At least we still have each other. And Wagner Lima.
Yesterday was a violent day in our surf world and it made me so wistful, so teary-eye’d and thankful for they are very rare now. Almost extinct. And I was thinking about this as I drove north to the Surfrider Foundation offices in piquant San Clemente on the very same morning to talk with Surf Splendor’s David Lee Scales.
Derek Rielly had forwarded me yet another The Inertia-style website over the weekend and with the combination of that, all those other ones, the actual The Inertia and the World Surf League’s forward facing image being that of an elf-costume wearing SUP riding adult learner made me wonder if finally, after all these years, surf culture is crumbling to nothing. Finally shedding any last trace of rebellion, angst, exclusivity and… cool.
Oh I know that it is trendy to think surfing isn’t “cool” and maybe never was, that surf culture is just a silly, unnecessary appendage to the act of surfing itself, but I’ve always disagreed. As a backward Oregon youth I loved to surf so very much but also needed the culture. Tom Curren and Gotcha ads defined my parameters and without them, without the VHS tapes and magazines, surf shops and surf brands I would have drowned in a sea of redneck.
Surf culture floated my dreams and still does. I put the question forward to David Lee, anyhow, the very minute I pushed through Surfrider’s doors. “Is this the actual end? Does the adult learner x World Surf League axis bring surf culture to its knees? Is this the real apocalypse?”
He thought I was hysterical, as he often does. Overly-emotional because he is a reasonable man but it didn’t assuage my fears. The day unfolded with Justin Housman attacking William Finnegan and Tanner Hendrickson attacking Michael Rodrigues and I thought, for one glorious minute, “We’re back!” Until the World Surf League suspended Tanner for simply doing what surfers on the North Shore do.
Well, son of a bitch but I am not about to be discouraged because we still have each other and we still have Wagner Lima even though, try as I might, he won’t return my calls.
Wagner? Are you there?
Listen to the rest of the show here!