“Every mummy who just dropped her kid off at school is getting pushed in on a soft top by a surf instructor! It’s a zoo!”
The acutely handsome Hollywood heartthrob Rob Lowe and Kelly Slater, greatest athlete of all time as adjudged by Lowe in an earlier podcast, have hit out at surfing’s sudden explosion with the great unwashed.
In a fairly wide-ranging interview, Kelly gets into a little pool talk, inflatable vests, his favourite films (Willy Wonka and Fast Times at Ridgemont High) and the time he cornered Sean Penn at a party and told him Fast Times at Ridgemont High was the greatest film ever ergo Penn, who played Jeff Spicoli in the 1982 hit, was the greatest actor of all-time.
It gets interesting, and more than a little ironic, when the pair dive into the wild number of people who took up surfing during the COVID epidemic.
Lowe, who is almost sixty and mostly rides a stand-up paddleboard, describes learning to surf when he was forty and entering the Point Dume lineup one year later where he earned the nickname The Honey Badger.
“Honey badger don’t care, honey badger fucking drops in on fucking everybody there now,” growls Lowe. “I’m, like, making up for lost time.”
Slater, fifty-one, is polite enough not to give hell to his kook interlocutor, but speaks pretty eloquently, I think, when it comes to crowds.
“I think once you fall in love with surfing, and if you had a lineage back to surfing before the crowds were big, you’d have a strong opinion about the crowds we have now,” he says. “It’s a different time now for sure. Back then, localism was alive and well back then, no digital era to expose you for kicking someone out of the water.”
Here Lowe, an aged stand-up kook, interjects, “Now you’ll go out and every sorta mummy who just dropped her kid off at school is getting pushed in on a soft top by a surf instructor… it’s just…it’s just…it’s a zoo!”
“It’s a funny thing, right,” says Slater. “A big thing in the world is inclusion of all people and it’s great because every walk of life is out there… but there’s not a real order in a lot of the lineups. People inadvertently going everywhere, taking every wave, not taking their turn. And the most obvious place is Malibu but Malibu’s been crowded since the fifties. The crowds are expanding to all the smaller locations now
“But there is something special in having something to yourself. You go on a hike out in the mountains to a special spot, a waterfall, haven’t been there for five years and you show up and there’s a party for fifty people. How would you feel?”
Lowe, even feistier than when he tooled a sixteen year old in a wild threesome sex tape, turns u the volume, “Indonesia! You’re on a plane, it takes forever. Jet lag. Can’t believe it! Literally seventy people on a peak!”