Just wondering if people think drugs are still a big part of surf culture or whether those days are long gone? reading modern surf media it seems the sport has moved on, but I hear stories of pros smoking joints before running down to heats at cooly, ex pros turning up to deserts, doing acid and lines of coke on the dashboard, and big wave 'pros' getting charged on coke before charging the big ones. I suspect things have not changed that much, just the pathetic marketing machine is covering the culture up. just wondering what others think?
Do you mean 'surf culture' or 'pro surf culture'? Drugs are prevalent in many aspects of society, surfing included.
Good question but I guess both because in Tracks and other old mags drugs were talked about both on and off the tour
Sypkan, do you have a problem with drug use or other people using drugs ?
What Ben said.
Drugs are a societal phenomena, not surf cultural specific. You'd be better asking if surfing was part of society, or does it exist in some idealogical drug free bubble ?
Waddya you reckon ? and what's the big deal anyhoo ?
It was I, you fools! The man you trusted wasn't Wavy Gravy at all! And all this time, I've been smoking harmless tobacco.
a line of cola would do wonders before staring down a 30+ft wave!!
I dont have a problem with people using drugs, in fact quite often I smoke Zen's nameless tobacco. I also occasionally have taken mystery white powders, pills, crystals and mushrooms, and had a great time.
I was actually asking because in my experience lots of surfers are into this stuff, yet the modern surf media portrays this squeaky clean image. I think they are trying to present it as a clean sport to increase sponsors, participants and acceptance so it might one day be in the Olympics etc.(these things I am not for at all)
Having said that I have seen many of my friends lives fucked up by drugs, and I believe the only thing that has prevented this happening to me is surfing keeping the partying in some kind of balance.
Yes Ben and Sid are right it is a societal problem/phenomenon (depending on your perspective), but I think per capita surfers would take drugs at a much higher percentage than other 'sports' people, but the media no longer has those colourful stories they had in the past.
So I am a contradictory bastard who thinks drugs are generally bad because most people don't have the will power to control themselves, but I don't want some war on drugs because I like them. It is kind of funny for me that the 'druggy' lifestyle of surfing actually curbed my drug use and gave me some balance, I think they call that irony.
No ideological battle here, just wondering what the reality is out, because it seems the easier it becomes to put out and find information (internet) the harder it is to find the reality.
I think per capita surfers would take drugs at a much higher percentage than other 'sports' people
Where'd ya get your stats from?
For what it's worth, I probably know more musicians who do drugs than surfers. But that's just my own anecdotal evidence.
I'm still not clear on what you're proposing here. Does it matter whether some surfers take drugs or not? Or are you saying that it's OK for surfers to do drugs but not participants of other sports?
As for your quote "the modern surf media portrays this squeaky clean image" - really? I assume Swellnet would be classed as "modern surf media" (seeing that we reach more surfers than all of the surf mags combined), yet I can't think of a single instance where we've deliberately "portrayed a squeaky clean image". And we certainly couldn't care less whether surfing is in the Olympics or not (in fact, read this article, and this one too).
I have two degrees and I'm also a part-time model.
However, I have not yet published a peer-reviewed journal article.
Perhaps I'm not qualified to comment in this context, but here goes
I think recreational surfers smoke less bongs than they used to, and do more things like ecstasy, coke and meth these days. PERS. OBS
I think pro-surfers probably consume drugs at a similar level to footballers of all codes, that is, some do, some don't, some do sometimes, some do often. PURE CONJECTURE
I don't think that the modern surf media portrays surfing as being squeaky clean. Instead it's the advertising campaigns for major surf companies that portray surfing in this way, albeit with enough tatts and scowls to appeal to the adolescent consumer.
My bong ate my references.
drugs are definetly more common in the skate culture i reckon than surfing anyway
you could also argue that surfers in a way should or shouldnt need drugs more than the average person. Certain drugs may provide a feeling of euphoria, like riding a wave, so maybe surfers have more of a 'right' to do drugs, but then you could also argue why take drugs when you can just surf
Are you kidding.Surfing in the 70-80-90's was promoted involving the drug culture..Hell that was what made it 'cool' wasn't it? Still nothing better than having aan awesome surf sesh then having a bong/beer.kicking back and replaying all your rides of the day..Tops it of?!As to thermal Ben putting his we donot confirm or deny line out, I think it is more of the deny catagory, have people forgot Andy Irons already? No mention of any of Andy's drug use in his obituary or use on swellnet..as well as any other corporate website..I think it is still a part of surfing it is just that to be able to surf is cool enough without the drugs tag now...just my 2cents
The drug trade is a fully vertically integrated, multi billion dollar industry and has been for centuries. Always a defacto clandestine arm of world power governments.
