But who could have ever imagined this sudden turn, this instant flip from surfing being the bastion of bastards to it being the spring of well-being? Just yesterday, we learned that a noted mental health expert declared surfing as “good for self-esteem.” And today?
Today, England’s National Health Services are rolling out a “social prescribing” program wherein surfing, rollerskating and gardening will be officially recommended by doctors for teens and preteens suffering from anxiety, depression or a general sullenness.
“Young people’s mental health is one of the greatest challenges facing the NHS,” Dr Daisy Fancourt, the UCL mental health expert running the trial, told The Guardian. “Currently many young people referred to child and adolescent mental health services face long waits, during which time more than three-quarters experience a deterioration in their mental health.
“Social prescribing has the potential to support young people while they wait, by providing access to a range of creative and social activities that could enhance their confidence, self-esteem and social support networks.”
And there it is again.
Do you worry that the well-meaning mental health experts and National Health Services departments might suffer a backlash when it is revealed that surfing actively erodes self-esteem?
Teenagers already feeling anxious forced to paddle into a simmering pack of grouchy locals?
Or, worse, an ultra-positive Erik Logan?
As OnlyFans superstar Amouranth comes under fire for “domestic abuse cosplay,” surf aficionados worry about wellbeing of platform’s Nathan Florence!
Oh but how good is the ultra-shift away from a monolithic surf culture wherein magazines Surfer, Surfing, Australia’s Surfing Life dominated all and any discourse? Transworld Surf and Tracks too? Websites, of course, replaced the magazines, the Surflines and Magic Seaweeds etc., but best of all was surfers taking power into their own hands. Creating YouTube monoliths like the great Jamie O’Brien, or OnlyFans accounts like the equally great Ellie-Jean Coffey and Nathan Florence.
Telling only fans the way it is.
Earthly paradises of total creative control.
In a disturbing new revelation, a number one OnlyFans and Twitch streamer has been accused of “domestic abuse cosplay” across the empowering platforms.
On October 16, Kaitlyn ‘Amouranth’ Siragusa opened up on stream about the details of her multi-year relationship and how she has been allegedly threatened and insulted by her partner for much of her streaming career.
This situation has dominated headlines across the internet, and one Instagram/Patreon model wanted to capitalize on the moment by cosplaying as the iconic streamer. The message attached to that cosplay has fans absolutely fuming.
The original tweets from model Ellie Rae are now deleted, but another Twitter user captured screenshots of them that showcased the photos and the caption attached to them before they were removed.
“If I stop streaming for the simps he teaches me a lesson,” the caption read, accompanied by a few pictures of herself in a clear imitation of Amouranth’s style. One of the photos also showcased her legs wrapped in rope, and another showcased her hiding her face the way one might if they were being shamed for something.
Critics were quick to pounce on the potentially performative nature of the situation, that “Amouranth” may be “domestic abuse cosplaying,” but suddenly these empowering platforms seem…
Is there some nasty dominator behind Florence forcing big wave clips?
Don’t light candles yet, as they are questionable.
Celebrity historian feted by The New Yorker attempts to answer perennial question, “When did surfing stop being hip?”
The ride is all that matters. The ride and the ocean setting. Right? It should be, but no.
Surfing is no longer hip, but lack of hipness doesn’t matter.
When it stopped being hip is open to debate—somewhere between Gidget and the recent announcement of Seaworld Orlando’s admittedly freaking awesome Pipeline Surf Coaster, although my strong belief is that, hipness-wise, we voluntarily tore off our own epaulets in the late 1970s, when we leaned hard into stickers and logos.
The more interesting question is: So what?
Surfing is no longer hip or cool; who cares? We’re still out there riding, surrounded by ocean—we are leaving wavepools out of the discussion; I’m barely juggling the topic as is—and in that moment surfing at its core is the same half-magic ultimate-pleasure activity it was 50 or 100 or 500 years ago.
At the end of History of Surfing, which is by and large a 500-page overview of change and transition, and how such developments can be both thrilling and discouraging, I talk about our “appreciation for what can’t be changed.”
No violation against any accounting of surf history is committed by pointing out that eras, movements, innovators, and champions are all secondary ways in which surfing defines and distinguishes itself. What counts the most—the only thing that counts, in the final tally—is the ocean setting. The sport is attached to the hem of a natural force so vast it can drain the power from a howling continent-sized storm, refine it, and deliver it ten days and 3,000 miles later in a smooth and elegant ocean-going processional. For a few seconds at a time we get to ride that current. Surf history is so many banners and streamers waving from this single, incredible natural fact.
