The Coast News Group
Columns Waterspot

Surfer dudes unite

While African Americans are few within our ranks, most other racial minorities are well represented within the surfing community.

If we as surfers thought of ourselves as one tribe, however, one big minority group, we would be protesting how we are portrayed in a careless media.

Because of our stage images, we are looked upon as African Americans once were seen as slow and happy, and glad to be of service, much like Amos ’n Andy were in the 1950s when they were the only Blacks shown regularly on TV. 

Think about it: If all you ever knew of surfers came from the movies, you would think that we were all monosyllabic stoners who aspired to nothing greater than getting high daily and a monthly welfare check.

What began with the “Gidget” movies, peaked with Jeff Spicoli and continues to stereotype a group of humans who are united simply by their love of riding waves.

Now, I don’t mean to indicate that all surfers are brilliant. Some are quite dumb, graduates, it would seem, from the Jeff Spicoli finishing school.

This group uses the word “dude” often, goes to dinner in surf-logoed T-shirt, shorts and slaps and are unable to converse on anything not involving a rising swell.

I have plenty of friends in this category, and, honestly, I somewhat envy their happiness, based as it is upon a pedestal of naivete. Surfing is their sport, their religion, their very life.

Of course, there are worse things than spending your life waiting for waves. It is as the Gotcha ad once said, “Some people spend their lives waiting for nothing.”

Living in a surf bubble is a choice and I have no quarrel with those who choose to do so.

The problem is that whenever Hollywood decides to exploit our culture, they concentrate only on a small — okay, maybe not that small — percentage of us, never depicting the medical doctors, business owners and college professors among us.

Why so serious, you might ask? Surfing is all for fun, really.

It doesn’t matter to anyone other than those riding the waves until some hydrophobic suit decides to build a seawall, or a harbor, or dredge the bottom of your favorite break and ruin it forever.

All this has happened before and will happen again if we don’t unite.

Those who benefit from exploiting the coast know that Spicoli will never show up for a city council meeting and that if he does, he will stumble over words longer than dude before going back to his ever-shrinking sandbox.


Please check out my latest passion project, the Godngangsters YouTube channel:

Thank you.

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