Ok so I've just read the interview with the CEO of Surfing Australia that's been posted at coastalwatch. This comment "Iâ€™d like to think that weâ€™d be considered a mainstream sport." is possibly the most controversial. And the dude asking questions makes the point that it won't be popular. I'm interested in what others think.
I certainly don't want it to become any more mainstream than it already is but that's just because I don't want more crowds. Who does? While I do see the advantages of surf schools for groms cos I'm sick of all those bastards snaking out in the water (was particularly bad this morning), I'd rather it just be left alone without this big brother type management of surfing.
But what do you reckon? Does anyone care? Or is it a good idea and I just can't see past increased numbers in the water.
mainstream is a pretty broad definition, but they reckon 2.5 million people surf? That is mainstream already if you ask me, it's just that surfing competition is not that big. If there was more money in surfing and more comps, would it attract more surfers? Hard to say, i think the attraction is already there. Fuel TV has ASP comps live ALL DAY, surely that is mainstream enough. Most people aren't in it for the money. And a LOT of "surfers", only surf a few times a year, the hardcore all year round surfers would be MUCH less than that.
Nah I,am not into it. Ask anyone who,s got a paid job in it and they,ll tell you it,s great cause you and everyone else who subscibe to it are paying for it, in various well documented ways, not many of which could be seen as truly beneficial to your continued surfing experience.
Anyone thinking of a career as a pro would want to think about it pretty hard (that may not be possible if most pro,s are any thing to go by).How many devote their all, and end up burn,t out with no money and no prospect for meaningfull employment. My advice to the prospective,s would be get a real job and, accumulate skills that will pay, then go surfing in your time off, thats if you can pull a wave out from underneath the everpressing tide of pro's and sponsored surfers who have all day everyday to do it.
mainstream is a pretty broad definition, but they reckon 2.5 million people surf?
What is the definition of 2.5m surfers? and what is a definition of a surfer?
Is the 2.5m surfers based on board sales or wetsuit sales or something, is the person who has a soft top and who surfs for two weeks a year on the annual pilgrim to Surfers Paradise considered a surfer?
I cant stand people who refer to themselves as surfers and would not have a clue about surfing. I think if you stripped all the kooks out of the equation you would find that it is not such a mainstream sport.
surfing is mainstream. It is so mainstream it is *&#%_^ up
It isnt a sport though. It never was and it never will be.
Sheer numbers make it mainstream unfortunately.
IMO a large portion of those numbers are there as it's fashionable. Surfer is a cool label to put on yourself to the non surfer.
If you are are a backpacker, after one hours schooling "yeah I'm a surfer!"
Fortunately like salmon swimming upstream only some get to the capable stage and progress to spending real time surfing.
All the labels tied to Ripaquikbong and the small stables they have corporately bought up promote the lifestyle.
Go to Eastern Europe, treasured item among the youth a label garment.
This is happening;Russian oil billionaire mafiosa cashed up kiddywinks are hitting Bali.
Bad manners forget Brazos, Isrealis, Mediterranean bad surfing manners. These guys push all aside.
But as the fashion will eventually fade then so will their numbers.
The point of my rant is the fashion fnuckers will fade with the fad, Ripaquikbong will keep more coming but for the real surfer these is always a wave at another surf break on another day that will give you your fix and you'll know why you keep doing it.
It definitely ain't a sport.
Yeah I can't see it as a sport either. But it's not a bloody lifestyle either, any more than jogging or yoga is a lifestyle. It's just something I do most days that I'm borderline obsessive about.
I think the reason this (seemingly) corporate push to get more people surfing shits me is because the resources (waves) are so limited. It's not like running, cycling or whatever which can accommodate an almost infinite number of people with roads and footpaths all over the country. In most places, most of the year, conditions are only any good for a few hours a day in the morning, on the days there is some swell. Aside from that you'll find us jammed in hiding behind a few headlands like frightened insects crawling all over each other. We don't need to be encouraging more people into the water.
I know it's gonna happen but I'm not looking forward to the time when I look back at now and think gees it was so uncrowded back then. Maybe that's inevitable anyway.
As for this world champion rubbish. What the hell does it matter if we have another world champion? I mean seriously what difference does it make to anything except the bottom line of ferkin ripaquickbong? (nice one jaffa) It sure as hell doesn't improve the experience for the rest of us. Even teaching groms not to snake and drop in, bloody hell are they gonna police that next? It's a mainstream sport, my kids are out there, they need protection from those other nasty surfers.
But maybe I'm being irrational.
"But maybe I'm being irrational".
No you're not Benski, down here in the wilderness of almost mexico, the older guys encourage the younger surfers and ensure that any visiting surfer doesn't pull more rank with them than a standard place in the line up!
