It was such fun being a beginner. The ocean was my oyster, and the oysters tasted like the ocean. Then came a demon.
They get in your way, they paddle for set waves, they stroke past you to the inside, they have an annoying exuberance, they display no surf courtesy, they ride funny boards and they have an uncoordinated duck diving style. Most importantly, they are dangerous. They are, of course, kooks.
If some kooks are beginners, and all beginners are surfers, then some surfers must be kooks.
Is this statement true?
Anyone reading this should know wholeheartedly where they stand. The realm of the kook is one that we all have encountered. You may have had the most prodigious teaching. You may have been schooled in carnivorous exclusive subjugation. You may just be blatantly oblivious. The fact is that every single one of you were, at a point in time, an annoying irrepressible kook.
To preempt the future would be fanciful on my part of a once-in-a-while anonymous commenter on a popular surfing website, but here goes. The sorry old days will be brought back, surf board registration will be enforced. Surf board licence will govern the waves. Blackball will take place on popular beaches. No one will escape. Also, controversial as it may seem, the breaks like snapper or d-bah would actually benefit from some form of regulation. Someone WILL die from a preventable surf injury through no fault of their own. It was close at the pass, burleigh, and many others not that long ago.
The best thing? Know your limits.
The better thing? If you are becoming a competent wave rider, DON'T bring your beginner mates out to a heavily populated surf break.
The reality? Go and play paintball, go rock climbing INDOORS. You will be asked to sign a waiver. Go for a wave. Dodge uncontrolled fibreglass missiles. Go figure.
Cambo, the younger kooks are ok. We were all there once. It's the older egg rolls that get up my goat. These furkn "retro" hipsters that sit in National park, hippy girlfriend on one side, guitar on the other, or listening to Xavier Rudd or some surf "chill" shit, probably got a goatie or some other form of chin vagina, and a secondhand piece of crap board.... They then jump out just behind boiling pot, on their 6'9, bob around looking cool for 2 hours as their vegan chick does yoga on the rocks. They get in the fuckn road of the set wave you were lucky enough to score cos they cant duck dive for shit, so they frantically paddle for the face. You have to fade your bottom turn around them, then the hordes down the line see your moment of weakness, and Nats' being the wave it is, well 4 vultures drop in on a selection of different craft shutting down a wave that if you had've taken a high pacey line ( where numbnut hippy was paddling) you coulda scared the vultures off with pure speed. As you're paddling back out, retro kombi boy takes off on a smaller 4 footer, does an impeccable poo stance bottom turn follwed by an "I've been shot!" mid face adjustment, flicks his dreadlocks back just to run over a grommet....... Fin chop in rail for poor grommet.... At least he's outa the water...... Now's there's only 300....
Later in the day, you walk past greenpeace pierre, and he's so cool "like" talking to his feral crew "you know", about the like totally awesome barrels he got, and how cool the whole surfing experience is.
Fuckn shoot me now.........
Don't get me started on stand up paddle boards..... FFS.....
cambo the idea that we were all kooks once is simply wrong. Before I ever attempted to ride a surfboard I had been body surfing and riding coolites for several years, later this mixed in with borrowing boards on small days. By the time I was actually paddling into the line up I was competent. That was how most of us did it back then.
There is simply no comparison with people who grab a surfboard and head out there with no skills or knowledge. Do that and you will be a kook for a long time. The surf school graduates are a similar hazard as a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So let's stick to the original concept of a kook, which had as much to do with respect (or the lack of it) for the ocean as for any absolute level of skill. The real issue is why we seem so keen to create them through marketing and learn to surf programs.
Was at JB hifi before Xmas, was half pissed (don't do it, 2 for 1, turns into 20 for 10).,
ended with a CD by THE KOOKS, its totally crap, but just had to have it. I'll give it to a mate on his 50th or something.
here's track 5 - Fuck the World Off - and you'll dig why you've never heard of them.
I have no time for pretentious people in any walk of life and in surfing we have more than our fair share.
In my experience what people generally call kooks are mostly grommies getting in the way and doing crazy shit in the line-up. On mellow days it can be a laugh to surf with these guys just to see them go over the falls etc and they are full of stoke but most grommies know there limits on the bigger days but some older guys don't and they are real kooks, dangerous as much as they are stupid.
