People who ride longboards when the waves are tiny and more suited for such crafts are lazy, good for nothing cheaters with no fortitude or character. Of course if you’re riding a 9’6” in two foot waves, you’re going to have a lot more fun. But surfing is not about fun. It’s about being stubborn, angry, resentful and resolute. Here are 7 reasons I love when people choose to paddle out on shortboards designed for pumping swell in not pumping conditions, then act like salty, spiteful anuses about it.
1. If you ignore something, it goes away. Always.
It reminds us that willful ignorance, or ostriching, is a wonderful survival tool. Ostriching allows us to live the lives we want without having to bend to the will of reality. Shoving our heads into the ground and ignoring what’s happening around us is something humans have done as long as we’ve been getting mad at each other. Like duct tape, it fixes everything, including anthropogenic global warming.
2. It’s environmentally friendly!
It spreads awareness about surfers’ impact on the environment. It’s no secret that surfboards aren’t green. They are chunks of petroleum-birthed polyurethane covered in gobs of toxic polyester resin. Heck, I can’t remember the last time I paddled out without choking seals, dolphins, and entire schools of fish with my board. And longboards contain loads more toxic chemicals than shortboards, simply by having more volume. So the shortboard-or-bust stalwart refusal to ride longboards is really an environmental protest. They are being the change they want to see in the world. A salty ostrich is a fervent advocate, sacrificing their experience out there for the good of mother nature. And their seal-like barks of jealousy at the longboarders catching all the waves is really about raising awareness.
3. Safety first
I love passionately safe people. Most traffic accidents occur on shorter, less dangerous trips.Most surfing injuries also happen in smaller, less consequential waves. This happens because in big conditions (and longer traffic trips) we are paying more attention. We’re alert. But when it’s small, we lose our edge. We let our guard down. Couple that mindset with the sheer size of longboards, you’re are looking at a significantly increased boo-boo likelihood. Those big front doors the cowards ride upon have the potential to wreak havoc on everyone in the lineup.
Opting for a shortboard in meager conditions ensures that you won’t be faced with the overwhelming dangers of small wave riding at all. When your wave count drops to zero, your risk of injury to yourself and others decreases as well. Additionally, the response of getting very upset over the longboarders riding the waves is really, at its core, passionate concern for the well-being of everyone in the lineup. “Do you have any idea how dangerous riding small waves is!?” That’s the complicated, and often overlooked subtext of their selfless vibes and stink eyes. “Respect these conditions as you would a peaking hurricane swell! Be responsible, keep your head on a swivel out here damn it!”
4. Drugs are bad
These people remind us to not do so many drugs. One possible explanation for being angry over their own super smart decision to bring the wrong equipment out there is that they have fried their brains with drugs. While the frying process itself can be a great time, the consequences are not.
5. It shows that they’re loyal.
I love when people are principled. After all, what is life without something to stand for? You gotta pick a team and stay loyal. How can you trust a person whose choice of boards flip-flops based on something as unimportant as the fickle conditions of the ocean? Staying true to your shortboard shows resolve and commitment to principles.
6. Don’t worry, be happy.
They remind us to be optimistic. Your reality is heavily influenced by your outlook and expectations. It’s what drives action. When you expect to succeed, you act appropriately, prepare, ignore doubt, and charge ahead. And what optimism it takes to paddle that little tube rider out in tiny, weak, crumbly knee slappers, with a whole bag of chips on their shoulder! Maybe there will be a few rogue sets. All joshing aside, chances are they’re right. Eventually there will be waves coming in. It might just take a long, long time. Like weeks. Maybe months. Who’s laughing then?
7. Hate beats love, every time
Lest we forget the unifying power of hate. When you’re riding a bike, you hate all the people in cars. Yet when you’re in a car, you hate all the people on bikes. In surfing everyone hates everyone, which is good, yes. Contempt and spite for others is what pushes the world forward. But when shortboarders can come together and not only hate each other, but hate the longboarders, together, everyone benefits. Teams form, bonds strengthen, decisions are strictly fear based. Progress comes from conflict. And nothing pulls us together like a healthy dollop of xenophobia and prejudice…