What happens when a VAL completes his metamorphosis?
It’s the year of the VAL, the Vulnerable Adult Learner whose behaviour and habitat has been well documented on this website.
But what happens when a VAL eventually gains enough confidence in his, her, ability? They become an Emerging Intermediate, a more aggressive and threatening form of surfer than the VAL.
Don’t believe me?
Let us, as they say in polite circles, start the conversation.
The EI is unassuming because he has a carbon-wrapped board it discovered while being self-radicalized by surfboard review clerics on YouTube. There is also a hipster sub-sect that can afford one-thousand dollar “artisan”, asymetrical twin-fins.
Emerging Intermediates further blend in and confuse everyone else because they actually make a legit wetsuit purchase from a mainstream company, be it an Xcel or perhaps a Matuse (see again hipster sub-sect).
Newly radicalised, weaponised, and over aggressive, they will come to your peak and start shoulder hopping waves with their heads down. They are oblivious to everything. The newly anointed martyrs will make suicide missions into set waves, tomahawking down the face. The real treat comes when they actually make the wave but you’ve burned them. Tantrums and a detailed explanation of “The Rule of Surfing” will follow.
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You have EI’s who vacay in Bali to surf waves out of their league. They wear reef booties and tell everyone they hate wearing them. Secretly, they wish the booties came up to their knee caps and they proudly stomp around in them as proof of being battle-tested at Uluwatu and so forth.
The overarching problem with EI’s is that aren’t as easy identifiable as VAL’s. Therefore, you don’t know where the enemy is and you don’t know where the enemy fire will be coming from.
So what can be done?
Do we place a travel ban on VAL’s in Tourmaline, Pacifica, Venice, and Bondi, assuming that they one day will be radicalized as EI’s?
Is it our responsibility to de-radicalise EI’s by suggesting they go back to a fun board and a surf trip to Costa Rica?