Have you been cucked by a vulnerable adult learner surfer lately?
A bright morning, the swell pulsing a little from the south, enough for a chip shot to foam climb to weak wrap and a little milk left on the teat to spray a learner on the shoulder.
A left swings in, take off, hear wild shrieks of “Hey! Hey! Hey!”
Look back over my right shoulder and a man in his forties is still prone at the trough of the wave, both hands on the deck while dragging his legs beneath him like some wretched polio-infected beggar.
“Hey! Hey! Hey!”
Obvs, I continue but my equilibrium is upset by the event.
At what point in the adult surfer learner journey can a VAL start calling other surfers off waves?
At what juncture does a new surfer feel they’ve earned the right to the ownership of a wave?
I live by a pretty simple rule. If someone surfs better than me, yeah, I know, most, unless its too wilful to ignore I ain’t gonna say a damn thing.
I’ll take the cuckolding, watch the stud stroking the wave’s womb-gate as he flies down the line, and get out of there.
I still consider it a terrific honour to surf behind a surfer of CT level, some of my happiest moments watching Joel Parkinson soar down the line, turning where I’d crouch for the tube; Andy Irons taking off like a Navy plane out of its slingshot.
I found it real odd, a few months back, when a Lowers shredder lost his mind at title contender Filipe Toledo shoulder hopping his ride. What greater thrill could there be than being gifted a front-row seat to the best two-foot-and-under surfer in the world?
Let’s get into the VALS mindset.
They come into the game as more enlightened souls than anyone who learned to surf before COVID and the VALpocalypse.
The VAL believes in equality of outcome whatever the rider’s skill level; the pre-VAL era surfer still lives in an outdated world of meritocracies, the better you get, the more waves you ride.
The VAL, unable to identify the difference between a wave that misses the bank or hits it a wrong angle, believes waves are an infinite resource and that all waves are the same.
Pre-VAL knows there are diamonds amid the rocks and he ain’t gonna holler and scratch for the duds. But that…one…that hits just right, he’s gonna scratch for it.
The VAL, therefore, yells and hollers and barks years before he is legally entitled to do so.
Or am I wrong and this is the new way?
Ergo, what would Jonah do?