SURFING: THE BACK OF THE MEDAL
This is a guest article by a good friend of mine who has been involved in various extreme sports for many years and now lives in Bali, where, among other things, he enjoys surfing. The main thing I want to say about him is that he is a truly and deeply thinking person. Looking at surfing from the inside, I completely agree with his theses, as well as with the conclusion. So his word is:
To be able to see the dark sides of even the most positive phenomenon means to be able not to fall into the trap of illusions.
We all know that the medal has at least two sides (if you do not take into account the rib), and the stick has at least two ends, although these points do not at all define it as a useful tool for humans. In fact, thoughtful people are able to see much more points of contact between objects or phenomena with reality. In general, there are infinitely many of these points, but in this article I will consider only one, but the opposite of the generally accepted opinion that surfing is wonderful and extremely useful on all sides.
To begin with, almost everything in the modern world is ruled by the “invisible hand of the market” and its main tool is marketing, ruthlessly smashing a charmed or gaping consumer. In this game, everything that makes a profit is good, everything that absorbs it is not very good, but without it, too, nowhere. So, surfing, the progenitor of all “board” sports, surprisingly one of the last to finally jump to his younger relatives in an accelerating popularity car, did not escape the fate of being covered with gilding, behind which the original meaning of the action slightly fades. We ride because it’s cool and cool, because we ride, and who gives out and how to pay is not so important, life on credit and then. The rainbow halo surrounding the endless surfing completely illuminated the negative moments that you can see only by diving headlong into this culture and lifestyle. And when faced with them face to face, you are most often unpleasantly shocked and left with the painful feeling that you were treacherously deceived.
“PARADISE SURFTRIP” THEY SPEAKED.
MALDIVES. MAY 2018.
Firstly, surfing is one of the most selfish sports that cultivates and inflates the human ego to the maximum limits available to a particular individual. Yes, there are priority rules, in competitions they are regulated by judges, punishing by lowering points and disqualification, and this, of course, disciplines athletes. But in ordinary life, these rules, alas, act nominally. Most often, as in the animal kingdom, whoever is stronger is right. In the case of surfing, it is not so much about physical strength, but about skill, experience and arrogance. As one companion known for his merits in Russian surfing told me: “When I swim out on a lineup, I often forget that there are people around, I see only waves and brag about almost every one, as the last …”. It can be assumed that most of all this is committed by people who are not doing well on land: childhood complexes, ongoing turmoil, “size matters” and other “virtues” that need to be compensated in order to increase self-esteem. However, more or less healthy, adequate people do not always pass tests with water pipes, and, reaching a certain level of skill, they begin to spit on the needs of others, especially recruits. Concealment of spots, localism, the cold war for priority on lineup and the wave of dispersal, eternal drops, restraint, and sometimes open aggression towards not only strangers, but even sometimes close friends – this is not a complete list of our troubles. The worst human qualities are often manifested on the lineup during skiing: each for himself, who first got that and slippers, my wave is my rules, if I want to – I will move or land on my head. But to the credit of surfers, it’s worth mentioning that as a rule, people drowning or being carried away by a channel are saved, praise the foam!
Secondly, during surfing, the load on the muscles and joints is not evenly distributed. Unlike classes in the gym or functional training, where we try to balance the system of exercises and loads, in the ocean, on the board, our body is forced to obey and adapt to the laws of the maximum possible acceleration, reduce friction and find balance in an unnatural position relative to ordinary life. All sorts of distortions, clamps, microtraumas come from here, and as a result, discomfort, pain, bitterness, and this is almost a return to the first problem above. And also, depending on the climatic conditions in which you surf (hehe), you regularly either overheat in the sun, or at least undergo prolonged harmful effects of the sun’s rays (hi skin cancer), or are supercooled despite greasy wetsuits that save only partially.