We're all getting eaten. You. Me. Our children. Their children.
Oh to be a surfer in South Africa. To be a surfer and brave, knowing that every single wave brings with it the very real opportunity of being feasted upon by a shark. Knowing that your very innards might be served up at the local shark braai where those sharks will pick and choose your most delectable bits while smacking their lips and critiquing your general quality. Liver no good, shot through over-drinking, for example. Lungs crispy and charred from one too many Gunstons.
Oh to be a surfer in South Africa while the rest of South Africa’s non-surfing population looks on, thinking, “That bosbefok is just asking for it, eh. Asking to get eaten, eh.”
Sharks, as you well know, love South Africa and love South African surfers.
But in a shocking turn, South Africa’s sharks are now encroaching upon the land and let us witness famous son Jordy Smith terrifying Instagram post. Let us watch a shark climb sharp rocks in order to feast on a terrified porpoise’s innards.
The end is certainly nigh.
And/or already here.
And/or was here, like, six months ago.
Or maybe not?
If porpoises are also learning to walk I think much fun for man as dogs are getting boring.
Do you disagree?
Watch: Penguin and seal participate in “consensual, beautiful, inspiring” non-binary love act!
Oh we humans, we Homo sapiens, are a vicious lot getting more and more vicious by the day. Those who self-identify as “left” refuse to speak with those who self-identify as “right.” Vegans won’t even look at pescatarians and say snotty things about them under their mung bean breath. Those who think the earth is round cannot stand the sight of those who think the earth is flat and take every opportunity to mock and belittle.
Tribes and camps.
We’ve separated ourselves into tribes and camps and loathe every tribe and camp not our own.
And we surfers may be worst of all. Tribes and camps within tribes and camps. Two surfers may vote for establishment Democratic candidates, for example, but if one rides a fish and the other rides a plus-sized fish then they will hate each other and look for ways to cause much harm one to the other.
Thankfully we have the animal kingdom to show us a better, more gentle way. To learn how to treat those different from us.
Love them even.
Recently we witnessed a benevolent killer whale saving an injured seal and a polar bear kissing a funny circus seal.
Today we have another seal but this one participating in a consensual, beautiful, inspiring non-binary love act with a handsome penguin.
If these two can cross species lines than shouldn’t a surfer who rides a Hayden shaped Hypto-Krypto be able to wake up next to a surfer who rides a Channel Island’s Neck Beard without shame?
Let us, like our animal friends, freely live, laugh and love.
Beware: Dr. Jen See identifies, categorizes dangerous new breed of surfing male!
Have you ever looked at the map of California? I mean, really looked at it? Let’s do that together right now. Look, there’s Point Conception. There it is, just jutting out there like a giant cock dangling in the ocean, free and easy. The sharks are so stoked.
Now let’s trace down the map a little farther. Oh, look, there’s Santa Barbara. There’s the 101 and Rincon and that one taqueria, which is totally better than the other taqueria. What a lovely, gently curving stretch of coastline, it is, right there behind Point Conception.
The taint. That’s what it is. If Point Conception is a giant cock, that pretty much makes Santa Barbara the taint.
I am now changing my name and buying a new face on the internet — you can do that, right? — before a crowd of angry villagers shows up to run me out of town. But surely you understand. Once you see it, you really can’t unsee it. There it is. The giant cock. And the taint.
I’m pretty sure this arrangement is exactly why the waves have not made it here very often this winter. There’s a giant cock in the way. We have felt so many emotions — despair, resignation, anger, bike rides — during this winter that wasn’t really much of a winter at all. I’m not sure what to call a winter that ended in February.
Will it ever rain again? Will I run out of Clif Bars before the world ends? Answers, I don’t have any.
Still, I have persisted. Even without any hope of good waves, I went surfing. I went surfing for you, because there is important research to do out there. New anthropological phenomena and other things I can’t remember right now, I had to go find them. I know how much you depend on me! I could not bear to let you down.
So, I dragged some small-wave boards out of the pile and dug out the magnifying glass I keep around for making small things look bigger, and headed to the beach. Optimistic! I am always optimistic. If I did not find good waves, perhaps I would discover some new discoveries. Important ones, even.
