Surfing, as we mostly know it – riding a wave while standing upright on a surfboard – is a fairly simple concept. At its purest, it is simply a board, a wave, and a surfer
Sure, bodysurfing would have to be seen as the ultimate connection to the ocean, but for the sake of this screed, and probably what most of you are actually interested in, we’re talking regular old shortboard surfing.
All through surfing’s short but exciting history, every manner of craft has been substituted for a surfboard in an effort to also ride a wave as a surfer might. Even the old “kook boxes” of the 40s and 50s were probably more boat than board, but as surfing progressed we continued to head out to sea on various means of flotation mostly unsuited for the task.
Canoes, kayaks, surf skis, and even Hobie Cats became a part of certain line-ups.
The cursed bodyboard slid in there somewhere.
Then it was the windsurfer.
The kite soon followed.
Then the SUP.
Then the foil.
Then the kite foil.
Then the kite/foil/SUP.
Jamie O’Brien and company finally reaching a point of no return by hitting the surf on various inflatable pool toys. A tip of the hat to the Wedge crew and some of their past antics.
And, of course, there’s the soft-toppers, Gravy, Robb, et al.
So when did simply riding a wave to your fullest ability on a well-made surfboard no longer be enough? Why do we need to intentionally make a complicated activity even more complicated? Or worse, endanger those around us in our attempt to wield some ungodly craft through a crowded lineup?
Then, there’s the alt/board crew. Have you really watched someone ride an “alternative” board under the guise of trying to be retro?
Digging rails, bogging through turns, etc., on a board completely unsuited to the conditions.
Is that even fun?
Damn, it looks hard to be a hipster.
And, it’s really hard to look past the head-scratching approach one of surfing all-time greats has resorted to. That being Tom Curren riding some kinda skimboard-thingy.
Thank God someone put him back on a real surfboard. Watch here.
Well, to each his own.
Can’t wait to see what’s next.