Having said all that I read that we should "never loose the child in you" and surfing keeps me young so I like to think I still have some grommie in me. Yeah, I fuck up sometimes :)
BB, I was told by someone that you were a kook on a boogie brd, thats why you changed.
Mate they hadn't invented boogie boards then! But yeh I was shit on a coolite, the rash used to kill me.
They hadn't invented rash vests back then eh...?
Nice one BB :)
I've been a kook for over 40 years now, embrace your inner kook, it's easier than living in denial.
We used to use t-shirts but they would always ride up so the foam would rip your belly, then as you paddled your arms would catch the sides and get rashed too. I don't think they had even invented Lycra. I can't remember when rash vests came in, mid-eighties maybe.
Being a grom used to be a very challenging lifestyle, lumpy zinc for sun protection, heavy cotton board shorts, no wetsuits, cop absolute hell from anyone more than a year older, likely to be tied up and tortured or buried up to your neck for the amusement of the local louts, not to mention all the whacks for truancy and being under the immediate suspicion of the local cops for any local vandalism.........but the waves were empty.
Love your work Crustt
Ah yes, the Coolite.
Don't forget the bleeding nipples BB.
Definitely Crustt, embrace your inner kook. In fact, one should cherish it.
I cheerish it Zenagain,
I like the old school manner BB.
Ohh just a minutue old timers mind lapse,
I was never a kook
Just a minute, I still am.....
Well a kook just won at Snapper against Joel, a kook won Bells last year, they are everywhere!
Ahh...nationalism! Because surfing should be a team sport.
Oi Oi Oi!
IMHO one's kookness is determined by one's surfing ability and line up etiquette versus the surfing ability and line up etiquette of other surfers at a certain time at a particular spot. I'd like to introduce it as the objectakook versus subjactakook coefficient (or obkoversubkoco). Many who dare to challenge the thundering Victorian waves struggle to determine their own obkoversubkoco. Luckily there is always an old fart or pro to remind them of their inability and inferiority.
Fortunately I often find myself bobbing in the water all alone, far away from surfers who have difficulties determining their obkoversubkoco (or their place in life in general for all that matter) and the people to remind them of just that. Am I the kookiest Kook of Kooks or the proiest Pro of Pros? Who the fark gives a shit when you are out by yourself?
To further add to Sheepdog's great call....
So then ya get out frustrated by the softc--ks who fill the break when it's at the point you would not spit on it but have to fly the flag of the true local.
Then ya wade thru the bignoters in the packed carpark that once used to be yours alone or just a few (& still is when things get even a frac mega), while they spend more time w--kin each other than they actually did catchin their preferred easy-over waves.
To make matters worse, they all give ya the eyesneer as tho you are the interloper, coat tailer, anti social geek while continuing with their mutual glad-handing.
Ya stop downtown to get a litre or a loaf (you would not dare enter any of the surfshops run by slick talking NON surfers and their entourages of assorted faux hippy hangers on, most of whom dont even make it to the w--king carparks let alone to the water).
In the main street you are accosted by the sights of flashy 4 wheel drives & restored kombis bristling with immaculate & often unwaxed longboards, owned by silverbacks who never made it in the competitive scene of their youth, but after 30 years of ripping everyone off in a trade or a profession now have the spondooliks to prance & dance in their custom tees, calf length boardies & designer 'flipflops' (aka thongs).
They generally expect you to step off the footpath as they & their designer surfbrats sweep past on the way to the see&be seen alfresco cafe where they compete for space to sip lattes with the legspread MAMILs.
So much for THE SEARCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sir Baron of Barrel.... This is why I now live in the isolated boondocks of Applevania..... Do I miss the warm water???? Yes...... Do I miss my life long friends??? Yes.... Do I miss looking at all the peaches on the beach??? Yes..... Crisp Autumn beachys ?? MMmm yes...... But.... Do I miss the pseudo surfers? The aggro tradies??? The surf schools?? The clubbies?? The latte wankers?? The today tonight fuckwits that think you are a pedo if you pull your camera out at the beach to take a photo ( even my mrs got hassled one day - she wanted to take some photos of me and a couple of mates surfing - one mate who is now dead)??..... Do I miss the banality of the neverending urban sprawl that turned MY sunshine coast from a collection of individual unique hamlets into a cesspit??? Nahhh.... Don't miss it at all. I had her (the sunny coast) when she was a hot young spunky sex bomb..... Now she's just a fuckn dried arrangement with too much makeup and one too many facelifts..... A crying shame.....