The groms being groms have to be reminded of manners occasionally but because we as a beach give them some back up, respect is held at all levels.
It's a good task for a surfers' dad collective to try.
It's good too, when we get those small days where we can surf with our kids and let them go at it, with only encouragement.
In a real sport when things get tight they build a new venue,ie new tennis courts, new golf courses, new footy footy feilds ect. Then if the weather is playing up they put a roof over it and play inside. Surfing will never be a sport on this basis.That is unless rippaquickbong suddenly starts to give a shit and parts with some of the millions they,ve ripped off us to build some new reefs or something to alleviate the masses that they inflicted apon us. Don,t hold your breath.
"build some new reefs or something"
Trouble with that though pablo is the unintended consequences when any new reefs mess up the dynamics of sand movement resulting in the local classic point break getting completely f--ked. Like Kirra for eg, even though the superbank's not a new reef exactly. Be nice if we could work a solution like what you're suggesting but I think it's a tricky proposition.
Course if they did do something like that, they'd no doubt charge an arm and a leg to surf their epically-sick slab machine.
i've heard that apart from russian kooks there's a lot of russian hot models flooding bali at the moment desperately seeking for russian speaking surf instructor.
looks like cold war is not over yet.
i am off to bali next month.
god, i miss communism. the red thread. people were scared, the agency i used to work for was respected and i got laid every night
Yeah Bensksi I know it,s just a pipe dream, probaly never get approval from marine authorities either.It,s pity that there are so many point,s that just don,t quite do it, that would only need a little enhancement to turn them on,ie a little blast here and a little fill there,(like some people i know).
As for Russian models in Bali,Take your wallet maks i think you,ll find they're on work contracts.They ,re capitalist,s now remember.
"there are so many point,s that just don,t quite do it, that would only need a little enhancement to turn them on"
Sounds like you're talkin about my local.
Definition of SPORT - an individual or group activity pursued for exercise or pleasure, often involving the testing of physical capabilities and taking the form of a competitive game such as football, tennis, etc.
I think that unless you compete at surfing you are doing something other than a sport. If you do compete, even having to compete for a set wave you are doing a sport.
I put my board in the car on top of my fishing gear, skateboard, snowboard and other sporting gear, I don't think of my surfboard as anything other than sporting gear.
If it's not a sport, then what is it? 1963-malubu & Pablo?
If you do things like save and go travelling to different locations, surf all week, talk surf with your mates, check weather charts daily, pick up rubbish from your beach and consume your daily routines with surfing, well then it is a lifestyle. 1963-malubu & Pablo?
Surf companies are listed on the stockmarkets of the world and you can buy surf gear all over the developed and underdeveloped world. Surfing is used throughout all mediums of advertising. Guess what that makes it? Mainstream! 1963-malubu & Pablo?
So please Pablo and Malibu tell us what it is then?
the thing people seem to be relating mainstream to is the surf being crowded. but the only place that the surf is really crowded besides world class spots, is the cities. there's plenty of places even on the NSW coast where you can score sick waves and probably wish someone else was out so you've got a 50/50 chance of being sharkbait.
of course surfing is a sport by modern sporting standards. but like pretty much every other sport it's a recreational activity if you're not competing. the coverage of the ASP on TV is sick, it beats watching any of the other crap on tv.
if mainstream leads to russian kooks being in the water, who cares? there's not going to get far out the back and if they do it wouldn't be too hard to snake them. the problem with waves like snapper is that the level of competition makes it hard to get waves but all the people out there ripping are 2nd or 3rd generation surfers and would surf regardless of trends.
No, surfing's not a sport....
IT'S A MARTIAL ART!
Sport ,martial art,lifestyle,spiritual persuit,it can be whatever you make of it.But consider how many sport,s can be completed with only one player pushing himself at his own time?.This is what makes it almost unique. Sport shits me,who gives a F#@% who,s better than who it,s all ego shit. Leave out the sport and you may just find some meaning.
It is not a competition for most surfers.
There are no winners, no losers, no rules = no sport.
fishing or golf are sports that are considered recreation if you are doing it for fun but are still sport in competition. what's the difference?
1963 and pablo, you guys are off with the ferals on this one. Its a sport and that's that. Deal with it.
Daniel son you are correct, be it for fun or be it for competition it is still a sport.
I disagree with you antifroth, but then maybe I'm a feral. You've gone on what defines sport and if you look it up the consistent term in all definitions I've found is "competitive". That's why you can have sport fishing and recreational fishing I guess. Two very different things.
