To dang hell with sport.
I am not, and never have been, an “I-told-you-so” bro, but dang hell, if I have not been telling anyone who will listen, anyone who would grace me with a bent ear (buy here), over my entire run that surfing is not a sport than I am not a surf journalist.
Again, for the difficult of hearing, SURFING IS NOT A SPORT!
It is the Pastime of Kings, the Iconic Waste of Time, Ultra Hard Candy, Anti-Depressive.
It is, utterly, beautifully, meaningless. A perpetual revolt against structure, jock culture, and thereby the monolithic state, but not a sport much less organized.
Or as famous surf historian Matt Warshaw puts it even better, in the introduction to the best-selling nominated book Cocaine + Surfing:
Surfing is pointless. It is joyful and gorgeous and exciting and more, absolutely, in spades, and not pointless in the nihilistic way that drugs are pointless. But pointless enough.
i.e. not organizable material and, gorgeously, antithetical to it.
But here we have professional surfing’s owner and co-Waterperson of the Year Dirk Ziff purchasing the Association of Surfing Professionals then transitioning it to the World Surf League in order to create a recognizable sport on par with the National Football League and here we have the International Surfing Association’s Fernando Aguerre driving surfing into the Olympics as an understandable, governed, well-ordered body on par with gymnastics but what has gymnastics gifted us?
The sex-offending U.S. National Team’s doctor.
And so many more disgraced creeps intent on cementing, then using, institutional power to further abuse.
Organized sport forever a problem just like it is, today, in the very middle of giant mess over its “attack on trans rights,” epic soccer star Megan Rapinoe recently lighting into United States lawmakers seeking to bar young transgendered individuals from participating in sports and team sports that match their gender identity.
Many issues, more potential disagreements, but also much nuance disappeared because the individual, and the individual’s opinion on such matters, no longer matters when rolled into the institution.
That damned thing rules by fiat and now more than ever. There is no discussion, no debate, no personal decision-making, personal decision-having.
Just rule and concede.
As much flak as surfing catches for not being inclusive, we are a rat pack of individuals done wrong by being rolled into a decided upon narrative.
We are anti-depressive, each of us, just waiting for a chance to hash it out one-on-one in lineups from Malibu to Newcastle.
WE ARE NOT A SPORT!
To dang hell with sport.