Y'telling me being paid to shred and fend off A-ish class pussy around the world can be bad? Well, yes!
If you’re a man who lives within any proximity of the beach, you’ve always wanted to be a pro surfer. Like, aha, yeah, sure you want to be an accountant or a representative for a pharmaceutical goods company.
Girls wanna be models of course (hence the pout-y selflies with peace signs and bent legs, hands on hips etc) but beach rats wanna be a pro surfer. It’s validation of your manhood and your superiority over your dopey pals.
But, face it, it didn’t happen or it ain’t gonna happen.
Maybe you’ll scoop a minor sponsor, here, there, maybe you’ll even get a few free boards, but when the World Surf League steals only 34 surfers from the planet’s great pool of surfers (millions!), you don’t have to be Stevie Hawkings to see those miserable odds.
Yet…and yet… the tour isn’t the dick-swinging time you might think it is.
1. The pussy thing gets old
By the time the surf prodigy is 16 he’s engaged MILFs in relatively straight congress, had a handful of threesomes (though mostly guy-guy-girl), has faced maybe a dozen winking anuses (female) and has seen every variety of tit, pussy and haunch god ever created. The average man banks a dozen fucks, twenty if he’s a smooth-talker, on average, in his lifetime. A surf prodigy will roll those numbers during one good long weekend at a junior series event. You want to know why those pro’s get married so young? Cause they realise that sex without love ain’t much more than an agreeable friction. (Although that epiphany will eventually dull.)
2. Want to kill the thing you love? Do it for a living.
When you and I go for a surf we schralp around for an hour or so, talk to our pals, fall off on every air attempt, drop-in, get dropped-in on, do fins-first take-offs and have a general blast. Now, imagine, your entire career, your life, your finances, your emotional health and, in some cases, the welfare of your family, depends upon you nailing two sets in a heat and banging off 10 perfect turns. And when you get home the internet is full of couch-cowboys telling the world what a kook you are. Stressful!
3. It’s so serious!
One-time tour surfer Mitch Crews thought the qualifying series had set him up for the most sublime experience of his life. And yet, “I felt very awkward in the competition area because I’m really social and felt like I had to go through the charade of putting my headphones on and then staring at the camera all strong.” No one’s there to make pals. They’ve seen Kelly nail 11-titles, and Mick three, from serious.
4. Mostly, it ain’t flying biz
Travel once a year and what a thrill it is to paw at the airline magazines, rip things out of sealed plastic bags and drink wine from plastic cups while the world soars beneath you. Do it every week and it loses all of its sheen, and then some. If you’re top three, you can afford biz. But who’s top three!
5. Bores at bars
I see it around every contest. Some fan eating the ears of a pro, friendly at first, then increasingly belligerent as the pro politely (and they’re always polite) declines his offer of drinks, drugs (If the Gold Coast, meth, if Spain, coke, if Portugal, MDMA) or to kiss his girlfriend. Every pro needs a Johnny Gannon or a Kaiborg. But who can afford it!
6. The surf media
Can you imagine being called up or cornered every day by writers whom, by even the kindest measure, are borderline retarded?
7. There ain’t a lot of money in it
For Kelly, Joel, Mick, Taj, Gabriel… yes. For the back end, a hundred grand goes into the bank, a hundred-ten gets spent on travel. After five years you end up back in your country town trying to kick-start a surf school or schlepping oversized tees on the road.
8. There’s a chance you’ll be killed
Ever since big-wave surfing went psycho a few years back, the chances of being snuffed out in a heat has increased to it now being… likely. Ten foot Teahupoo; eight-foot Pipe. Not a lot separates you from rock.
9. The weird dynamic with friends
Once you get famous people treat you differently. Friends treat you differently. They walk a little to the side or behind with a sudden deference. And why wouldn’t they? Fans will come up and step right into your conversations with your pal. Girls will elbow the non-famous friend out of the way. And they don’t say a thing! Weird! But not as weird or awkward as…
10. You pay for everything
Let’s say you make it. Big time. A contender but not really. A million Americano shekels a year. You’ve got a couple of houses, a pretty car. But go out for dinner and the little leather wallet will be placed in front of you every single fucking time, either by staff or discreetly by head friend, to, like “fix up”. He’s rich! We’re not! is the unspoken transaction.