Behold a cultural miracle.
The path to becoming a “surfer” had, for decades, been exceptionally long and very rocky. Years spent as a “grom,” suffering abuse in un-quality waves. More years spent graduating to better quality waves while still suffering abuse. Further years spent self-abusing. Learning, always, which volume is in, which is out and when a highline speed dash can be sold as “style.”
Pitfalls vulnerable adult learners, in this day and age of safe spaces, don’t tumble headlong into.
Oh everything is fine, now, a big tent of “best surfer in the water is the one having the most fun.” A philosophy staked out, and celebrated, a decade ago, by The Inertia.
If I have my facts straight, the “definitive voice of surfing and the outdoors” was birthed after Zach Weisberg, founder, became fired from Surfer magazine and being gifted money from a wealthy father. Now worth millions, The Inertia way is synonymous with fierce independence, sometimes spilling into scandal, and… a certain je ne sais quoi.
Previously thought that one had to actually contribute to The Inertia in order to enjoy the benefits of having the most fun, surf fans were shocked, days ago, when an adult learner absolutely fresh to the space reached peak The Inertia all by hisself.
Chris Ware, writing for Yahoo! Life under the headline “I Just Started Surfing And This is the Best Surf Gear I’ve Found for Beginners” declared:
Learning to surf has given me a peek behind the proverbial curtain into the reality that is the surf scene. Before, when I thought about surfing, as many of you might, it was filled with laidback people, beautiful waves, longboards, and chill vibes. But what you don’t see is the true culture — the rules and the technical knowledge that go into, not just that lifestyle, but the sport itself.
The “sport itself,” he unfortunately learned is pocked with tribalism etc. but no problem if the acolyte purchases these items.
– The eight foot Wavestorm Classic.
– Quiksilver 3/2 back zip.
– Sex Wax.
When I first started, I was surfing my home break in Santa Monica. I was having trouble staying on my board while paddling out, while sitting in the lineup, and also while trying to paddle into waves. My board felt like an ice rink. Finally, somebody decided to spare me and bestowed this tip upon me:
“Yo — you need to wax your board.”
I was going full kook, which is basically surf slang for “being a poser.” Someone on the beach was nice enough to lend me theirs, so I didn’t have to interrupt my sessions to hit the surf shop. The difference was night and day. My board was like an extension of my body. And when it comes to wax, there’s only one brand surfers will recommend — Mr. Zogs Sex Wax.
– A surf poncho.
– Soft roof rack.
And now there Chris Ware sits, in lotus position, atop peak The Inertia, right next to Zach Weisberg.