Thursday, October 02, 2008

Attitude



This goes out to all the haters out there: If you're actually lucky enough to surf, then why are you so surly?

Since the '80s I've wondered why so many surfers are afflicted with that permanent stink-eye/chip-on-the-shoulder syndrome that seems to be the complete antithesis of the amazing activity they're involved in. And lately that attitude as trickled onto the comments of my blog, which I created almost four years ago as a celebration of the pure joy of surfing.

Oh well, maybe "The 'Tude Adjuster" will sort 'em out.

Drawing by Andrew Jeffrey Wright.

23 comments:

Whiffleboy said...

Look on the bright side...

You got four good years in before the Keyboard Surfers got a hold of you. I was a casualty my first year. :-)

It's ironic that the haters simply cannot stop reading, isn't it?

AIBK said...

Dude,

Moderate your comments and shake off the trolls. They will move on as soon as you take away their forum. Let go of your need to accepted and for everyone to be having the same experience you are having.

As to why some people who surf are dickheads, that's a koan for sure. One of the surliest dude's I know draws the cleanest lines and get's the sickest barrels.

Anonymous said...

I think its purely a case of supply and demand. As more surfers come to the table there are fewer waves to go around and thus people get crabby and threatened by any perceived encroachment upon "their" waves. Not condoning dickheads or haters, but the threats work to curb crowds. The "point" is a prime example of this. Compare that with the happy-g0-lucky vibe at shorties and the zoo that has ensued. Longtime surfers have seen their sport overrun as of late by newcomers who often didn't have to go through the same initiation process as they did. Again you can see this at short sands or Pac City where clueless beginners or worse (intermediates) clog the lineup and position themselves on waves where they shouldn't be. That stuff used to be regulated by locals who used less than friendly means. The reality is that most surf spots dont have enough good waves for everyone. Even great surf spots may only have a handful of memorable waves that roll through on any given decent swell. Not that there isn't plenty of unexplored surf in Oregon, but the truly good waves get crowded pretty quick. Lately its been worse than usual and its bringing the old-school hazing system back into play. As for the blog thing. More and more its seen as another form wave encroachment and propagation of more and more newbie surfers. I enjoy your blog but have met people from other regions of the country who came here to surf based on the exposure to the surf blogs. In fact I just met a surfer who moved here from SF who said he didn't even think about surfing in the NW until he saw the "sissyfish" blog for the first time. Please dont take this as "hating". You were questioning where the attitude comes from and I'm trying to explain the perception of a born and raised coastal Oregon surfer who more and more espouses the idea that localism is a form of conservation. And by localism I dont mean being an asshole. I mean regulating of spots that need it the way it used to be. If you think the vibe can be harsh now....you should've grown up surfing in the late 70's and 80's.

Anonymous said...

comment moderation is the way to go, I'm tired of my good mood being ruined by reading the trolls' garbage.

_ said...

It IS NOT a case of supply and Demand AT ALL here in Oregon/Washington! It is now October first - I've seen the number of people in the water drop 3/4ths in the past month. I'd say 75% of the people DO NOT surf the winter here. So they sit around the internet bitching. Anyways - it's just a silly thing people do. I'd much prefer attitude over the internet than in the water. This whole thing started over the pics of a certain spot right? Well certain people just like to get worked up over that stuff. It's their chance to play the role of the "local", a part of surfing history - and a character in it that some people seem to feel the need to act out.

I don't really get it either - or rather I do in a sense - I just don't understand the motivation to be a bummer - when the Oregon coast is full of un-surfed waves everyday of the fall, winter, and early spring. I'm stoked when people paddle out! Hope to meet more of like minded people - out there to SURF, enjoy life, and be thankful that we even have the opportunity to get to experience the ocean in this way.

Green Volcano said...

That guy said everthing right, perfect explaination. Think about your actions, they do have an affect. Blogs are for attention and your getting it.Surfing is in the moment.Peace

Chum said...