The Indian British Raja opium, traded (cough) for gold to the Chinese, funded the British Navy which colonialised and conquered the modern world as we know it.
The British handed the USA the global opium trade baton in exchange for not invading Canada in early WW11 due to the fact that the Royal Family was penciled in to relocate to Canada, still a British colony, should the Germans win ze War and invade England.
From there, the US became the next super power, probably built on smack money, just like the almighty Royal British Navy before them.
During the GFC, the only funds that kept US banks afloat was their openess to launder massive surplus drug money deposits. The Sth American coke trade has always been CIA "managed". Cannibas was outlawed to create and protect Du Ponts chemical fibre alternates to hemp.
the modern drug trade ? same as it ever was ...
When I said surf media I was talking about ALL surf media in general like mags, websites and videos not just Swellnet. What got me thinking was an ad for a "magic mushroom board" I just thought wow I havent seen anything like that for a long time.
Generally I agree with Turner about a clean image being presented by advertising but also some of the new surf TV shows, so much so that the TV shows are like watching Hillsong Goes Surfing. I also think Turner is right about the drugs changing to ecstasy and meth etc.
I have to agree also that musicians would do more drugs than surfers, but I dont think of music as a sport, though some would say surfing is not either, and music and drugs have gone together for a long time (as did surfing for a long time).
But about Swellnet, whilst reading an article about weird surfing and muso's in the NW WA desert, I could not help but think that if that article was in Tracks years ago there would have been some references to drugs through the article. Maybe the camp is not full of potheads anymore, maybe classic muso's dont take drugs, maybe surfers generally dont do as many drugs anymore but it all looked a bit wacky to me.
so please don't be so naive and just plain stupid ignorant to think drugs are a part of surfing anymore than are a part of the rest of the world.
@sidthefish drugs and the "extreme sport' industry go hand in hand..In South Oz over 90% of surfers I know have done/do drugs...are you saying in the rest of society it is that high..BS..you must live in a 4th dimension surfing bubble!
---you must live in a 4th dimension surfing bubble!----
fuck yeah, where do I get me some of that ? !
When I smoked mull it seemed that everyone smoked mull. Everywhere we went we'd have a bong close at hand and there was always people up for it.
Now that I've given it up it appears everyone else has too.
ahh stu, you just got old, bong's are like asthma, more people grow out of them one day.
but as a collective, I reckon if you took a finals crowd at eg: the Quikky Pro, and compared % drug use to the crowds at say the Denny Ute Muster, the Summer Nats, Bathurst 1000, or similar gathering, then the surf event would be well down the list.
barley, you need to stop hangin with such hardcore druggos, and git yersef some of that "4th dimensional surfing bubble" shit,
Sid, unless i've mis-read your reply above, the Bathurst 1000 is piss related from my experience. Never saw much hooter or powder.
Surfing definitely has a culture of drug use - no two ways about it... Not even up for debate. How do you change that culture should be the theme of this forum not if it exists.
Does anyone seriously think the media should portray it any differently?? I personally think that the less people doing drugs the better. I say we let people make their own decisions, but I don't think hypothetical footage of Taj racking up lines with Paris Hilton is going to help any junior grommet make good life decisions.
Every time I buy a surf mag in the last few years there is always a full page add for some fertilizer called "Cannaboost".. Are there a whole heap of surfers growing hydroponic roses or something? I'm surprised the mags let adds like that through but I guess advertising $$ trump everything in the corporate world of surfing.
Maybe they could go a step further and sponser a WQS event called the Cannaboost Pro in somewhere like South Australia! It would complement the Drug Aware Pro at Margret River and target the diverse demographic of the surfing culture!!
a lot of this sounds kinda... "no sex please, we're British."
yeah, "no drugs please, we're surfers." that's it.