I surf a few different places around the country, a few of which are a long way from anywhere else. When I'm sitting in the water on my own, a few kms from the nearest other surfer getting a few peaceful waves, I find it hard to think that I'm playing sport in that moment. Even when I'm at my local beachie and there's 20 guys crowding onto the bank and we're all getting our share we're not competing any more than the guy chucking the frisbee with his son on the beach is competing. We're not competing for waves in the same way Fanning et al compete for points (and dollars) on the ASP. Actually I don't think we're competing for waves at all, unless we're also competing for oxygen. It's an entirely different proposition.
For most surfers it's not a competitive activity, at least I don't think it is, but as I said, I don't see it as a competition for waves. In fact I gave up playing footy to surf more because I got tired of the idea of competition on the field. My surfing's about me and no one else. So that means it isn't a sport in my mind. There are sporting elements to it (see the ASP etc) but for most it's not a sport at all. The point I was making in the original post is how stupid it is to try to make it more mainstream and then to do this by pitching it as a sport when for most of us, it aint is even more stupid.
let the dictionary be the judge. that second and third definition sounds like surfing.
sport (spÃ´rt, sprt)
a. Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively.
b. A particular form of this activity.
2. An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.
3. An active pastime; recreation.
in regards to mainstream; at least in australia there have always been a lot of people that fashion surf culture but don't surf. i think the reason more and more people are surfing is cause surfers are starting to have more kids and it's growing with generations.
contest surfing is a small part of the 'recreation' which justifies it as a 'sport' but most surfers never compete in a contest in their life.
contests or not it is still a sport. Be it a recreational sport for most, it is still classed as a sport.
If there were no contests there would be no sport.
contest surfing perhaps relates to 2% of the total surfing population, the other 98% is not sport.
so if i have a recreational hit of tennis or golf its not a sport? sorry mate surfings a sport whether you compete or not. if its not a sport what is it? is surfing somehow less special if its a sport? not to me.
Spot on yorkessurfer. If it's not a sport then what the fuck is it? 1963_malibu, pablo and benski you are yet to answer the question, if it's not a sport, then what is it?
OK this has kind of missed the point a bit. I wasn't hoping to start a thread to discuss whether surfing is a sport or not, frankly I don't give a shit what people call it. To me it's not a sport as I see sport as a competitive activity. It's a recreation, a past time, a hobby, an activity, whatever, it doesn't matter. Call it whatever you like, it's not going to change a thing about my experience in the water.
My original interest was in something that is going to change my experience in the water. I wanted to know whether people were happy to see the process of riding waves toward the beach while standing up on some sort of board device further popularised by some apparently self appointed governing body, Surfing Australia, to improve the status of the "sport" in Australia. I don't like the sound of that, as surfing is not a regulated activity. The more mainstream popularity it gets I think we'll see more regulation of it. Ironically this would probably make it more of a sport (in my eyes), if we end up with companies/law makers regulating it so the masses can get their "fair share."
So that's what I'm interested in hearing from you dickheads.
Is sailing or getting around on the water in power boats a sport?If you are racing(competing)yes it's a sport.If not it's a pastime/lifestyle.Benski your spot on with sportfishing,add a point system,rules,competition & trophies & you can change a simple pastime into a sport.But as a whole amature fishing remains a pastime as does boating.Does it matter what surfing gets labelled as?In the end the only thing that realy matters is what it is to you,regardless of what image gets pushed.
It has nothing to do with surfing australia. Try pointing the finger at the big 3 (ripbongquick) for making our SPORT mainstream. Surfing Australia provides competitive formats for all surfers to be a part of if they so wish. If you don't want to be a part then you don't have to. They are not responsible for making this SPORT mainstream, ripbongquick are responsible for pushing for mainstream, and it goes further than our shores as well, the whole world is getting caught up in our sport.
I would like nothing more than for surfing to fade out of fad and be left with the purists but it isn't going to happen. If you don't surf, don't start. It's too crowded.
A few years back I was having a look at the local, crowded and small with all sorts of carnage going on, I was standing on the boardwalk with the founder of Quiksilver, his attitude was that it was too crowded. I had to tell him that this situation was caused by him and that he should have the balls to surf in the swill he created.
It's gone mainstream and that is the way it is, I loved the early days when you would be surfing alone most of the time on all the good waves of the world, but it's over and done.
Is that what you wanted to hear from us dickheads? Benski
That's more like it you bloody dickhead! Except it has a lot to do with SA because the boss has stated that as his goal. This is the interview I was talking about.
This is what made me want to ask the question. I don't like it that there's this push to make it even more mainstream. I agree it's already nuts, but I fear that it will move beyond just crowded waves, and into regulation of the lineup and so on.
