The older I get, the less I am interested in the socialness of surfing. Might sound harsh, but I don't really care about the video premieres, hangin', or having the right clothes on when strolling around town. That stuff just gets in the way. In fact, the less people in the water, the better, because it means I get more waves. Might seem weird, but really, all I want to do is keep riding as many waves as I can...until I'm at least 80. They don't have to be good waves and I don't have to surf particularly well, but I just want to keep going. Everything else is kinda, well, whatever.
Everything is marketed these days, from medicines to minivans to booze and surfing is no different. It's easy to get caught up in the gadgets and lifestyle junk to keep that connection going out of the water, but it's all secondary. This spring I rolled up to a spot and saw a guy getting ready to surf. He had the boardbag, the rack, the special changing robe, the boardshorts, rashguard, leash, sunblock, and anything else you can think of. It took me five minutes to check and snag my board, but this guy was still managing and checking his gear. It took him another 15 minutes before he surfaced over the dunes to actually get in the water. The winds were howling and the current was strong and the dude literally spent ten minutes in the water before getting out. It just seemed so stupid to me. He spent more time managing his cool surfer gear than he did actually surfing.
So, I guess I'm kind of over the gadgets, consuming and posturing that goes along with the world of surfing outside of the water. One guy who sounds like he has it figured out is John Haffey. I'm not much of a SURFER mag reader, but the article on this guy really opened my eyes a lot. He lives the life and minus all the weed and reggae, he 's got it dialed. A leash, new boardshorts, or fin isn't going to get me to surf more or longer or better, but they're good distractions while waiting to get in the water. Surfing is pretty simple and I plan to keep it that way.