Dec 14

Controversy – Board Sports

As the great Andy Samberg, aka Connor4Real, once said in his smash hit Equal Rights, “Discrimination, it ain’t right.”

Well just as discriminating against one’s sexual orientation, the same applies to surfing. We have to cease ridiculing the board sports we don’t participate in and appreciate their appeal to the devotees. And as we explore the myriad of board sports in this special edition of Smorgasboarder, we hope it provides a pathway to a greater understanding of each discipline and the people who partake in it.

So, in essence, what that means is if you want to pretend you have lost the use of your legs and go out on a surf mat like good friend Neal Cameron, you go get ‘em tiger and you ride those waves all the way to the shore on your blow-up pin cushion without a care. Never mind what other people might say. Truth be told most surfers on the fibreglass board variety will be relieved to have you in the water because you guys have absolutely no chance of fending off a shark with one of those things – reportedly the gas it gives the shark slows them down somewhat as well, just enough anyhow for everyone else to make their way safely to shore.

And to all those ocean janitors standing astride their trusty 12-foot rotoplastic barges with paddles in hand, the same applies. You ride that big boy with pride, and you be completely oblivious to the commotion surrounding you.

Ignore all that screaming and shouting as you accidentally mow down an Asian family visiting the seaside for the first time. We get it. We understand. Those things are hard to control and accidents most certainly do happen.

The same applies if you’re a burnt-out shredder has-been with a massive beer gut who paddles for every wave, swearing at all and sundry for dropping in when the only wave you’re getting is if someone gives you an almighty push. You carry that surf rage with pride, you’ve earnt it. No one more than than you knows what it’s like to paddle for 600 waves and only catch one. You have the right to keep paddling and swearing incessantly.

Even goat-boaters with their budgee-smugglers and strap-on hats, they’re surfers too!

Ok.. I might have stretched things are little far there, but you get my drift. They’re flotsam but they ARE part of the marine environment.

And that’s where it is at people. People should be able to ride what they want without being discriminated against – to ride the right board for the right conditions. It’s about having fun, not trying to be cool. Just take cyclists for example, do you really think those guys shave their legs and wear full body spandex for performance? Of course not, they do it for fun. And society is all the richer because of them. They don those lyrca unitards and prance about your local coffee shop to put a smile on your dial.

So, let’s cease discrimination throughout life in general but most importantly in our own ocean environment. Let’s put an end to discrimination amidst the various board pursuits. Let’s respect and appreciate people can do whatever they like for fun… within reason… as long as it doesn’t offend… including this article which may have but has been very much written tongue in cheek and absolutely no small animals were harmed in the process. And it’s important to note that the author identifies as many of the described surfers in the rainbow of descriptions in this article, depending on the day, mood and conditions. No judgement, please.