The surf world fights an epic battle against bland!
I spent the majority of today driving back and forth from my beloved north county San Diego to my least favorite south Orange County. Beginning, really, in Laguna Niguel and winding up through the San Joaquin hills to Newport Beach one would be hard pressed to find a more sterilized environment. Everything is a newer shade of brown. All the cars are Lexus. The palm trees stretch as high as they can hoping to catch a glimpse of either Disneyland to the north or the San Onofre nuclear generating station to the south. Anything to break the monotony.
There is, anyhow, at the northern foothills of the San Joaquin hills in Newport Beach a giant newer shade of brown Lexified depressed palm tree’d temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
I studied it three times, studied its hideous faux mission architecture, its water sucking landscaping, its gold Angel Moroni trumpeting eastward toward the Salt Lake faithful and praised the real Lord that I am a Christian and not a Mormon. Who would want all of that?
It just so happens that, after my day’s journey, I also accidentally read a story in the Deseret News (the official Mormon mouthpiece) titled Meet LDS Surfer Jordy Collins, one of the sport’s rising stars.
Jordy Collins was pictured and looked very cute and seemed sweet and surfed well etc. etc. but in the interview there were two paragraphs that really roiled. Would you like to read?
At first glance, an active Mormon in the surfing world might seem like a clash of cultures, but surfing has evolved. As Daren (Jordy’s father) puts it, “When I was growing up it was more of a culture of rebellion against society and parents and all that. But it’s become a competitive sport and people approached it differently. It’s really changed. It’s a family atmosphere.”
Says Jordy, “There are a lot of kids in the pros now who realize how serious our sport is becoming, so it’s not too hard to say, ‘no, I don’t do that.’ It’s about becoming athletes. Kelly Slater (a legendary surfing champion) was the first to step back and say we’re actual professional athletes. So it’s not too hard, although it’s definitely not the normal thing. I usually don’t surf on Sunday, so I get questions. You explain and then they say, oh, OK, that’s cool.”
And FUCK THAT! Right? If this is where surfing is going, where the World Surf League is taking it, to a clean, safe, family friendly sport then…then….then……FUCK THAT!
Not that surfing is/needs to be rebellious, it’s not and hasn’t been for some time, but it becoming Mormonified is more than I can take.
So bland! So Mitt Romney! So…so…so Marriott!
I hope that the sporting elements flat out lose in the long run and I know they will because, at the end, surfers all are selfish derelicts or even worse unrepentant addicts. The WSL and Mormon church, however they try to package, are on the wrong side of history. Surfers/we are dicks. And cocaine users.