I think surfing has just become much more accessible to the mainstream, a place where drug use is frowned upon (except for pharmaceuticals - they are a necessary part of your cheerful day).
People from the mainstream water down the numbers, and also make up a large portion of the surfing market. Advertisers chase their dollars and portray an image tasteful to them.
In regards to the Cannaboost Ads, I have a sneaking suspicion that throwing them in the mags as well as the odd bit of PG rated drug allegory, makes the mainstream surfers feel that surfing is still kinda badass and alterna, which secretly makes them feel cool and 'down with it' while at the same time healthy and positive and better than the other drug using scum.
Of course, I have nothing to back any of this up, so feel free to shoot it down.
On a some what judgmental note, drug use is pretty fucked. Anyone who thinks chronic weed usage doesn't affect a person's personality over the long term is fucking bananas.
Moderation moderation my fellows.
Not that any of this matters , but i think it just depends what end of the Surfing scale your looking at . Surfing these days has so many different levels of CORE . And in such ways it can almost be stereotypically pidgeon holed by surrounding postcodes and regions .
Somewhere you may have cronic smokers who seem to be average , then another spot/coast /region maybe a man made imbibing capital of which the lines of junky and cool but loose -unit get smeared/ blurred . And then you have your social eleitists that tend to think nothing of the Multiple $100's a month Cola habit ...... all but some of which washed down with Booze for either a Party or chilled vibe .
Personally i can't do ( stereotypical ) Drugs , unlike many others that still do it when they clearly shouldn't . I have found that I'm probably already too Loose , vibrant , self confident , arrogant , emotional , artistic , flippant , over analytical without heightening any of these with many of these days accepted forms of " rec ' drug outlets that many choose or get chosen by their subconscious for a coping mechanism . Unfortunately i found in the past that this sometimes excluded me from some circles , but most often if it wasn't the case then those people who did and didn't judge then they were the ones worth following/hangin out with .
Strangely because of some negative experiences , i often go out of my way to " fuck " with people sub consciously when i notice whatever state their in and play with their Paranoia ......
Not nice , but its my way of saying judge and you will be judged . Probably not healthy in some circles , but meh ' .
Anyway for once i don't agree with you Syd ,
i think ( reading between the lines , [pardon the pun] ) that Rouby , and maybe a few other SA lads have seen some pretty strong negatives to long term drug usage .
Again personally i have never seen anything positive come remotely close to the vast amount of negatives that surround this topic .
But i would say that the legalities of alot of this subject probably make the negative influences worse with the company many will keep to feed , produce and maintain any sort of habit or rec. usage . In this regards even opportunistic/clever surfing Mules have come unstuck , even though some have tried to maintain a distance from " work & pleasure " .......
Some topics shouldn't be raised in this instance .
biggest meth/coke week of the year on the Goldie ...???
Like Sid and Ben I'm still not sold on the fact that surfing has a drug culture any worse than the rest of society. When I was in my late teens every person I knew was a surfer and my answer would've been different - it seemed then that everyone was getting toasted. As I got older and expanded my circle of friends I realised this simply wasn't anything exclusive to surfing.
The people who say surfing has a drug culture: How many non-surfers do you know? Have you travelled well away from the surfing scene? Still seen people taking drugs...?
Me, I reckon it's just another example of surfers thinking they're got some exclusive reign. That and the fact most surfers live sheltered lives.
Ahh, yes, but the Goldie is a different kettle of fish.............
Growing up in the middle of Canada "well away from the surfing scene" I would have to agree with Stu's comment as the majority of the adolescent population were into recreational drug use. I personally believe it has nothing to do with surfing at all, in fact surfing would almost deter people from drug usage... Have you ever surfed all hopped up on goofballs?? Surfing provides a sort of getaway for some people in that sense.
As for professional surfing and drugs, I would have to argue that most pros use these drugs as coping mechanisms more than for recreational purposes and keeping it on the down low is very important in maintaining there image in the corporate surfing world (i.e sponsors, events etc.)
Personally speaking, I'd say the times of my life when I've been most into surfing, I've been least into drugs. Vice versa, the periods when I've drifted away from surfing, the drug usage has gone way up.
I sit here today, teetotal and fricken amping for tomorrow's dawny!
arbus-lessker, it is not a good example but denying there existance may not help either, I work with a former heroin addict who believes she got only into it because no-one told her about drugs and the dangers, but it is a hard one.
