Buttdarters weep openly.
Cyclists all over the world were crying into their lattes this morning after receiving the bad news. For the past several years, cycling has claimed the coveted title of The New Golf. But now, the lycra-clad horde has been relegated by none other than surfing. If you imagine surfing as the purview of bohemians with beards, think again.
Surfing’s new status as the go-to pastime for rich men with too much time on their hands comes thanks to the efforts of eleven-time world champion Kelly Slater. It’s not surprising that Slater would chase the New Golf title for surfing, given his long-standing love for actual golf, the kind played on manicured lawns in scenic places. Chasing balls around the grass with a titanium stick has long been a favorite pastime of the world champion.
On Monday Slater cemented surfing’s status by inviting two professional golfers to play in his now-famous wave pool. According to the World Surf League, Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Adam Scott were the lucky golfers invited. They described the experience as “mind-blowing.” Golf, surfing, it’s all the same now.
Cycling lured the men who martini with promises of fitness and shiny carbon toys. You too can have sculpted, shaved quads, and wear tight, stretchy pants, cycling promised. You, well-off man with time and money to burn, can drop $20k on a shiny new carbon bicycle. You can even buy a better bicycle than your buddy and flaunt it on the next lunch ride. He’ll be so jealous.
But too bad you wasted all that money, because cycling is totally over. Now, it’s all about surfing. You’re going to have to trade your lycra for neoprene and your carbon composite bicycles for decidedly retro fiber glass surfboards. Don’t fret! You can still have carbon fins, so it’s not totally over for you. Instead of the joy of the open road, angry drivers, and winning the lunch ride, you’ll get to salt water up your nose and angry locals in your face.
If you really want to impress your rich bros, you can book a private session at Slater’s wave pool. Because he was so determined to transform surfing into the new golf, Slater built a wave pool. To be sure, Lemoore is considerably less exotic than cycling the Passo di Gavia or dropping a hole-in-one in Carmel. But really, anyone can do those things.
The wave pool is exclusive. And you, man with more money than sense, you love exclusive. You have no idea how to surf, but you didn’t know a derailleur from a doornail when you bought your first bike. Your bullet-proof confidence will serve you well in your fledgling pursuit of surfing stoke.
Even better you can quit shaving your legs, which your newly acquired trophy wife hates anyway. She also says she hates your spindly T-Rex arms, so you better start paddling as soon as possible. And you won’t make that annoying clicky-clacky sound when you visit your local coffee shop. You’ll be wearing flip flops and ordering a whole milk latte with extra chia seeds now.
Cyclists must now sadly accept that they’re no longer number one. Cycling, as past tense as Eisenhower. Surfing is the new golf — and if you don’t like it, blame Slater.