Whether they’re hero-worshipping, long-dead misanthropes or self-proclaimed iconoclasts insisting some piece of obsolete design theory is the future of progression, surfers love nostalgia. Which works well for an industry built around selling us useless accouterment – all they need to do to ensure the profits keep flowing is periodically dust off their old garbage and pimp it as the hot new thing. And so the wheel keeps turning, and the same useless bullshit keeps being flogged. Well, I’m sick of it. The following is a list of things I don’t want to ever see or hear about again. And, as a guy on the Internet, I expect everyone to follow my lead. Those who don’t can rest assured I’ll deliver a text-based tongue lashing they won’t soon forget.
1. Surfer/artist/musician triple threats: Yeah bro, I just spend all my time focusing on creating. I hang out in my warehouse, make music and art, pick from my forty-board quiver whenever I feel like getting wet, and just take life as she comes. I also collect vintage motorcycles, and check out all these funky clothes I found last time I went thrifting. Nah, bro, I don’t work; life’s too short to sweat that stuff. My trust fund matured the day I turned eighteen, and my parents own the building. I’m so fucking soulful it hurts.
2. Beaver tail wetsuit tops: Here’s an idea, let’s take a comfortable long-sleeve wetsuit top, put the zipper on the front, and add a useless ass-slapping appendage. Sure, it’ll be uncomfortable, overpriced, and do almost nothing to keep you warm, but all the dorks who think the height of progression took place in 1964 will love it. They’ll toss that thing on, maybe add a funny little hat, and go do some white boy dance moves on a 10′ 6″ rockerless plank. Who knows, maybe they’ll be a hit in Japan.
3. Single fin “retro” longboards: Want a board that goes slow and turns like shit? By all means, buy a single fin. I know there are a ton of dudes who swear by them, and, you know what? The day they admit that they ride them in order to have an excuse for their half-assed ability, I’ll accept it. Until then, the hipster children hand-sanding glass-on hatchet fins while raving about how little they bent their knees during their last awful soul slash can go piss up a rope.
4. Short shorts: Dick rash and exposed nut sacks rule the world of the three-inch inseam. The day the new generation’s balls drop, they’ll realize these aren’t a viable apparel option. Sure, they’re great for showing off your hairless young gams, but if you’ve got a pecker that’s more than an inch long, you’re going to be a one man walking peep show.
5. Tow-ins: It helped push big wave surfing into a realm that was previously considered unrideable. And the potential contributions it can provide by allowing our bravest to ease their way into deadly surf can not be undervalued. But those dudes don’t generally do it anymore. And spare tire-waisted middle-aged realtors circling the lineup on a 15-foot day is seriously tiresome. Hit the gym, buy a bigger board, I don’t give a shit. Now that we know what is possible, the ski is for drunk tubing only.
6. Finless boards: Yeah, there are awesome finless boards out there. They’re called boogie boards. Dudes use them to get pitted over razor sharp reef, do 720 backflips, and generally rip shit up. And, if you’re looking for a shitty board that slides tail and can’t really be put on a rail, you can stand up on them, too. But, man, to pretend that paddling out on a negatively buoyant plank and barely staying in trim surfing…Well, I guess it is surfing, poorly.
7. Asymmetrical tails: Shapers are weirdos. There are countless crazy theories derived from decades of huffing poison at work and sucking down drugs at home (and work), but, for some reason, this one keeps getting rehashed. It doesn’t work. Sure, some beardo wierdo can shape one for himself and ride it decently at a wave he’s got wired, but this idea is supported by a limited clientele: guys who only ever surf one spot and spoiled children whose mommy and daddy will happily substitute monetary indulgence for good old-fashioned parental involvement.
8. Using surfing as a metaphor for anything else: Please just stop. No one wants to hear about how surfing is like raising a family, or how it’s taught you some deep spiritual message and turned your life around. Surfboards are made of poison, and all our nifty accessories are made in third world sweatshops. To pretend the act of riding waves is anything more than self indulgence is a product of delusion. I guess I can make an exception for entrepreneurship. It is a lot like surfing in that they’re both inherently meaningless and selfish pursuits that benefit no one but yourself.