A terror worse than death?
It is difficult to remember now, but there was once a time when surf brands made money and had money. Millions. Billions. Capitalizing on an 80s – 90s lust for day-glo’d, tan, Michael J. Fox-adjacent vision of rad.
Quiksilver, Billabong, Hot Tuna, Rip Curl, et. al. sold the dream in, retrospectively, win-win fashion. “Poseurs” in the “val” wore the clothes, talked the talk, and supported the likes of Kelly Slater, Dane Reynolds and surfboards to you and me with razor thin margins.
The wheels fell off, of course, when that valley poseur transitioned to parkour then non-binary sexuality all while wearing Forever 21 but the brands continued to limp along until this Coronavirus Apocalypse and now real, real trouble looms.
Furloughed workers. Slashed budgets. “Normal” forever yesterday’d.
Well, as your enlightened friend says, “this too shall pass” and it shall but what does “surfing” look like on the other side?
Will Volcom hire back its workers tout suite? Will shoppers flock back to Rip Curl stores?
But certainly many, millions, billions, will flock back to the beach, grab an instructor who grabs a soft-top because surfing is relatively free, everyone is laid-off and “honey, let’s scrap this year’s cruise and go learn surfing in Santa Cruz.”
Out-of-work Rip Curl store employees fall back on teaching surfing.
Out-of-work Quiksilver store employees fall back on teaching surfing.
Lifeguards, supplementing income and witnessing the invading hordes, fall back on teaching surfing.
Ashton Goggans, now fighting fit because he can’t afford food, Sam McIntosh and other furloughed Stab employees fall back on teaching surfing.
No longer poseurs in the val but VALs not poseuing. VALs in the lineup.*
Don’t worry, we’ll always have sharks, but tell me I’m wrong.
Tell me the end of this current, novel apocalypse doesn’t lead to one far more insidious.
But also, what will these now ludicrously rich surf instructors and soft-top manufacturers do with their money?
More as the story develops.
*Pleasure Point etc. but how long before they accidentally drift out to The Lane?