Gotta agree Stunet, if you use drugs it seems everyone does then you give up and they are gone, but that does not mean they have gone away altogether, just your group of (older) friends have changed.
Nice summary and and self-charater appraisal there Southey, classic. I have got to agree, postcodes mean a lot, coke on the goldy and northern beaches are huge, and weed in SA is hard to get away from.
Apparently, meth and coke are huge in Hawaii and the big wave scene in general. As some one who has surfed on meth I can see the attraction, I was way better than normal, but I can also see the danger if these guys are doing it all the time, you would be lost without it. I am sure those clean guys who do it without are streets ahead in terms of confidence, which is a big part, and just in life in general.
I still beleive though the modern media are choosing not to talk about it. Whether it is to appeal to advertisers or just because the subject was dealt with in 70s with the hippy stuff. I dont know, but as Barley pointed out about Andy Irons death, the silence on Swellnet was deafening!
Fair call Sykpan - definitely not an area I've got any formal experience in.
Stunet.. I've got a fairly diverse group of friends - these days predominately outside the confines of Australian surf culture. My general view is that people with certain personality traits/types are more attracted to drugs than others. While there are many different types who try/use drugs my personal experience has been that often drug takers are people that have a higher stimulus threshold than the normal population, and who don't mind dabbling in some risk taking behaviour .
So does that mean surfing has a drug culture? Well... maybe it does. I would say, that generally surfers (at least the surfers I've met around the world) fit the bill of the personality type that is often a drug user. Thrill seeking, often well travelled and keen to try something new. High stimulus thresholds. This is something that many other groups would fit into, including contact sport players and motoring enthusiasts.
Stunet/Thermal - Challenge for you. Why don't you look up general drug usage statistics, I'm sure our friends at the ABS, or if not them another reputable source could provide these. Then run a survey on Swellnet for the internet savvy surfer group. Like any survey, will be riddled with caveats and limitations - but the results might share some insight on this topic.
"But as Barley pointed out about Andy Irons death, the silence on Swellnet was deafening!"
I wonder what I would've written? Since I've never met Andy Irons, never done drugs with him and don't know anyone who did. Until the coroners report came out I had no idea what drugs he had in his system. As far as I knew it was all speculation and drug speculation is one small step away from greasy tabloid crap. I'm not gonna take part in it.
When Brad Melekian did his Outside article he interviewed 50 people. Where the fuck do you think Swellnet is gonna get the money to undertake such an operation??
"I still beleive though the modern media are choosing not to talk about it."
Go read Rabbit's book about the birth of professionalism in the 70's and how they used to hide drug use to further corporate interest in the sport. This is not a 'modern media' issue.
I see no difference between 'drugs and surfing' and 'beer and footy' or 'beer and cricket'. I think it's more a matter of a preferred vice than something that you do because you surf. I've got plenty of mates who love a choof before a paddle (especially if the surfs small and then we like a few 'wave enhancers' to get motivated) and I've also got plenty of mates who surf that don't touch the stuff at all.
Weed is the drug of choice for surfers from what i've seen because you can't surf pissed but you can surf stoned. That and the fact that you can grow it for free - especially in the desert.
Dunno about surfing and taking coke - never been a fan of it and haven't seen anyone snorting a line before heading out for a wave.
I can promise y'all, forget the ABS arbus, if you talk to the asian syndicates who have grow houses all over Syd/Melb/BRis, or bikers running meth, or wogs running smack or any other supply chain, or mates in CIB, ask 'em if surfers are their biggest customers...
the answer will be definitively NO.
Nth Qld is full of drugs, no surf up there. Wagga Wagga ? Western Sydney? Canberra ? Cranbourne ?
do surfers, some, sometimes, often, occasionally, regularly do drugs?,? YES, and newsflash, they wipe their bums too, just like everyone else.
get a life bitches, this is womens gossip mag shit.
"Youth is wasted on the young" George Bernard Shaw.
So true, so very true.
Sid ya been getting ya knickers in a knot over this topic mate, better roll one up and calm down ay?