There I was, sitting in the lineup, looking for waves, doing important science, whatever. Suddenly I saw it! A whole new species. My lucky day had arrived!
Suddenly, the bad waves, the magnifying glass, the small-wave boards, it was all worth it.
After much careful study and reflection, I have named this new species the ANML. The ANML is a close relative to Surfline Man, which we have previously discussed at some length. But worse, so much worse. After all, Surfline Man’s migratory patterns are predictable and with only a smidgeon of planning, a smart surfer can often avoid him.
But the ANML, well, you never really know when you’re going to see one. You’re out there on a clean, knee-high day, super chill, just a couple friends, and BAM, there he is. The Angry Midlengther. Mood, totally killed. (So far, no female ANML’s have been spotted in the wild.)
The ANML can surf, yes. But he is notable for his very distinctive approach. He goes straight. Then he goes straight again. Does the ANML know how to turn? If so, I have never yet seen it. The ANML believes he has surfing solved. His midlength will rule it all, and anyone who does not have a board exactly like his, just doesn’t know what’s up. He has an ego, the ANML and he doesn’t care who knows it.
Occasionally, an ANML will claim that he is riding his crowd control board today. Usually, he rides a shortboard, he’ll say, while gesturing about the lineup, as though to say, but then all of you people showed up. Bro, that’s not your crowd control board, you’re just an asshole.
Also, shortboarders ride shortboards. Almost entirely. We are masochists that way. If we wanted surfing to be easier, we would chuck it all and move to Seattle.
The ANML has no compunction about burning hapless bystanders. I have experienced this trait often. No look, no apologies, just go, man. That wave, you deserve it! The lineup, and every wave in it, belongs to you and your awesome surfing. You go, ANML!
The ANML never believes he is getting enough waves. He has never once gotten his fair share. So after each one? He’ll paddle straight by the rest of the lineup. Right to the front of the line. Next wave? The ANML has it. Oh, he’s got it. And the next one after that one, too.
I’ll say this for the ANML, he can paddle. He can paddle when he wants to, that is. And usually, he wants to. Slap, slap, slap, gotta hurry, gotta get another wave.
Once in a while, usually when some sad, beleaguered, almost totally cowed shortboarder is surfing down the line, the ANML will casually paddle through the pocket, pausing just long enough to ensure that the shortboarder is fucked completely. Thanks, ANML!
The ANML believes in resin tints. He doesn’t believe in leashes. He’s heard of a cutback, but isn’t sure why he should bother to do one. Instead, he stands there in the middle of his board, points it straight down the line, and occasionally moves his arms around. He believes the arm-waving imparts style to his surfing. He is wrong.
There is no defense against the ANML. If you see one, approach with extreme caution, if you must approach at all. I recommend fleeing. It’s not brave and it’s not bold and it’s certainly not manly, but it will save you hours of hate. And hate is so very depressive.
The ANMLs are running wild! I’m headed straight back to the lineup out to learn more, because science is a very important thing to do. I am a trained professional in such things with a diploma on the wall and everything. In the meantime, be safe out there! If you see an ANML, run!
New England surfers declare themselves “dangerous menace” to society; ask to be banned from public beach!
"He pointed out qualities of the board – the fin, nose, and leash – that could injure someone in the water."
California is a very easy state in which to be a surfer. Virtually all the beaches are public and few laws govern behavior. Oh sure it is illegal to have booze, pop fireworks, let dogs run leashless but otherwise freedom reigns. Even the surfer, grouchy and anti-social, is generally tolerated. Sometimes, over some stretches, the black ball flag flies high but it is rare and usually flying high over less than ideal waves.
The same cannot be said for surfers on the United States’ east coast where draconian laws govern every small detail of beach life. No surfing here, no surfing there, no surfing during these months, no surfing during these times.
Well, the Cape Ann Surfers Union in Gloucester, Massachusetts recently met with their city council in order to extend the surfing calendar where currently, per Article III subsection H-2, “Surfing is prohibited between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day, without the permission of the lifeguard.”
