Sunday, October 13, 2013

Kooks Only...A Beach Retrospective

My home break in Cardiff-by-the-Sea

If you are lucky enough to live by the sea you are lucky enough. This is something that I remind myself of every time I surf (which is almost every day). Due to the huge influx of people in the line-up these days, however, it is becoming harder and harder to find that solace that I once enjoyed in the sea.
While there are still small pockets of soul surfers scattered throughout the SoCal coastline, many breaks have been polluted by armies of novices and stand up paddle boarders, many of whom do not know the first thing about being a  true surfer or etiquette in the line-up.

During a debate about this, someone recently asked me, "Isn't the ocean for everyone?" Well, that's the way it was intended, but it has gotten way out of control. Many "new" surfers are aggravating veteran surfers, which is causing a lot of unwanted animosity and bad vibes in the water.  Let's take SUPs, for example: My experience has been that many of these people on SUPs are abusing their privileges by taking every outside wave, being a hazard in the water, and then having a bad attitude about it. They are taking ownership of "my" waves. Not cool.
It's just like texting and driving. Many people are abusing their cell phone privileges  by texting and driving, which has, at times, many grave consequences.

As I reflect on this sad sea change, I wonder how our surfing forefathers would react to the Sport of Kings it once was. And furthermore, how do all the sea life feel about us humans taking over the ocean and claiming it as our own?
On a recent beach walk I came across this ironic sign spray painted on a sea wall:

Hmmm, maybe we are all just kooks?


  1. Great post. So many of us "surf" with blinders on. We need to open our eyes and see (sea) those sitting around us and notice how long they have been waiting in the lineup for a wave. When we catch a wave, take our time paddling back out instead of rushing. -Underdog

  2. I wonder if what were seeing is the same thing that happened in the Gidget era...surfing exploded through the roof...let's go surfing now, everybody's learning how...I was a product of that, so who am I to judge...sometimes things just come with age (62,here), where you kinda just sit back and wait for that one wave that will get you through to your next session...I try to think to myself, "what would the Duke do...", we just need more aloha in the water...