The paradox - Surfing brings one closer to nature, but destroys the nature around it...... Sunny coast, Goldy, Kuta, J bay, Maldives, Byron........ But as one non surfing trady said a few years back when destroying Marcoola - " you bloody surfers..... trying to stop a bloke from doing a hard days work!!!".........
baron my pet hate is the attitude of people walking their DOG who look at you like you should step off the footpath to let it through!
I dont mind kooks, they normally sit wide or don't get many waves.
Its the young frothing grommets that suck, they all seem to surf so damn good and paddle back out at 100km an hour and theres never just one they always all surf together.
It sucks getting older, just came in from a surf after not having been surfing much lately, waves were super fun, but felt so unfit and out of whack, felt like a total kook myself :(
"pet hate"........ Something in that for everyone I think...... ;) What about people walking up the right hand side of the footpath..... What side of the road do we drive on you fucksticks??!!
Indo.... I know man.... I am currently a proud born again kook..... a 2 year battle with melanoma has fucked me up.... Thank god I made it...... GET THOSE MOLES CHECKED PEOPLE!!!!!!!!! For fucks sake.... Wouldn't wish it on a collingwood supporter ;)......... Also had 2 bccs on my lip - Aldara...... Holy shit man..... Nightmare... 6 weeks of agony.... Couldn't eat..... Only smoothies..... Again thank god it worked ( or snip - off with the lip).... But 2 years of hell has decimated my fitness, and it's been a hard road back.... Keep tweeking muscles, and straining this and that..... But a few months ago, I caught a few little peaks for the first time in ages..... O....M....G..... I was like a kid, blabbering, frothing...... Soooooo happy...... You don't know what you got till it's taken away.....
Good on you Sheepdog.
I don't mind kooks, generally find them innocent enough, used to have some great barneys with Brissos when I was a kid, but those tended to be bullies who happened to be kooks.
What I really can't stand is ugly styleless surfers, you know the ones? They are horrible people on land and all that bad mental energy is then converted into the physical way they ride waves. Deep down they know they surf ugly, but dunno why, which gives them another chip on their shoulder (like they need more).
[Was spoilt to surf around some true stylemasters in my life, guys like Glen Hodge, Henry Perry, & D-Parkinson, too name a few, who had zen-grace on land AND on water].
For me, the best surfers are the ones who make it look easy / effortless. Modern era, think Parko.
Is this Dad a Kook ? Sitting in the surf at a busy sunshine coast point break yesterday and hear dad telling/encouraging his two kids ( who should have been in close learning on a coolite).
"there's not a lot of waves so just drop in and you'll get one"
It was a master class at the , "learn to drop in school". drop-ins and paddle up the insiders - we all do it, but there sure are some serial offenders out there. Two more to add to the list in years to come.
sadly that is the new normal at our over-utilised pointbreaks.
I'd agree with kooks not necessarily being the least able surfers in the water, most people learning congregate in the same spots so easy to avoid. And I can forgive someone dropping in or generally getting in the way by accident if they are learning, so fuck, life's too short to be a snarly prick.
For me kooks are the jokers with bad, greedy attitudes who act like they are the only ones in the water. The odd thing is they don't seem to be enjoying themselves that much. After catching a wave and trying to tear it a new one they are straight out the back again sniffing around for the next. No paddling a bit deeper to sit back, enjoy the moment give others a bit of space. Unless of course there is a female surfer around then it's 10 minutes of flexing, best when you get half a dozen and there's a flex off.
I love if when there is someone with genuine ability and style in the line up who easily snaffles waves from the dicks with zero effort and also has respect for everyone else, it seems to throw them off their game a bit and they soon fuck off, which is nice.