1963-malibu and benski Surfing Australia is mostly funded by members, lots of them, and they are just a voice of their members but ripbongquik are corporate big wigs who make the trends and fund the shitfight that is competitive surfing. Surfing Australia membership does have its advantages with the insurance policy that protects you from some of the financial burden associated with a surfing injury.
As for regulations, bring em on, I would love to pay a rego fee and be graded on my abilitys so I could surf less crowded waves. I can't see it happening though.
THat's interesting, I didn't know about that insurance policy thing. But it does confirm to me that they've got no fricken right (but loads of self interest) in perpetuating the mainstream focus of surfing.
Fair enough on the regulation thing but I reckon the way these things go, it wouldn't be graded on your ability to surf, it'd be graded on your ability to pay.
But this could be massive paranoia and cynicism on my part. I'll have to get over it cos the train is leaving the station, of that there is no doubt.
some good points made here. whether its sport or whatever you want to call it, its crazy how regulated surfing is becoming! where i live down at yorkes its still morning of the earth alot of the time. but a few times a year the competition clowns roll into town. most of us locals just stay away for the day, but its surprising how disrespectful most of them are towards us! maybe their a bit jealous? but we always have the last laugh when we see them rolling off down the highway:)
The question was about being mainstream.
You know it is, when it gets the attention of bureaucrats, with a proposal being aired due to stinking behaviour by SUPs and newly "graduated" surf school students and tourists hitting high quality breaks and being basically just shrapnel in the water.
The proposal is to grade all surf spots up in levels to a double black diamond spot ( just like in skiing).
However in the surf, surfers will be graded and have to wear a colour patch designating their competence for the break, so too will the purchase of registration stickers come back, and some locations will be matched to certain surf craft i.e. SUP only spots, mal spots and mixed and then short board spots and boogie board spots.
It probably will begin at the Super bank and crowded locations like the Pass at Byron and Lennox Head, Crescent Head will be a Mal only spot and if successful others will follow.
If it works and councils get enough from the rego fees and fines then it will only be a matter of time before the idea crosses the ditch to New Zealand and California and on and on!
Councils have been looking for a long time for a way to control surfers and gain money from them, this is the start of something horrible and the policing of something once beautiful will begin.
Probably even get referees to boo
Are you serious jaffa? I haven't heard about anything like that, I think it's inevitable but seriously that's pretty messed up.
Jaffa, this will never work and I hope that it never gets to that kind of regulation.
Firstly, there would be a lot more aggression in the water as incompetent surfers would surely paddle into a break that they are not "qualified" to surf and then people who are qualified would try and tell them to get lost and then all hell would break loose.
Also how is a surfer supposed to become more competent if they're limited to slow breaking waves and aren't able to push themselves on a reef break etc.
I think the ocean regulates itself pretty well. It only takes a person to paddle out at a heavier reef or beach break than they are used to and get an absolute flogging, effectively showing that person their real place in the scheme of things regarding surf ability.
I know when I was learning you got competent enough to surf the soft beachies (Middleton in my case - which doesn't take much to conquer :P ) and then once I had that covered I headed out to the heavier beachies over near Waitpinga etc. I got smashed a few times on bigger days when I was learning but went back to Middleton, kept improving and then tackled the heavier stuff again. From then it was reefs etc..
Without this testing of one's ability (as would be out ruled with the policing and ranking of different breaks) how is one to improve?
Sure the crowds annoy me like hell as well, but if you're not a sheep like everyone else and put in a little extra effort you can usually scape the swarms of surfers who only head out once or twice a year.
How is a person deemed to be competent, and who is going to do this?? If it's like the snow fields system, it would be self imposed. The "danger" ratings are there to protect those who are not yet up to that standard.
I don't need a black diamond rating to tell me that I'm out of my league when it's too big, too heavy etc for my ability. I can see that for myself. I don't mind having a go, but I certainly don't want to mess up others enjoyment in the surf by getting in their way, or worse cause some accident by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Courtesy and respect both ways (ie both towards the better surfers, and from them towards those learning) would help.
F@#k that registration shit! I reckon it is crap, how can they implement and police it?
I bet quickerippedbongs will come out with designer patches which are stretch carbon fibre self cooling with a built in heater system, with a gaurantee that you will get twice as much air.
How can you grade breaks, one day somehwere might be big and heavy and the next it is too small to ride on a shortborad and you are riding your mal.
What do you do if your mate you surf with is a lower grade than you, do you tell him to f@#k off back to the begginers section?
The whole thing is entirely senseless.