Ben Matson claimed in the long Billabong thread that Swellnet has more viewers than all surf mags combined. Tongue in cheek? Perhaps. Regardless, Melekian interviewing 50 people is NOTHING compared to any real journalism in the real world. Shit, most NY Times reporters work years on stories before they're published if they regard a high subject matter.
What higher subject matter, pun intended or not, is there in surfing than Andy Irons?
You can afford to send Shearer to Bells and Tahiti so he can write recaps of what we all saw online, but you can't shill a few shekels for AI?
And spare me this bullshit about speculation.
What the fuck is your job and the point of this website?
Speculate! About waves. How important!!
Everything you do is about speculating when storms, swell charts, flight patterns, etc might converge. You know, connecting the dots. All for the super hyper important point of guessing where all the surfers should go tomorrow or five days from now. Connecting fucking dots.
As for AI, you didn't write shit for the same reason no one else in surf media did. You were a gutless coward. Not even a post saying "Dengue Fever? Really?"
Then you somehow concoct this idea that since Rabbit Talked about drugs in the 70's this isn't a "modern media" issue? What planet are you Aussie's living on. Drugs are a modern media issue as long as people keep dying as a result of them - whether it's Andy Irons, the rebel in Columbia, the covert US Ops member sent by his foolish government, the inner city mother hooked on smack, to the kids born deformed due to parents fucking themselves up.
Just fucking admit that surf blogs, like Swellnet, do nothing more than speculate on waves and do everything in their interest to promote the corporations that make your jobs possible.
And SidFish has ZERO credibility.
â€œI haven't been aligned with Billabong since I used to sweep out the original factory at Hibiscus Ave on a Friday arvo after school for a pair of boardies or a singlet. My allegiances ended up elsewhere... 'nother story. [really?]
But what I will say, is that Gordon Merchant is a sincere, passionate and creative person, as is Rena.
Over the years I've seen his loyalty and caring applied from Joe Engel to Occ to AI. Sometimes the right thing to do would have been to let them go. But he didn't, he stuck by them.â€ ~ SidFish
Bye Sid, you Corporate fucking cocksucking bullshit artist. You are a trivial band of Industry Insiders just trying to keep your little piece of the pie.
Hope you like it burnt to a crisp, mutherfuckers.
Whew! I don't think anyone saw that coming.
Where you been mate? Hisashiburi as they say.
A Shekel for AI you ask?
You seem to be very cut and dried in your views. Can I narrow it down a bit further?
AI- Consumer or Contributer?
What say you Caesar?
Hey it's Bunnyman! It surely won't be long till Echo shows up and you guys get the band back together. Good ol' V for Vanguard, the best sidekick a man can get - you say Andy Irons, he says how high.
ahhhh, hoooray, the industrial sized fuckwit vermin gets lured out of it's hypocritical hole.
knew it was coming, just gotta change the color of the flickbait.
same old bogus claptrap.
AI died doing what he loved, taking drugs. Billabong shoulda ditched him years ago. end of.
All that other insider tripe is just that, tripe. I know a few people from way back, and a few in between, doesn't make me an insider.
And for the record, I've had some ding dong doozy heavy confrontations with some of them "industry" big wigs, and also the surfing Admin. Always up front face to face, mano 2 mano.
Unlike you - the gutless faceless hollywood handbag.
Baa haa, go fuck yourself, you dunno shit. You're no more than a fart in your own cyber bubble.
good to have you back, kook.
goofy, its a loaded topic and was always gunna go - see above - .
but yeah, I do get bored with the subject, and staunchly support ones right to self determination and personal liberty, whilst recognising the 'war on drugs' is as big a pile of bullshit as the'war on terror'.
hey BR ya fuckwit, give us a 'fuck you and all you love' ... its been awhile.
now you've fallen for the same bait, again, and well hooked, get on twatter so we can hear the drag scream. zzzzzzzzzzzz...zzz...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
I can tell you're a carp, cos you're too dumb for a trout.
I'm surprised to hear you defending the mainstream media and journalists BR given your well documented paranoia and conspiracy theories! This same mainstream media that overlooked WMD's in Iraq, a 911 report with more holes in it then Swiss cheese, the GFC that none of them saw coming? Oh. That was in your country. Of course you expect much higher standards from an Australian website built primarily to forcast surf conditions?
"Drugs are bad, mkay" but drugs are fun. To each their own... choice, responsibility, acceptance of consequences. Freedom for all.
