Surfing with friends is great.
Some force you to paddle out in waves that cause your stomach to churn in an uncomfortable way. Some fill the lineup with laughter. Some make you try airs that are blatantly beyond your ability. Some do all of these things, and some just help pay for gas.
It’s good to have a friend who always has a bar of wax. Sunscreen, too. Fin keys…
Carting an extra leash string around with you is cause for criminal investigation. The person who would do that is unwell.
But anyway. Surfing with friends is funny because it’s horrible for conversation.
This is most apparent when you’re mid-chat and a wave appears. In any other setting, for humans, suddenly walking away from someone while they are in the middle of talking to you is one of the most offensive things you can do. It’s unacceptable. Sociopathic.
In surfing, it’s normal.
Some people acknowledge it with a quick ‘hold on’ before paddling away. But I think it’s better when you don’t. When you stroke into a wave, half looking back at your friend, going ‘Uh huh, yeah,’ as if you are fully engaged in what they are saying before getting to your feet and disappearing.
A good conversation will be picked back up when you reunite. Many conversations in the water are not, by this definition, good.
The quality of a wave dictates the level of intimacy you’re allowed to remove yourself from. Like, if someone is revealing to you the details of a recent traumatic event and the wounds it inflicted upon them, a lil’ two-turn shimmy shimmy left isn’t going to cut it. But, the wave of the day on the day of the year? I am convinced that most of us would leave our best friends in tears for that.
And they would understand.
It’s just one of our game’s half-spoken rules.
The first call on surfing’s first-ever Olympics will be made in less than 24 hours (7AM Japan time on Sunday). Wondering why you haven’t seen any hype posts from the brands that invest millions of dollars into the surfers competing? It comes down to a rule which you can learn about above. Oh, and here’s our Olympic watch guide.
Speaking of the Olympics, here’s a glimpse into the days when the world of surf was filled with a bunch of pirates who would fight, fuck, party, sometimes win competitons, and always offend the general ideals that the Olympic orginzation holds dear. This is a great documentary, and you can watch it on Stab Premium this weekend only. Get to it.
You remember walking into a surf shop, taking a deep breath, tasting the distinct mixture of neoprene/surf wax/maybe a bit of cannabis in the air, arriving at the counter, peering into the illuminated glass, considering buying that Dragon belt with a buckle featuring their logo, realizing that was a patently awful idea, then exchanging $25 for a DVD that you would eventually scratch after years of it scratching the information it contained into your brain?
Surf movies deserve a special place in all of our hearts. Albee is helping keep them alive, and this one is a banger. Watch it above and read a full interview with Albee here.
Jed Smith wrote this piece about how social media is deleting some of the finer aspects of surf culture and configuring our world in a way that enables cowboy hacks to crowd the lineup at sacred waves. No good! But, there’s still hope…
Earlier this week, Stab published a clip of a Coolangatta local burning someone at Kirra and proceeding to thread his way through a barrel that most of us would exchange a large amount of capital for, if we had the chance. It lit our Instragram on fire, so we caught up with Burning Man to see if he had any remorse. Hint: he did not.
Comment of the week:
Parko’s Middle Finger has held this grudge with burns since 2013.
One last thing:
Surfing a wave so small that it allows you to gather enough speed just to turn your board approximately sixty degrees is an experience that exposes the peculiarity of our addiction.