It started with Morning Of The Earth ,but it all sounds like the going down of the sun now. Regulation ! fuck that sounds like my worst nightmare. Like craig says the ocean will do that I mean nothing ever regulated human behaviour like pain. Insurance !,you know the system has got you when think you need that to go surfing.If your your scared of hurting yourself fuck off and play golf.
Pablo - Insurance is a good thing if you have kids and charge big heavy waves, you don't even need to surf in any comps to join.
As for regulation - no way to police it and no way for groms to charge their way up the surfing scale than testing themselves. Euro turo's though should be banned from surfing our good waves as those pricks have no respect or clue in the surf.
Great debate. Still Mainstream Sport!
Antifroth, if insurance is so important, why dont you get income protection insurance by your own choice. Why force people to take out insurance?
Faaaaaaark, I can feel my blood pressure rising. I think I might sit down and a have a quiet coffee and a lamington my wife made. I have been craving lamingtons for a few days now and think that lamington (with strawberry jam in the middle) is the most underated cake going around.
MTW - Surfing Australia costs $40 to join, heaps cheaper than income insurance. Break your back in the surf and tell me it isnt a good idea to have a bit of coverage that doesnt cost the earth.
the only reason any regulation will happen is because we as surfers are failing to police it ourselves so we need some prats in suits to tell us what to do.
The further we head into the future and continue to fail at monitoring and controlling the lineups ourselves the more likely it is they will send in police types.
What is the answer?
How do we make our lineups a safer place?
maybe we need some well respected surfer in the lineup telling idiots and greedy surfers what to do?
A much happier outcome would be if the idiots and greedy surfers didnt surf.
That takes the whole attraction of surfing away. It is supposed to be carefree, uncontrolling and un policed. I have been surfing for a few years and I have never suffered(touch wood)any major injuries. How many times have you seen anyone break their back or do something major, not a common occurrence I am guessing. Yes, $40 is pretty good value and shits over income protection insurance from a large insurer, but I cannot help but feel it is an opportunity for someone to make some cash.
If you want to make the lineups a safer place, why not educate people on the do's and do not's of surfing. Unless explained by a mate, how does a surfer know what drop in rules are or where a safe place is to paddle out or if you see a booger run them over. In a recent thread somebody made a point that when you buy a board it should come with instructions or an explanation on the do's and do not's. Instead the board only came with a disclaimer against death and injury etc etc etc.
What we are all suggesting that a shift in behavioral attitudes is required, forcing everyone to get insurance is not going to make the line up any safer and will not force any attitude changes.
I do not know what the answer would be, but we need to make people realise that it is unacceptable to carry on like a dick and that they need to show more respect to your fellow surfers.
MTW it happened to me 16 years ago, no insurance back then from Surfing Australia, was expensive and took 5 years out of the surf from me.
I pay my fee's to surfing Australia every year just for the coverage beyond the high tide mark, havn't had to use it yet thankfully.
I don't give a rats arse if someone is making some cash from it as it gives me security.
I know a few mates who have had serious injuries from the surf and the coverage that their $40 membership gives them has been a fantastic help.
Mmmm, SA's site says $56.10 to join, but no details of what the actual insurance benefits are. I wonder how much of the joining fee goes to insurance costs as opposed to SA pumping money in to more commercial ventures and competitions. If you bust your back in the surf, what do you get from it?
Found it on WA's site. Bugger all basically!!
A. 1. Permanent Paraplegia $100,000
2. Permanent Quadriplegia $150,000
3. Permanent Total Loss of Sight of Both Eye $75,000
4. Permanent Total Loss of Sight of One Eye $75,000
5. Permanent Total Loss of Use of Two Limbs $75,000
6. Permanent Total Loss of One Limb $50,000
7. Permanent Total Loss of Hearing $50,000
8. Death $5,000
9. Any injury not shown above caused as a result of
B. 1. Neck or spine $1,000
2. Hip or Pelvis $800
3. Skull or shoulder blade $600
4. Collar bone or upper leg $500
5. Upper arm, knee cap, forearm, elbow or lower leg $400
I did my MCL a week and half ago but don't have Surfing Australia's insurance.
Looking at that it looks as if it wouldn't have mattered anyway as it wasn't a knee cap??
What is the current state of SA's fund,s are they adequate to sustain a rash of bullshit claims once all the rorter,s wake up to it?.How do you prove a surf injury anyway?.Death $5,000 Whats that gonna cover your funeral?.Fear of what may happen to you may well be what keeps surf numbers down.
Check the fine print too. Insurance coverage like this is only paid out if you are not covered elsewhere, ie if you're insured with 10 different companies, you don't get 10 times the pay-out amount. They all check to see if someone else is paying you, and that's all you'll get. They don't all pay out.