Surfing – Then And Now

The sport of surfing is a rather fickle one. First loathed by society it’s now a trendy and hip thing to do. It seems that everyone surfs nowadays. The problem with surfing is that waves are a finite resource. There are only a certain amount of “good” surf spots on the planet. There are only a certain amount of waves that break each day, and a certain amount of days of the year that the surf is actually fun depending on swell and weather.

This means that people get crazy. It’s like road rage – people start yelling and fighting and grown men throw punches over something that should be considered fun. It’s almost comical in a way – adults fighting over toys.

When I first moved to Encinitas 11 years ago it was relatively quiet and unknown. I didn’t even know about Encinitas save for the fact that a friend had moved here and at least I would know someone. I had no clue, but I had stumbled upon one of California’s most fun and consistent surf zones, and it had been kept kind of under wraps until the 2010’s.

I used to be able to get sessions by myself or with just a few people out during the week. I was one of those first few people who “worked from home” and could surf during the weekdays. It as a novel concept back then.

Nowadays, everyone and their thirteenth grandmother does the work from home thing. The surf is just as crowded on tuesday as it is on Saturday. The Apple Watch is considered one of the best surf watches around. Get your texts and make your calls straight from the lineup!

But I digress. Surfing is still just as fun…it’s just more frustrating. And this makes it hard to enjoy. With surfing truly entering the mainstream with the debut of surfing as a 2020 olympic sport, it’s really hard to see this ending anytime soon. Surfing will never fall by the wayside now, it’s about as common as jogging and cycling. No more mystique, just a bunch of yoga hipster influencers posing for their Instagram fame.

The lineups used to be patroled by locals and localism, but the sheer amount of new surfers on wavestorms has overwhelmed the power of localism. It’s one thing to chase one or two kooks out of the water, but yet another when there’s 20 of them.

I sure hope that surfing declines in popularity. I don’t surf to seem cool…I surf because I enjoy it. I truly, truly enjoy it and need it in my life. It’s my gym, antidepressant, and therapist all rolled into one. A communion with nature at its very finest.

I’m not sure what I’m really trying to say with this article. I’m not sure that everyone actually should surf – it’s not for everyone. Surfing demands some respect and reverence, not a me too entitled attitude.

I guess time will tell.