"Should you be optimizing your job around your surfing or should you do the opposite way around?"
Any surfer who has wandered the radio dial, whilst stuck in traffic, and stumbled upon the National Public Radio program Marketplace has, certainly, been entranced. Its host, Kai Ryssdal, spent eight years in the Navy then more in the U.S. Foreign Service, became a reporter and finally host of the business-centric, beloved show.
Ryssdal’s broad knowledge, professionalism and keen understanding soothes nerves otherwise frayed by bad drivers, though, one of his recent guests left the aforementioned wave sliders distraught.
Caroline Mimbs Nyce, who covers technology for The Atlantic, has just begun to surf, a classic vulnerable adult learner, and fallen in disturbing love with the forecasting giant Surfline.
Ryssdal, who proudly states he does not surf nor cares to learn (smart), begins the conversation with “Anyway, so you’re a beginning surfer, and …”
Before Mimbs Nyce takes over and declares, “A beginner surfer and I had just been fascinated about how quickly my life started to revolve around this website called Surfline. And my weekends, and all of my schedule basically, is me planning to go out and surf based on when this website tells me that it’s ideal to.”
Ryssdal wants to know what this “Surfline” is, how it works.
Mimbs Nyce shares, “So Surfline is, at its core, a wave-forecasting website. They have a thousand cameras, millions of people use it to plan where and when to go out. So just before we started talking, I looked up Malibu. Looks like it’s a cruddy couple of days in Malibu. In addition to doing these forecasts, they partner with the World Surf League in order to decide when professional contests are held. They blog about upcoming swells and recent good waves that people have caught. So it’s sort of a full-scale media company and I found that surfers have a love-hate relationship with it.”
Ryssdal wants to get into the “love-hate thing” and Mimbs Nyce obliges, saying, “Pretty much since Surfline has existed, it’s been polarizing. I think that this really gets at a question of the spirit of the sport. Is surfing about everyone being able to get out in the water? Is this a cheat code to only go when it’s really ideal? A lot of surfing used to be related to counterculture, as well. Should you be optimizing your job around your surfing or should you do the opposite way around?”
Ryssdal, getting to the very heart of the matter, wonders, “Has surfing sold out to the man?”
Mimbs Nyce stalls but Ryssdal presses because she is a surfer. She decides she likes all the new people, like her, in the water and the commercialization and the colored bits of Surfline, yellow for ok, green for good etc. In the end, optimizing surfing around job.
There we have it.