All the comments above make sense. I have to take exception with Green Volcano's that this is for attention, though. For the first year this blog was a journal in the purest form. I really don't think anybody read it. And I didn't care. Readership grew organically over the years and I was happy that people were digging it.

But I did, and I still do, feel like I'm writing this for:

1. Myself (to keep track of things)
2. My friends (which includes many of you who I have met through this)

I've definitely adjusted my approach to writing reports about my sessions since the early days (no longer naming ANY spots), but other than that, things have pretty much remained the same.

I do agree with Green Volcano that surfing is the moment, though. I guess this blog is an attempt to make that moment tangible as long as I can through writing and art.

As for the crowds everyone's afraid of... I think they'll be tapering off a bit after this weekend.

turtle said...

Attitude as a form of regulation can be a good thing. Localism and a hierarchy in the water have existed as long as surfing. Hawaiin royalty had priority over commoners with waves and even the boards they were allowed to ride. Locals have intimate knowledge of a spot and deserve respect, as long as they know how to share. Also, 'tude with a few constructive words can drive home a point of safety to the clueless or uninitiated. (i.e. "why don't you try holding on to your board or go back to the kiddie pool") Alot of people jump in way over their heads and if the surf doesn't scare them the locals should.

"Haters" are another story. Some people can't leave their baggage at home and end up brining that negative vibe to the very place they go to forget about all the day to day frustration we all deal with.

A good hold down or long swim should help to remind us all to leave our egos, sense of entitlement and elitism in the parking lot.

Sure the growing #'s are frustrating, that is happening in every corner of the planet. But just like maintaining trim and keeping it in the pocket we need to constantly adjust and react with positive thoughts to make our line.

And Chum, keep doing this for yourself and all of us who read it...

doc said...

Chum

For whatever reason...
Alot of your recent posts have to do with localism...
Also, you seem to utilise really obvious landmarks without subtlety...
Let's be honest, you're a beginning surfer...
You seem capable, but you're short on the experience side...
You're smart, but you're fighting battles that are pointless...
If you want to blog, blog...
If you want to surf, surf...
But don't be surprised or offended if some people take umbrage...
The best reply is often none at all...
Of course...
If you want to ignore me, ignore me...
It's not like I've ever gotten 20 plus some comments to any post I've ever written...
Some people might say "Whapap!"...

turtle said...

Doc speaks the truth...there is a well written and thought provoking piece in the new TSJ on "Relearning Localism"

jdog77 said...

Some thoughts on the long Anon comment:

I think you thoughts are mostly correct and a valid standpoint.

Have to disagree with this:
"The reality is that most surf spots dont have enough good waves for everyone. Even great surf spots may only have a handful of memorable waves that roll through on any given decent swell."

Only 5 good waves for a "decent" swell?? That's a pretty negative outlook. To get by surfing in this day I think you have to learn to enjoy each and every wave and maybe lower your standards. I often choose the less crowded and lower quality beachbreaks over the crowded reefs and points, I've realized that 30 + short beachbreakers make me happier than a few of the point/reef waves that have to be battled for.

I've got 20 years starting at 12 years old, and sponging before that. Grew up getting hazed and earning respect in the water, taught me some but also sucked since some are just bullies who never grow up. Used to be most beginners were kids. Now the demographics are totally different. Seems most beginners are 20+ and older. Its a bit different telling a kid what to watch out for versus someone your age or older. Plus guys are surfing for longer and longer. Seems that guys used to just quit after 40, but not so much now.

Anyway I no longer live where I grew up surfing. Though occasionally surf the old spots. Its way more crowded there than it used to be. But overall I think things are better off these days. Boards are better, Wetsuits are insanely better (part of the problem??). So have to look on the bright side.

The biggest bummer is when Surfline over calls a swell and everybody's out there frothing to get great waves just paddling over each other. Expectations to high.

So look on the Positive side of things.

Chum keep it up! Though I can appreciate your posts just as well without the wave pics.

