The changing rules of surf etiquette (and the ones that haven’t changed) with the influx of new surf ‘enthusiasts’ in the Northwest (and everywhere, no doubt, though I care most about the area I’m in), have prompted a lot of discussion lately. Evidently Facebook, with sites like SEATTLE SURFERS, has prompted some of this. Surf forecasting is getting better, but calling forty or fifty of your closest friends to go with you is kind of self-defeating; if you want a few waves for yourself.
Around here, it’s ever-more-unacceptable to call your friends from the beach, if you’re at a beach where cell service works, and discussion has gotten to the point where one shouldn’t brag or gloat about a good session until the next day. Tough, with most ‘windows’ closing after a few hours, and gloating being so much fun.
SO, when I got a ‘reply’ from Raja, famous for sticking my (would have been temporarily) lost SUP paddle in the pilings at… if you don’t know the spot… too bad… I decided to put the comment as a POST. Oh, and Raja, the reason you haven’t seen me since the famous “Swell of the Summer” is I haven’t been surfing there. Okay a couple of times. Oh, and I have gotten over the incident, can see it may have, to quite a few people, seemed like justice; and I have tried to be more sharing with others, tough as it is to let a good wave go past; and, if you think Raj is a serious badass… great.
Hi Erwin- been awhile since I’ve seen you around.. It’s kind of funny/serendipitous, I’m reading this post and comments section right after I found and joined that Seattle surfers Facebook group.. I think your voice would be an excellent addition to the conversation they’ve been having there lately, about the etiquette of Internet surf talk. Most of the folks in that group haven’t been surfing for very long and are unaware that posting swell/tide formulas, directions to formerly “secret” spots, bragging about illegal camping, or even naming spots is considered very bad form in the surf world. I think a lot of it stems from the fact that they are used to everything in this world being “open source” now, with free information about everything instantly accessible. The idea that not all information is for everyone, that you have to put in time, sweat, tears, and prove yourself before you are initiated into secret knowledge, is alien to many now.
Some people have been trying to educate the neophytes about this, I think your voice would definitely be appreciated in the conversation.
BACK TO ME: I could actually do a FACEBOOK page, and probably should; but probably won’t. Meanwhile, Westport looks really good for… forever… and the vibe on the beach and in the parking lot is so, so social. Meanwhile… see you again, Raj.
OH, and I can’t help but add that surfers who haven’t learned something about when and where to surf from knowledge from experience, including skunkings, who may have actually gone to Surf Camp, had Surf Lessons (along with other camps and lessons paid for by their parents, or, even, themselves); probably do enjoy hanging out in the water, sort of waiting for an easy wave amid casual and friendly coffee shop conversation. AND, surfing is fun; but, really, isn’t it ski season yet? AND, skiing has Lodges where you can hang out and brag and gloat in the latest gear. I mentioned that surfing doesn’t have a Lodge setup, and the person I mentioned it to said, “WHOA, that would be a great idea.” Yeah, in Westport, where it’s, as I said, always awesome…. GO, go now!
Always enjoy your blog my friend and the comments that follow. The reality of our life long passion, surfing, is how it’s become mainstream as a recreational outlet for folks. And, people need to recreate. The problem is that with an increase population of 60-100,000 people per year here in this State, the population of surfers will grow as well and we do not have the “wave rich” grounds of SoCal to handle that growth. Just too many people and not enough waves/spots, read access spots. Just hope the word is out on illegal camping/littering at spot X less the spot be shut down like Grenville and the Point by the private property owner leaving one less spot we can ill afford to lose. BTW, I truly believe that it weren’t for the efforts of Darryl, Arnold and the Surfriders Foundation that spot x would have been persona non gratis a long time ago.
Your next diary post: Erwin and Raja – A Strait love affair
MikiDora, thanks for the comment. It’s all fine. There’s love and there’s love. For example, the real Miki Dora was one of my early surfing heroes. Hard to beat his style in small waves, hard to emulate his lifestyle. I do take exception with your (presumably fake) e-mailing address, ErwinISfromLA@blowme.com (this is from memory, may not be exactly correct. NO, I’m not from L.A., have never surfed north of Doheny (before the jetty extension). So, glad you’re alive and all. If you see me on the Strait, introduce yourself.