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Existential: Thinkings best surfer!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Which famous philosopher would rule the waves? Let's ponder!

There is a new book out this month called Surfing with Sarte by author Aaron James, an “avid surfer and professor of philosophy.” It combines pop philosophy with surfing. Obviously. National Public Radio writes:

James tackles many of philosophy’s age-old conundrums — How do we know we exist? Are the things we sense real? — but he’s more concerned with a pragmatic issue: How do we balance labor and creativity, work and leisure, while living in a capitalist system that pulls and prods us toward an ideal of efficiency? His answer is simple, yet nuanced, and he delivers it in a refreshing way that eludes moralizing. “In the surfer’s easy self-transcendence, she remains herself, desires and all, but becomes attuned to things beyond herself.” Taking his own advice, he infuses Surfing with Sartre with just the right mix of personal insight and universal scope.

Etc. Etc. You get it, right? Cute. But the title made me wonder. Who is really thinkings best surfer? Surfings best thinker is… who would you say? Who is the smartest surfer out there? I’d say Matt Warshaw. He went to Berkley n shit.

Thinkings best surfer is a little more difficult though. Sarte looked like this…

…oh those googly eyes! He would be dropping in on everyone because how could he even begin to see? Or maybe he would never drop in because he would see both the far left and far right at the same time. In either case he wouldn’t be thinkings best surfer.

What about Immanuel Kant? His categorical imperative would be fun to abuse in the lineup and if he ever got in the way you could scream, “Facking Kant!” in a neat British accent.

Nietzsche would übermensch every wave to himself and look at his moustache…

…he would for sure ride a very heavy self-shaped thing that would hurt when he plowed into you.

Ludwig Wittgenstein would live in a nifty farm and probably end up stealing your girl..

Bertrand Russell would bum you out, Martin Heidegger would bore the shit out of you but it would be fun to call him a “boozy beggar”, Simone de Beauvoir might be a good time but I’m going to say Foucault. He would rule any scene, even Da Pipeline, through a perfect combination of knowledge and power but more importantly look at that breezy smile!

But who do you think? Do you disagree?