Somewhere in the world now there will be agro and animosity in the water.
Someone riding a craft different to that of another water user will have decided to take offence at this fact, which then results in, at worst some form of biff and at best a scowling form of stink eye.
But why is this?
To me, it doesn’t matter if you kite, windsurf, SUP, surf, body-board, kayak or sail we’re all like minded individuals who love getting in the water and playing in the ocean. Why should what you choose to ride be an issue?
In certain parts of the world this animosity has become so bad that many riders avoid these locations all together – which is a shame as some spots are world class.
Localism born of others ignorance to etiquette in surf environments is one thing but hassle directed at you for your choice of tool is down right ludicrous.
In years gone by a bit of harmless banter and needle directed at your mates for busting out the sponge (body-board) while you go surfing was all part of the fun. Nowadays picking the wrong type of sliding toy can result in an altercation at the beach – in some cases this can become violent and nasty.
At the end of the day we are all out for the same thing – fun! A lot of times that word is forgotten.
I whole heartedly agree that etiquette needs to be adhered to – in particular when riding waves – as a blatant disregard for these rules can result in injury, but as for needling one another because of your choice of ocean sport…? I don’t get it…
The media has a big part to play.
A few years ago Rusty, the surf brand, published a so called tongue in cheek advert of a surfer pulling an air into the face of a standup paddle boarder. The cartoon was meant to be a joke but the problem with too many readers is that they took it literally and the whole stunt only served to fan the flames of an already hot topic.
Rusty later issued a statement admitting that they had got it wrong and that they whole heartedly supported the SUP industry and had a vested interest as part of their business was focused on the promotion of SUP. By that time though the damage was done.
This is just one incident featuring a misguided decision on the part of the media. There are countless others involving other ocean sports.
A healthy benefit
We should be embracing of anyone who wishes to get wet and any type of rider should be welcomed.
There are too many morbid reports in the news of obesity, ill health and general bad living standards so anything to counteract this is a surely a good thing?
Whatever sport you choose will undoubtedly give you a better existence by keeping you fit, both mentally and physically, and ultimately give you an enhanced sense of overall well being.
No two days
The other thing about ocean sports is that conditions are constantly in a state of fluctuation. No two days on the water are ever the same due to the nature of our changeable global weather. So what might be a suitable tool for the job one day may be the worst choice the following.
If you subscribe to all forms of water sport then you should be covered for all eventualities and be able to maximise your on water time.
‘Tools for the job’ – a motto to live by.
So next time you’re out having a session show a bit of lenience and don’t just follow the pack to appear cool. Just because the rider over there is choosing a different craft doesn’t mean they are any different in mentality to you.