Surfing is a contrived ritual and the freesurfer represents, beautifully, the pointlessness of the act.
The current crop of freesurfers have a hard time of it. People seem to hate that they get to surf all day and don’t seem to do anything meaningful.
BeachGrit has been unkind too: Chas pondered why they are such disappointments when they could turn things on their head. I, too, have been harsh. I concluded that they are knee-capped by confusion and their need to fuck. I suggested it was a malaise that plagued white kids in general. I’d go as far as saying it is part of the modern existence so many others have lamented. I stand by this claim. Their so-called rebellious gestures are impotent (Noah and the WSL), their anger lacks gravity, their airs, though technical and impressive, are meaningless.
Yet, I admire them. I admire them for their ability. I admire them for their lifestyle and I admire them because they’re the embodiment of modern-day impotence. Why? Because I can’t escape that feeling of modern-day impotence myself.
I shouldn’t feel like this.
I’m 30, comfortable in my own abilities, in a healthy long-term relationship and I have a good job with excellent career prospects. But I feel empty, without purpose (the essential ingredient for impotence), prone to bouts of aimless anger and compelled to engage in empty gestures of defiance and stupidity. The highlight was being 19 and putting a shotgun in my mouth. I can’t remember if it was loaded or not and I’m not sure if I want to remember.
I’ve accepted living with these feelings, it’s OK. I just put in my ear buds crank up Minor Threat, Death and the Dead Kennedys as I walk to a dull government building and plan on how to destroy myself on the half-pipe or dream of barrels. It is also why I look to the Noah’s, Mitch’s, Dion’s, Creed’s, etc.
Those kids are useless in life like me (and I’m guessing you too, it’s probably why you may hate them). They’re pissing into the wind, they’re team average, they often don’t have nice styles and they ride strange boards. They’re imperfect.
They’re not like the Gods of the WSL. But perfection is boring. Mick surfs heats perfectly, great for winning world titles, but so boring to watch. He’s 70’s stadium rock to Noah’s punk.
Yeah, the freesurfers do contrived things, but who doesn’t?
Surfing (and I don’t care what the poet/surf scholar/ocean activist/ dolphin fuckers say) is completely contrived. The whole of human life is full of contrived rituals, if it weren’t, we’d be back on par with the animals. The fact that they are paid to be average seems obscene to you? It seems no more obscene than fat middle-aged men being called athletes and getting paid millions to walk around a golf course.
Yeah, they’re not going to change the world and they won’t be as interesting to watch as Arab kids trying to overthrow their government through revolution. Remember, though, revolution is self-defeating. It just replaces the status quo with a new status quo and you can’t keep a revolution going in perpetuity.
Slater was a one-man revolution, now he’s just staid and boring. The Brazilian storm will become a lingering warm front (boring light drizzle), and John John and Julian will become what the Cooly kids are now. Seriously, revolutions get boring.
I appreciate competitive surfing, but I want an alternative to that structured world. Dion and his gang is that alternative.
Yeah, they’re impotent modern youth, they’re not John John, they may have slightly dubious fashion tastes, they’re not going to change shit and are probably overpaid for what they do.
However, they do seem to have a lot of fun. And I want some of that cake. So fuck the WSL.