Hipness, you would think, is one of those streamers flapping around back there, beaver-tail-like.
The ride is all that matters. The ride and the ocean setting. Right?
It should be, but no.
Not for me, anyway, not in my heart.
I want hip. I miss it.
In 1977, publisherSteve Pezman approved a three-word SURFER cover blurb, just above a back-lit photo of a non-celeb riding an unnamed Hawaiian break, that read “The Secret Thrill.”
I bring this up because doing something as arcane (“secret”) as it is attractive and compelling (“thrill”) is itself a not-bad definition of hip.
Surfing at that point was still off to the side, culturally, and valued as such. A long time ago I asked Barton Lynch what his greatest achievement was as a surfer, and without pause he said, “Driving to the beach when everyone else is driving the other way.”
Lack of hipness is not a deal-breaker, obviously.
Hip doesn’t last.
But still—the cake is nicely sugar-dusted and cherry-topped when everyone else is driving the other way.
Rumors boil and bubble that Gisele Bündchen has hexed Tom Brady amidst quarterback’s uncharacteristic troubles though are surf fans’ mass candle lightings for reunion with Kelly Slater accidentally to blame?
The power of surf fans, and their mass candle lightings, has suddenly taken on new intrigue. Rumors are currently breaking across TikTok that Tom Brady’s uncharacteristic performance struggles are directly related to his estranged wife, Gisele Bündchen and her various sagings plus visits to spiritual healers.
Brady, the greatest football player of all-time, has fallen hard of late, an embarrassing 21 – 3 loss to the lowly Carolina Panthers the most recent in a season-long string of bummer.
One-time coach and respected analyst Rex Ryan declared afterward, “This team is searching like crazy. At least they’re trying, they’re searching, but Tom Brady looks like a shell of himself. You look at him even physically. His personal life, obviously, is having an effect too. I get it. I don’t want to minimize this. It’s a factor. Obviously it’s something. This looks like there’s no answer because there’s no speed on the field.”
While Bündchen is taking most of the heat, surf fans are turning inward, wondering if the mass candle lightings undergone in a hoped-for reunion between the Brazilian supermodel and her beau from 2005 through 2006, Kelly Slater, are, in fact, to blame.
As you know, the two formed up the most powerful surf couple during those years, Bündchen at the height of her model powers, powers that have made her vastly richer than her current husband. Slater bagging two of eleven world titles.
As you may not know, candle lighting is essential to occultic practices.
Oh, I’ve never wanted you, us, to travel that dangerous path. I have encouraged purchasing various pumpkin spice offerings from Yankee Candle, but maybe you got lazy?
Maybe you accidentally bought candles from the witch down the street?
It’s one thing for us to hope for a grand romantic reunion. Quite another for us to curse a generational talent.
Driftwood, jasmine, raw coconut.
Maybe check your stock?
Grumpy locals losing war against VAL invasion as respected mental health expert declares learning how to surf “improves self-esteem!”
The VAL, or vulnerable adult learner, invasion is well and truly upon us, a proper war between the aforementioned and grouchy locals who began their surfing experience somewhere between 1970 and 2000. Lineups cluttered with soft top. Going left on rights, or vice versa, a proper new “move.”
Oh we are out there, you and I, fighting the good fight and maybe, sometimes, imagining that we are winning this grand conflict. I, personally, have yelled at least three Covid babies near tears over the last three months, others, braver, have picked up rocks and bashed away but, alas, it appears as if it is not enough.
For a new just-released study published by Roxy Davis, a qualified surf coach and registered psychological counselor currently completing a PhD in surf therapy, the battlefield is “cultivating self-esteem” amongst beginners.
Never thought you’d be able to stand up on a surfboard and ride a wave? Trying activities you once considered “impossible” may help you:
trust yourself more easily
feel more confident in your own abilities
Davis says she’s noticed, over the past 2 decades, that learning to surf seems to foster self-esteem among her participants.
“Say you’re a child who’s come from a school where, maybe, you’re not the top of anything in academics or sport, and your coach says to you that your goal is to stand up. When you stand up and ride the wave, you feel like, ‘Wow, if I can do that, I can do anything,’” she says.
A small 2021 studyTrusted Source with nine Australian teenagers found that an 8-week surf therapy program seemed to improve their self-esteem and resilience.