We humans are an interesting lot. First we find something we enjoy, then we explore the possibilities for that enjoyment and then not long after, we develop cliques that want to define how everyone else should enjoy things.
It's pretty much the same way with surfing. We went from a marveling long haired hippy troop, intoxicated with wave riding, ready to explore and experience it, in all its shapes and forms. Explore we did and with it, found surfboarding, body boarding, knee boarding, paddle skiing, single fins, twin fins and thrusters to name a few and we drank them all down in a heady mix of freedom and celebration. Then we became commercialized and were dictated to and began to dictate ourselves. Our dreams weren’t our own anymore; they were a logo emblazoned mirage. Suddenly it wasn’t cool/acceptable to be riding single fins, body boards or god forbid a kneeboard or "goat boat"! If you weren't riding a 6'1 x 18 ½ x 2 3/8 thruster you were doing it "wrong" and had no business being in the waves with the "real" surfers. The shared experience was over – it was every man for himself with thrusters drawn at dawn in the pre-work crush.
We had lost our way. Why were we out in the ocean in the first place? If not to celebrate in the experience that only riding a wave brings, to cast off land based shackles and to have fun. We had to rediscover that. This quest has had us searching in the roots of our past and out of the mainstream. Looking to discarded shapes and craft has led to a resurgence in logs, twin and single fins. Foam is our friend again. We wanted to get closer to the water and remembered how good bodysurfing felt, with and without fins, with and without handplanes. "New" old craft are back in.
So here we are – we have come full circle. Surfing for fun, is now the real cool.
So where to from here? Whats the next 'big' thing? What should you ride?
Realistically? It's a helluva journey and as long as you are having fun, sharing waves and respecting other surfers does it really matter? It shouldn't ... just make sure you go, as you miss every surf where you never paddled out.
Has spent over 30 years of his middle aged life trying to spend more time in the ocean. Likes to surf, bodysurf, free dive and pretend he enjoys chasing big waves.