– stripping surfing back down to its most elemental form

pull up your boot straps… or go surf

It’s been a while since I’ve felt inspired to write anything for Phoresia. The interviews we’ve had lately have been great and well I’ve just been spending a lot of time surfing and doing other family things. And sometimes I wonder if I’m still into this little project and I even feel a little guilty when I look at our monthly hit counter and notice that many of you are dutifully stopping in to check what’s new and there’s the same piece from two weeks ago. Well hell today I feel like I have something to say.

I was inspired by a piece a friend wrote on his site called Usurprerogative. He’s talking about complacency and the American way of pulling up our boot straps when shit hits the fan. Specifically he’s referring to an episode of the John Stewart show where Stewart interviews Bruce Springsteen and they talk halfheartedly about tough times.

My friend states: “I mean… we have a millionaire, belting out what being a workin’ man is all about… yet for some reason I feel disconnected.  At first I thought… ‘No… Not Jon Stewart too’, until I immediately laughed at myself for failing to spot the medium of the message.  It seemed like the aftermath of ‘Network’, where Arthur Jensen just took Howard Beale (or in this case Stewart) into his office and reminded him of the “corporate cosmos”.   When put back in his place… directed not to shake his finger too wildly at the corporate greed which defines the system we know, and this is what we get?  We’re now being told by Bruce Springsteen (who took his directors cue) that its time to ‘pull up our socks… and work harder’?”

As a culture we take ourselves really seriously in the West. Surfing culture, if we can call it that is no different. We have our traditions and our heroes and the jokers and the teachers and gurus. We also have what some refer to as the CORE surf companies like QUICK BONG RIP who “supports” the “sport.”  And we have the legions of surf journos, photographers and pros that create the image and culture that we see online and in print. But as the witty Lewis Samuels points out, most of the image is product driven – bottom line goals created to satisfy the hungry maw of the stakeholders who probably could give two shits that you surf.

Samuels was fired from Surfline for outright refusing to take his cue from the editors. And perhaps that was his goal and if he indeed is fired then I commend him, for we can say that we have at least one surf journo in the American surf media with a shred of integrity. So it is that I leave you with this irreverent quote from Samuels which sums up our thoughts exactly.

“…I wonder… if people quit buying shit they don’t need because they’re broke, what will they do if they have money later on?  Will they start buying useless crap again, or will they learn that consumer consumption isn’t the equivalent of happiness?”

Less is more no? As for me, I’m calling in sick tomorrow to go surf. My two board quiver is satisfying all my needs although I struggle with the itch of wantonness. Eventually if you ignore the itch it goes away. Much mahalos for stopping in and drop us a note and let us know how the waves were ‘round your way.


• Category: diy,

2 Responses »

  1. well, spring has sprung down here in NJ—-i’m happy with my three board quiver(not counting the old balsa on the wall)—easter break we’ll go to hatteras for a few days–need to help those folks—screwed by the ecomony and the adubon/defender of wildlife lawsuit that is closing beachs again for the second summer. surf today is kinda drifty and the water is warming up slowly–only one other guy out this afternoon, now that will so change! keep up the good work, we do care!

  2. waves have been good lately. I started making my on boards, not to sell just to experience my collective knowledge of 45 years of surfing. I built a 6’1 retro fish McNabb inspired and I must say
    I am very pleased with the outcome. which brings me to my point. jobs and money are a necessity
    in this world. having the joy to get up and go surf will put the smile on your face and give you faith. having faith instead of fear will put you at peace, so you can make good choices. Great Job!!