We surfers are natural born complainers or we real surfers. Everything can always be better, either lots or slightly, and this is part of what gives us our patented disposition, beautifully described as “grumpy” by our current Waterperson of the Year and owner of professional surfing Dirk Ziff.
You would be forgiven for thinking that “grumpy” and BeachGrit’s anti-depressive ethos are mutually exclusive but that is one of the many, unfathomable mysteries of this glorious pastime. Wrapped in neoprene and dipped in salt water, they become one and the same.
Well, our sisters and brothers in north Florida have many reasons to complain. Surfer the Bar, there in Jacksonville, is getting sued for playing unauthorized music and the region is experiencing the longest flat spell in history, to name but two.
The Florida-Times Union reports:
“The worst flat spell ever,” said Eddie Pitts, who runs 911surfreport.com, a local website.
“Absolutely pathetic,” said Bill Longnecker, who’s been surfing since 1960 and giving a daily telephone report — (904) 241-0933 — since 1984.
Since the second half of May, the surf has been nonexistent to marginally minimal, and people are getting grouchy.
“It’s like the first topic of conversation when you run into somebody who surfs,” said Matt Shaw, editor-in-chief at Void, a Northeast Florida culture and lifestyle magazine with its own surf report (voidlive.com).
Shaw tries to plan his life and work around the swells and the tides, making sure he has the right board to suit the conditions.
“Now just everything’s thrown up in the air,” he said. “I’ve got a shed full of boards, different sizes. I never felt it was superfluous to have so many surfboards. Now it’s like, do we even use these here?”
Brothers Pitts, Longnecker and Shaw each have the right attitude. Despair, existential dread, a profound malaise that, hopefully, seeps right into home and work lives. But their glass empty is our glass full.
Orange County, California has been fun. It appears as if Australia’s Gold Coast has too. The World Surf League’s President of Content, Media and Etc. has even been bagging drainers in Manhattan Beach.
I imagine even your home break, wherever it may be, has seen some surf-able days.*
But their glass half empty still contains some measure of good. Our north Florida brothers and sisters don’t have to worry about those dreaded waves of change plaguing the business world.
*North Florida excluded.