Technology is great, right? As part of a coworking tech hub based in the surf town of Sagres, Portugal, I’d say so. But I also know there is definitely a right time and a right place for it.
Improvements in surfboard design, ecologically superior alternatives for foam, natural surf waxes, and sunscreens are obvious research and development ideas that are beneficial and useful for us as a species, so new technology is important. But like I said, there’s a right place and a time for it in surfing.
On the flip side, here are some ways we could completely ruin surfing with technology (with my tongue firmly placed in my cheek).
1. An online booking system for beaches and peaks.
You use these for hotels, flights, and even restaurants. Why not develop an online booking system for beaches next? While we’re at it, why not start booking waves too? Once the car park is full, that’s it. No more takers hence, no more surfers in the water. Didn’t book online before? Tough shit. Go somewhere else, technokook! It all sounds great so far.
Now lets apply this to areas of the beach. You choose your wave, allocated time slot, print out your waterproof (obviously) wave boarding pass and off you go. If you’re not on the list, you’re not getting in. Well, you’re a dotcom retail zillionaire and can afford business class so why not just book the whole beach to yourself? Fuck you, Ordinary Joes!
2. While we’re at it – ski lift style transport to the peak.
If skiers and snowboarders can get a lift to the top of the mountain then why shouldn’t surfers get dropped off out the back? We could build a whole connecting network of chair lifts at every cranking point break. Your wave stopped working as the tide got too high? No worries, just jump on the chair and get dropped off two kilometers away to that high tide spot around the corner. Imagine never having to duck dive ever again. Starting to sound appealing yet?
3. Computers in surfboards
Already been done. Total fucking failure. But surely it was just a prototype. When they develop the real thing, it’ll work. It’s the future. Surfing the waves and snapchatting simultaneously – what’s not to like?
4. Bluetooth conference calls in the water
There are other surfers in the lineup to be considerate of? Pah! Bunch of sour-faced pricks. Why waste your time engaging in superficial small talk? Wouldn’t it be awesome to only talk to people in the water who you actually know and love, but who aren’t currently in your immediate proximity? Yes it would. Catch up with your friend about last night’s party, call your family to wish them well, and even get on that important business call you need to make today.
You’re the coolest cat in the lineup now.
5. Uber video drones on request
Love them or hate them, drones are definitely. Want some drone footage of your next surf? Sure you do. Just get out your snazzy smartphone and Uber the shit out of one. There are three drones in the area and we’re sending you one immediately, sir.
Don’t forget to give the pilot a five star rating for that barrel shot you scored.
6. AI Surfboards
Surfing can be tough to learn and even harder to master. Why not let technology handle that for you? What does every technosurfer need? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s a self-surfing surfboard, complete with artificial intelligence so the board can do all the work actually getting better the longer you surf the thing. Now you don’t even need to bother working on opening those shoulders, re entries, cutbacks, and getting those fins out. As they say in other sports “Just the let the ball (or in our case, the board) do the work.”
Editor’s Note: You can learn more about the author’s surf-centric coworking business here.