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Damn: Bad words not good for surf writing!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Also self-awareness is good for surf writing!

Yesterday late I was forwarded one of Kelly Slater’s Instagram stories wherein he is doing the “PETA Challenge” and becoming a vegan. I giggled all night thinking about the title for this morning’s offering. Either Shocking: Kelly Slater NOT already vegan! Or maybe Revealed: Kelly Slater once ate meat! This morning, however, I realized I had posted the same basic story underneath a dull headline and only just days ago.

Depression washed over me and stayed over me until I stumbled upon How to become a surf writer on the Portuguese website Surfer Today. It was a longer article completely lacking in annoying flourishes, just laying down the facts. Here is a snippet.

Surfing is a highly visual sport. And because it relies on an enigmatic symbiosis between human and nature, you rarely need words to describe what you see – a perfect solitary wave, a giant mountain of rolling water, a freak backwash wave exploding near the shore break. And on top of that, a man or woman riding it for the simple, yet addictive pleasure of doing so.

But precisely because it gets so visually attractive, surfing weaved its own web of connections. From its historical background and surfboard building techniques to its musical, cultural, scientific, and sociological diversities, surfing became the subject of a wide range of analysis.

Therefore, writing about surfing is a natural process, and something it should and will be done as long as there are waves to be ridden.

Oh how my life path felt validated if even only a moment and I hurried to where it promised me further guidance.

If your goal is to become a well-respected surf journalist, there are a few things you should know before submitting your work to potential publishers or employers. One of the first things you should take into consideration is that you need to make choices.

1. Are you someone who prefers quality over quantity or the other way around?

2. Build a surf media chart

3. Build personal awareness

4. Adopt a no-swearing policy


I continued reading.

While it can sound cool to younger audiences in some circumstances, bad and offensive language will immediately narrow down your chances of attracting mature readers and employers.

Shit. Well, there goes that moment of validation. I’m officially back to where I started with not a mature reader or employer on the horizon. Tomorrow morning, though, I debate Stab’s Ashton Goggans on air.

That will be fun.