Kelly Slater surfing's own Marie Antoinette!
Since my Hurley Pro conversion, where I saw the light on the cobbled stone and realized that you are all that matters in this crazy world, you the non-VIP, you the full-retail paying, I have been on a quest to rebalance the scales. I am a surf populist from the soles of my Louis Vuitton drivers to the very tips of my manicured fingers and together we shall overcome.
To be quite honest, I thought we overcame at the Hurley Pro. I thought that the Michelob Ultra set realized the error of their tented ways and understood that the bread of the people is more satisfying than even the freshest chicken ceasar salad wrap.
Oh how I was wrong! Like a superhero who vanquishes one foe only to discover a far more menacing danger lurking right behind, Kelly Slater’s exclusive Surf Ranch rose from the land of cow stink and made the Hurley Pro’s multi-tiered VIP wristband system seem positively egalitarian.
Surf Ranch is like the Palace of Versailles. Kelly like Marie Antoinette looking down upon us and muttering, “Let them drink Michelob Light…”
So out of touch, so mean, but the walls were too high so we had to retreat. To plot another attack. But to attack well we must understand our skill set. Who are the people? Who are we?
Well guess what?
I found out exactly who we are tucked into a story about The People’s Wave Tank in Austin, Texas! Would you like to know thyself?
Surfing’s a multibillion-dollar industry around the country. Surfers — and tourists who want to try surfing — spend money in the coastal towns of California, Florida and Hawaii. Studies show surfers don’t fit the stereotype of uneducated, pot-smoking slackers, either. A 2011 study by the Surfrider Foundation with Surf-First, titled “A Socioeconomic and Recreational Profile of Surfers in the United States,” concluded that the average American surfer was a 34-year-old, educated and employed male who earned $75,000 annually and hit the waves 108 times a year, spending at least $40 a visit.
How did I miss A Socioeconomic and Recreational Profile of Surfers in the United States? Oh I know that 2011 was an economic lifetime ago but still. You are a 34-year-old, educated and employed male earning $75,000 annually and the tears are welling up in my eyes right now. How do you even live? How do you even begin to live?
I feel all of your pain and so let us gather your Toyota Tacomas and Toyota Tundras. Let us put the few Sprinter vans out front and let us rush the gate.
A reckoning is coming to surfing and its name is Slightly Lower Middle Class.
1%, you have been warned.