snaked a fair share of times for bouncing about on a Neumatic. I've had rocks thrown at me for riding a boogie at good barreling waves. I assume the fact that prone riding is viewed as an easier surfing art justified the perpetrators' malicious acts.

The wood ancients are all the rage partly because they're difficult to surf. The MSurfica/Hynd cult is partly validated by the perception of difficulty.Why isn't the West Oahu ripper pictured above (Danny Kim) a modern hero? He is doing what few others can do and doing it well.


And those A.P.E.S are the biz. If you have a pair send them to me. I prefer the green.

7 comments:

Surfsister said...

Great (?) minds think alike. I've been thinking of doing a similar post of late. I may not do it after all since you echoed many of my sentiments. Then again, there's more to be said.

Thanks for the matting advice.

borntoloser said...

SSister-

Yes, there is a lot of room to expand on what was implied here. I look forward to hearing your and others' perspectives.

I hope to share a mat session with you in the near future. It's such a blast and so nuanced...

azuldeultramar said...

does it really matter how we catch waves as soon as we have fun and are respectuful to others?

i did a similar post a few weeks ago:

http://azuldeultramar.blogspot.com/2009/01/importa.html

aloha

dani

clayfin said...

I went to the Wegener talk at Patagonia a few months ago. He summed up by saying that unless you're under thirty and a really good surfer, stand-up alaia are maybe not for you. I may still try to build one long enough for stand-up and give it go anyway. But, I love the two prone alaia I made, such a buttery feel compared to a sponge.

borntoloser said...

Clay- I can imagine the buttery feel would be true- flex. Have you ever tried a surfmat? You'd probably be pretty stoked on them.

There are some shots of Machado riding a 5'8 standing up in the new T.Campbell movie. I wonder what would be a good try-out size for a guy who's 165 lbs. and surfs 5'6/5'8 fish day to day?

ras said...

hey I'm late with the comment... I started surfing in my last year of high school -sixteen years ago. since then it has been central to my life. I've always surfed whatever I coul'd get as I was always broke or cheap. so I've ridden all kins of equipment. surfing is fun. surfing is moving across the face of waves. the equipmnet is secondary, a tool to achieve the act. althoug I'm weary of the current surf everything craze which brings with it capitalist intentions, surfing everything simply allows a broader enjouyment in surfing.

borntoloser said...

Ras- Spot on. And I concur regarding capitalist machinations taking over a ride anything ethos. I do think it is a more free perspective than what has formerly been "sold" as surfing's "correct" norm.