To be modern is to find ourselves in an environment that promises us adventure, power, joy, growth, transformation of ourselves and our world – and at the same time, that threatens to destroy everything we have, everything we know, everything we are…—Marshall Berman
2018 and I woke up strange. My FICO score changed (for the worse) again and apparently I’m not using all my Amazon Prime membership options. Alexa says unsubscribing is not an option. I get junk e-mail from Rip Curl every day and I just don’t know if this is all for the best. 2017 was no better. For my money, I’ll take an old fashioned 1999 any day.
Last year, I messed up a lot. 2017. Goddam. I choked on a burrito in front of an intern. I shot a gun in the South. Caught a shark. Narrowly dodged a hurricane in Florida. Lost the grandpa I’m named after. Went to a Gay bar in Atlanta with my mom. Surfed in Panama. Watched America inaugurate Donald Trump. Saw @surfingmagazine become @surferfilms. WY made jeans and an Offline Collection. Ate mushrooms at a hockey game. Lost myself and my way more than a few times. I publicly told Kelly Slater and WSL friends I wanted nothing to do with a wave pool. Then reiterated that statement when I was personally invited to ride it. I really don’t need a wave pool. So yeah, I had myself a year. Just like you.
Most of these incidents made for nice stories to tell my best friends while we played pool in front of Budweiser signs over the holidays but that’s about all. And that’s OK. That’s the adventure. We can’t tell how important each detail is until much later on. But those are some of mine. And there are more.
So what’s my problem?
Well, my problem is that we’re a mess. And I’m talking about the royal WE. All of it. Surfing culture is out the window. Full of gimmicks and memes. Modern society is glued to all the things we shouldn’t be. The old cliche of losing our minds from social media is actually getting real. The only really beautiful thing about surfing is doing it. Or chasing it. But luckily the cameras still work at Surfline and the WSL is teaching us why they call it a “duckdive” while John John does the unthinkably beautiful on every wave he’s on. So all is well there. Still frustrated. Still looking to rough things up.
But all this frustration and anxiety and boredom is my hope. It means we have a reason to be here. To do something for us. For you. For surfing. For the youth. Fuck the WSL, this is why we exist and it’s damn time we show you.
How’s was your 2018 going? We’re feeling quite modern. —Travis