Many “pro” arguments were offered. Surfing being good for health, good for the environment, good for local businesses etc.
Another non-unionized group of surfers, however, asked that the rules be kept in place seeing that our kind is degenerate and dangerous and let us go directly to the Gloucester Times for first hand reporting:
Carrying a 10-foot tall long surfboard to the podium, two local surfers expressed their concerns with the community’s safety if the requested changes were to occur.
“The surfers union, in my estimation, gave a very idealistic, fun view of surfing that was beneficial to the surf community. Not beneficial to the swimmer, beach-going community,” surfer John O’Hara said to a Times reporter following the meeting. “I am not an opposition group. I am coming from more of an educational and safety point of view.”
He pointed out qualities of the board – the fin, nose, and leash – that could injure someone in the water.
“Between nine and ten (in the morning), the beach crowd increases significantly,” O’Hara said. “So by extending that to 11 a.m., to me, is incredibly dangerous.”
Other long-time surfers agree.
“Good Harbor is not a surf destination, unless you plan on visiting Addison Gilbert (Hospital),” Gloucester resident Paul Feenie said.
I agree with John O’Hara. Any board longer than 5’11 is not only dangerous but evil and the city council should take them out and try to sink them all in the Atlantic and if they don’t sink that means the long boards are witches and should be burned at the stake.
A fine little town called Salem is just a stone’s throw away and the burning can be done there.
Bullish Outlook for tour opener as Corona Open threatened by CoronaVirus: “Queensland is the safest place in the world!”
So I called the Gold Coast City Council with the season opener three weeks away to the day.
“Name, phone number,” the lady ordered.
I’d got through to some department or other – god, I hate these phone calls, so Kafkaesque –and then she said: something, something, Corona Open.
No, I thought, I mean the Quik Pro, before the devilish, devilish realisation dawned.
The Corona Open could be shitcanned by the CoronaVirus.
Which is why I was calling, of course.
As is the way with these bureaucracies I was glad-handed over to some other department, to get flak-catched by some twenty-something bright-as-a-button journalism graduate now working in Comms for the gubbermint.
One hundred thousand Covid-19 cases worldwide, fifty-nine in Australia, state of emergency declared in California, three thousand Queenslanders ordered to self-isolate, global pandemic imminent according to WHO.
Sporting events around the globe cancelled or postponed including soccer, rugby, boxing, tennis, beach volleyball, hockey, weightlifting, possibly even the Olympics themselves.
That’s right now, as of today.
And there’s our little ol’ Corona Open, looking to pick up all the global marketing brownie points that Quiksilver left under the table after they abandoned their signature event and looking very vulnerable to an uninsurable act of God.
Is there a contingency in place to postpone or cancel?
Calls to the Corona Open number on the website are fielded by polite gals from the WSL, who cannot offer any information but promise a call back from someone who can.
Sophie’s finest hour was staring down Tourism WA and cancelling the Margaret River Pro in 2018 due to sharks; re-shifting it to Ulu’s to be finished straight after Keramas was wrapped a total stroke of genius.
A positive spin on a Corona virus cancellation of the Corona Open would be a wall of positive noise not even Elo could construct.
Queensland Department of Health cannot confirm or deny any contingency in place for large sporting events and public gatherings to be cancelled due to the virus.
Finally, after much phone calling a spokesman is found at the Queensland Tourism Minister’s office.
He scoffed at any possibility of the event being cancelled.
“Queensland is one of the safest places to visit in the world,” he said.
That sounds true enough.
He said they were following the chief health officers advice to the letter and that more events were needed, not less.
“Come on down and have a Corona at the Corona Open!” he said.
“I intend to have several sir, based on that bullish outlook,” I replied.
All this panic buying and loo paper hoarding and scary conspiracy talk is just a hoax, surely?
This is a flu, not even.
I’m very, very bullish.
A best-case scenario could eventuate, that being Queensland schools are closed and the entire grommet population is let loose at Snapper Rocks for a week.
Obviously, if the event is held across the border at D-bah we have a problem.
So, with Queensland Tourism behind the event and holding solid, and as long as no one blinks at the WSL we’re off the races in three weeks, right?