21 May 2008

Surfing Sucks

The Azores, Atlantic Eden or "Shitty little islands where people watch Al-Jazeera?"
Photo from The Guardian.

I will sometimes sneak off from work to read magazines at Powell's or Rich's during my work day. I'll usually pick up a mag with lots of luscious visuals, to set me off day-dreaming about where I'd like to travel. Yesterday, I picked up a Transworld Surf, not something I usually purchase but they have their own unique approach to the mainstream surf market, I suppose. Good photography, at the least.

Anyway, it was the travel issue. It was pretty idiotically set-up. 'First trip,' 'Best trip' and 'Worst trip.' Fair enough for mindless reading, perhaps. Most of the responses from several young pro-surfers were predictable. Best Trip was an Indo boat trip. Of course it would be, all expenses paid, every need catered to, isolated from the local populace on a fancy boat and taken directly to perfect surf for a week or so. But one response for 'Worst-trip' flabbergasted me. Cheyne Magnussen, son of 80s skate pro Tony Magnussen, said the Azores were his worst trip. He called them 'shitty little islands' with no surf, nothing to do and where everyone watched Al-Jazeera.

Unbelievable. Spoilt fucking child.

I've long thought, that travel is not more profound the further you travel but how you travel and how you choose to interact with a new environment and peoples, whether it is the town half an hour a way or an 'exotic' country half way around the world (exotic is so subjective, right?)

Well, there is no need to rant about Magnussen's narrow minded approach. I suppose it should not be that surprising. The way I see it, surfing can be lense in which to see the world. Sure, it can be a narrow focus but it is a focus. And sometimes, you can see a lot more with a finely tuned focus, than if you try and take in the whole thing. If there are perfect waves along the way, bonus. If not, you should be able to inspire yourself anway. Otherwise, stay home and cry about your sponsorship deals.