Extreme sports, or X-Games, have been around for the better part of 30 years now and what a run we’ve all had, no? Surfing is, of course, included alongside skateboarding and snowboarding as the grandaddies of them all, each multi-million dollar industries today, but can you remember a time when the three were seen as signs derelict behavior? As the pastimes of bums and ne’er-do-wells?
Well, times have changed though inspiration drawn from prom the bum and ne’er-do-well lifestyle has metastasized into the dangerous and un-chill.
Take standup paddleboarding, for one, or subway surfing, for two.
The latter, where thrill seekers ride on top of trains, is currently seeing a WSL-esque numbers surge in New York City where authorities are declaring participation is up 560% this year compared to last.
According to the New York Post:
Speaking to MTA board members on Monday, NYPD Transit Chief Jason Wilcox attributed the dramatic surge in reckless behavior “somewhat” to social media.
“We have seen recent incidents of persons, mostly very young, riding on the top of or on the back of train cars. This is incredibly dangerous,” Wilcox said. “There [is] nothing fun or funny about this type of activity and we will continue to work towards deterring it.”
MTA number-crunchers recorded 449 “subway surfing” incidents between January and May of this year. The same period last year saw 68 incidents and 97 in 2020, officials said.
“I would implore anyone who is watching this, to tell your friends, to tell your kids: Do not do this,” NYC Transit President Richard Davey said during Monday’s committee meeting. “Please, please, please, do something else with your time. You’re not only going to potentially injure yourself as this poor young man did, you are delaying trains and you’re putting yourself in harm’s way.”
Knock it off, kids.
But also, which of our championship tour professionals would make it furthest in the World Subway Surf League?
Like the Oi Rio Pro, would any non-Brazilian crack the top ten?
WSL CEO Erik Logan has to be looking at 560% growth and rubbing his chin.