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Here's How Many Wave Pools It Would Take to Fix Surfing's Overcrowding Problem

Not my type of party. Photo: Jeremy Bishop // unsplash


The Inertia

We all knew it was coming. Anybody who fancies themselves part of surfing’s core has been furiously hammering such words into their keyboards from the moment they heard surfing would become an Olympic sport.

“Great, now every lineup is going to be packed with more kooks,” they proclaimed. “Everybody’s going to be a surfer.”

They couldn’t have been more accurate. Following just two days of competition in Tokyo, experts revealed approximately 7.78 of Earth’s 7.8 billion people were surfers by the end of the weekend.

“I already did a barrel,” says Don Key, who watched Round 1 heats from his Albuquerque, New Mexico apartment early Saturday and immediately packed a bag, subleased his downtown rental unit, and gassed his car up for the 800-mile, 12-hour drive to Huntington Beach, California. By Sunday morning, Key’s 2018 Ford Mustang was equipped with a soft rack and a fresh midlength on top as he pulled into the north-side parking lot.

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Key’s story mirrors the rest of the world, it turns out. Literally every human, in fact. According to experts, the several thousand people who hadn’t flooded every lineup and every coastal town known to man within 24 hours of surfing going mainstream are en route. Within a week they predict that every human alive will be surfing.

“This is bullshit,” core surfer Bunker Weiss told The Inertia Monday morning. “First wave pools started bringing surfing to inland kooks. There’s a Pac Sun at every mall in America. YouTube vlogs making surfing look ‘fun’ and ‘cool.’ Selling our souls out for a few bucks to the Olympics was the final straw.”

While it’s admittedly dramatic to suggest surfing’s soul was sold for a few days of global glamour, at least one researcher says the nightmarish fallout from its newfound popularity is something existing surfers should take very, very seriously.

“You will never get a wave again,” warns Jonah Anderson of Surfers For Sociology, a research group in California. His tone turned dark when the remark was met with chuckles. “I’m serious. If you surfed before it was an Olympic sport your worst nightmare has come true. Its inclusion in the Summer Games was your surfing death sentence. Don’t even entertain the idea of riding another wave by yourself for the rest of your life. Too many surfers now and sadly, not enough waves.”

There never were. There never were…

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Editor’s Note: Johnny Utah is an “Eff-Bee-Eye” agent and an expert in works of satire. More of his investigative work can be found here

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