It's about life - not "lifestyle"
We get letters and e-mail. Like we say, everyone is welcome at
"Dear sir:

We are deeply offended by your perverse emphasis on peculiar wave riding "devices". Anyone having the misfortune of stumbling into your website would likely come away with the impression that surfing is primarily composed of eccentrics riding the bizarre!

In case you haven't learned it yet, real surfing is about good clean fun and sportsmanship, standing tall on a surfboard, not pronation on some odd bit of weird flotsom found in the back of an upholstery shop or lumber store!

Is this really the extreme to which the high life of surfing has finally been reduced? You and
your breed are confusing the masses as to the true nature of Hawaii's greatest sport. Please re-consider.


Cindy Maurino"

Yes, Cindy, my breed and I are intent on confusing the masses as to the true nature of Hawaii's greatest sport. You understood that perfectly. We understand the situation as well.

I suppose we should define the participants in this exchange. Since I'm writing this, as Publisher and (given the lack of activity of my Editor) Editor-In-Chief, let me tell you a bit about myself. I've been standup surfing since early 1970, and bodysurfing and everything else for about ten years before that. That's over 40 years of wave experience.

I'm a second-generation surfer, too. My mother had half a decade of surfing experience on Oahu in the early 1930's. Full-on Redwood and Koa surfboards that she had to tandem carry and ride with one of her brothers. The surfing world I learned about first pre-dated the whole Malibu consciousness.

When surf magazines came to my town in the 60's, it was at the start of the shortboard revolution. The whole sport was wide open. Longboards were the only thing not "hip". Yet at the beach a lot of the nicer people still rode them. I didn't know any better - I thought new things were happening all the time.

I was a Californian at the time surfing went undergound in the 70's. Localism reared up in the ugliest forms imaginable. What I saw, over the next few years, was a radical decline in surfing ability in some of the worst localized areas. I left the Ventura, California, area in 1976 after several years of intense surfing, only to be shocked to the core one weekend evening when I saw a much higher caliber of down-the-line point surfing at first point Malibu - still the most crowded wave I've ever bothered to surf.

I went to a longer board to avoid the developing crowds - in 1979! I got about 7 years of Old California back by riding lesser quality waves with a handful of others. I still spent time in some main arenas, but it wasn't fun at all. I could find waves with fewer people, no hassles, and just enjoy the movement.
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