It's as simple as that. There's no need for an intricately fabricated latticework of argument as forwarded by some commenters in this thread.
I did not mean to start peddling paranoia when I started this thread, I just wanted to settle my own paranoia that I am not the only one smoking 'wave enhancer' before a session because that was the impression I get from modern media.
Now we have poor old sidfish so paranoid he doesnt know whether to have a joint to relax, or have a line to stay one step ahead of them, whoever they are? And the swellnet guys are being so paranoid about the whole topic in general, so much that they are contradicting themselves, as Blasphamy so eloquently pointed out.
Arbus has nailed it concerning who uses drugs and his risk taking theory. If you like to take risks on a board, a bike, a wave, or a car bonnet, you are more likely to take risks with a law. Yes drugs are all through society, but they are also concentrated in certain groups like skaters, bikeriders, surfers and jackasses.
I have to confess I dont read this site all the time, because it seems that this topic has opened some old wounds I am unaware of. And everyone is bagging this Blasphamy fellow, yet I beleive he raises some good points, maybe a little intensely but good points nonetheless.
Points like, one minute Ben is saying we never push or deny the drug issue, and that he has more readers than the all the magazines combined. If you have so many readers then surely Stu and co. could enjoy more funds for better 'journalism', and also you do spend a lot of cash cruising the country for stories. Stu did seem to play down drugs and talking about them, then come out with a big admission about Rabbit and the 70s. Now credit for coming clean, but really the Andy Irons excuse was a little lame.
When I read the initial article I thought, well, that was a respectful article free of inuendo etc. despite other media indulging, but I also thought there is a lot of information missing that will need to be cleared up with a follow up article, when the circumstances become clearer, we waited and waited and waited...
I am not going into this to bag Swellnet, just to ask the question, How did we go from Rabbit and co. in the 70s cleansing surfing for the advertisers, while mags like Tracks and others were still able run stories about drugs, and some pros would openly talk about them, to 40 years later having a situation where websites are too paranoid to report newsworthy stuff (yes newsworthy in any context you like) like Andy Irons death?
Surfing is supposedly a progressive and radical sport, yet we are too paranoid to talk the reality. Even sports like motorsports (I think conservative by nature)would talk about what killed one of its participants if the evidence became clear as to what happened.
Is surfing that desperate to be accepted by the masses? Now acceptance is much more complex in a psychological sense, and apparently that is all that we all wish for.
Or are the companies and markerters that powerful or desperate to sell it to the masses that they will 'suggest' self imposed censorship?
Either way surfing has been fucked by the corporate dog, and while this thread has settled my paranoia, it has been a dissapointing realisation that surfing, a sport that once prided itself on having soul and integrity has sold itself out more than other over commercialised sports like motorsports, a sad day.
"And the swellnet guys are being so paranoid about the whole topic in general, so much that they are contradicting themselves, as Blasphamy so eloquently pointed out."
Blasphemy equated swell forecasting - which is a science - with drug speculation. There is no parallel.
"Points like, one minute Ben is saying he has more readers than the all the magazines combined."
No he didn't, Blasphemy said that.
"I have to confess I dont read this site all the time"
Then you would've missed all the times we did run stories on the Andy Irons death. What I didn't run was an opinion piece on it. There were 1000 other sites who did, either moralising or demonising AI's death and I found them all trite and boring. I'm not scared of it, hell I've written way worse things, but since nothing has been added to the story I didn't feel like adding to that big pile of nothing.
dont worry skypan, it's all part of the big-brother project and its depressing moral rectitude pervading society at the mo' combined with capitalism and its aim to contain, control and *profit*. Surfing, like bikers, was once an "outside" (anti-establishment) activity and "vibe", and there are those of us still around who don't give a fuk about commercialism, contests, fashion etc etc. The bikers are being outlawed officially which is kinda cool as they always were out-laws, and surfing is, in the media at least, being incorporated and coopted as to be fashionable and "cool"... but some of those big wavers are happily snorting while heaps of us still enjoy that "outside" feel - surf+drugs+freedom+whateva. Everyone just needs to chill and realise we're all gonna die. Enjoy it while u can, however and whichever way u like, as long as respect/responsibility continues in and out of the water. So sayeth...