The sport of surfing is forever being rebranded. Numerous reinventions of the WSL aimed at selling the sport to an ever-expanding audience means surfing now has massive worldwide exposure. Large, faceless companies are cashing in on the perceived perception of “coolness” that is inherent in our sport in order to shift mobile phones, t-shirts and pickup trucks to the masses. Which is fine, until these people decide they want a piece of the action for themselves and buy a seven-foot slab of fiberglass and a season parking ticket at one of many prime surf spots around the globe. Now, I’ve got nothing against newcomers to the sport–we all had to start somewhere–but it’s hard to argue against the fact the increasing number of participants is causing anything other than friction in the water.
But is it simply the extra bodies in the ocean causing more incidents of surf rage? Or is it a lack of understanding of surfing politeness? Perhaps it’s not even the newcomers at all. Maybe those who consider themselves experienced in the water have developed such an innate superiority complex that they’re unable to show any sensitivity to the others in the water, regardless of their fellow surfers’ experience.