Let's be honest. Just for once. Or maybe even twice!
I will tell you firsthand. The surf industry loves more than anything to pat a back whilst, at the same instant, gossiping feverishly. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done the same. Written glowingly about something I just, minutes before, gagged over. I’ve done it so many times, in fact, that I forget when I loathe and when I love. Which is why BeachGrit‘s newest feature Real Talk is so imperative. We, for the first time ever, are going to call it like we see it. Maybe we’ll be totally wrong but we’ll, at least, be totally honest and dignity may, in some distant future, come crawling back through the door!
Our first offering is Kelly Slater’s new surfboards. Surfing magazine wrote glowingly about them many weeks ago and Stab, as is its wont, just reprinted the same review today. I’m sure I’ve said they look sick to someone but I lied! Study them! I am no shaper, no surf design expert, but every time I see a picture of one of those boards I think, “UGH!” I think “My surfing would be set back 15 years!” I look at the weird Tomo one and think. “No. I’d embarrass myself badly both through the parking lot and on the wave.” I look at the one that has multi steps in the tail and think, “Why the hell does that board look like that?” I look at the one that is maybe supposed to be the high performance shortboard and think, “I don’t need any more potassium in my diet.”
I see many boards that make me want to grab their besotted rails straight away and dance them through a ten point wrap-around carve. I see Slater Designs and think, “If those were the last boards on earth I’d quit.”
But why? What about them disgusts? I don’t quite know. Something visceral for me, maybe, combined with Kelly’s boggy-turned World Tour effort last year. I reached out for expert advice from one of the world’s best shapers but was rebuffed. “I am not going to get suckered into any of that type of stuff right now. The boards are a bit out there, but if he proves successful on them, opinions may change…” he said. But I will say right now. UGH!
Now that’s real talk. Do you disagree? Are you dying to spend dollars on a banana? Are you begging to surf just like you did in the early 1990s?