Eighty is the new thirty; one hundred the new forty etc.
The organisers of a surfing contest in New Zealand have been forced to add a new age-group after an eighty-year-old kneeboarder signed up for this year’s event.
The Fisher and Paykel Easter Masters’ Surfing Championships has been a fixture of Taranaki, a pretty little stretch of towns built around a volcano on the west coast of New Zealand’s north island, for the past three decades.
To accommodate older surfers, those aged seventy-five to seventy-nine, there exists the division, “Immortals”.
But, now, Adrian Pickering, who has surfed in the contest for twenty-four years, has grown out of the division and into his own specially created age-group, eighty-to-one hundred, called “Improbables”.
After his heat, Pickering told RNZ,
“It was a beautiful heat and I was out with four other very talented surfers and they were getting some amazing rides. I was getting some pathetic ones, but I got the rides that’s the main thing. The hardest part was getting across those rocks and then getting back when you’re exhausted. That was very slow and painful.”
Pickering, who didn’t get into surfing until he was into his fifties, says, yeah, it’s wonderful he’s surfing but admits, “It’s getting near the end of my surfing life I can tell you.”
I always figured mid-sixties was going to be the cut-off date for my career of throwaway airs and three-stage cutbacks.
Have now revised to mid-seventies.