PS in regards to the relocated SFer who didn't realize NW had surf. Clueless! Open up any mag. if it has an ocean its got some type of surf-Ireland, Canada, Texas all have their days....

Anonymous said...

Well put Anon #1 and Doc. Chum it's like your trying to hard to find your place in the line up and almost like you want to paddle around everyone who's been waiting for a wave much longer than you have. Give respect and you'll get it back. You seem like a nice enough guy, but if you come off arrogant, which sometimes it seems you do, well expect the hate. If it's 20 comments per post that you want, try generating some worth while discussion rather than I surfed it, photoged it, blogged it. Not only is that forumula tried, people seem to be taking offense to it. Why continue to piss people off when this blog used to be more or less about spreading the stoke? I think the writings on the wall whether you want to read it or not.

Gazelle said...

"Localism" is silliness but of course it's very serious stuff to the "locals." It brings to mind one of my favorite bumper stickers: "The more people I meet, the more I like my dog."

Chum said...

I'm listening to all of your perspectives and I appreciate them.

Doc, I've never claimed to be more than an aging grom. ;) Still trying to figure out what landmarks you speak of. Maybe you can email me personally about that so I can pull the photos...

I hope I don't come off as "paddling around" people. I don't do it in the lineup and I don't do it in life.

See you out there...

doc said...

Chum

I'm no local...
Once I was...
Not here...
All I was saying was...
Step lightly...
It'll get you further..
And deeper.

Doc

And I'd rather talk in person...
Than pm you what I'm about.

_ said...

Alright - one last thought here, then I' done. If you feel the need to act out the role of localism - you need to think about one thing... why are you doing this? What gives you the right? I mean REALLY think about it... You are out of your mind if you think because you live there, surf there everyday, and whatever else - that it is YOURS. I will fully agree with letting someone know when they are in danger, endangering others, or being out of line... BUT LOCALISM/ATTITUDES are just childish; plain and simple. Hope to see Sissyfish move on from this subject soon... bums me out to see people subscribing to this lame frat-of-surf-history crap...

Anonymous said...

wow.. the word sissyfish really sticks here.WHAT you think just because youve been surfing for a couple of years that you truly understand this sport,its obvious that you dont get it at all.maybe you should quit TALKING STORYand just listen....NO PHOTOS PLEASE....If you took photos of my spot i[we] wuold be pissed for sure...another surf school dropout id say...but whatever..as far as lcalism goes not only is it neededbut essential.Who regulates youre line-ups,keeps youre area clean,helps outthe kids,keeping it otherwise safe for everyone WE DO.SO QUIT YOUR BITCHING.WHAT DO YOU CARE.YOU PUT IT UP AND OUT THERE FOR EVERYONE TO SEE SO BE PREPARED FOR THE BACKLASH.IMSURE TOU WEAR A LEASH SO YOU KNOW THE FEELING.MAYBE I AM A TROLL BUT THERE IS SOMETHING TO BE SAID ABOUT THE GUY AT YOURE SPOT WHO MAINTAINS ORDER.ITS NOT ALL SHAKAS ALL THE TIME KID.AND ONCE ORDER IS LOST THEN IT BECOMES CHAOS.YOU F..ING SISSY.

Anonymous said...

Holly shiznit. By the sounds of the last anonymous quote, Locals are the big brother, helping hands, good samaritans of the ocean. please, be honest with yourself. you don't really care about anyone else. As long as you get your shred and get to snarl at someone else you get you're cool. I completely agree with Chum that there is no need for that. If you need to school someone, do it with out being a doosh. As for calling someone a f...ing sissy,
what are you 12?

Anonymous said...

Hey...I may be 12, but at least I know how to spell douche

ras said...

surfing is a competitive endeavor

Anonymous said...

To many words. You all suck. I am going surfing. If some one fucks w/ me ill hit them w/ a tire iron.

kurungabaa said...

There was a motto I was taught as a grommet by an older bloke who seemed to just cruise along.

When I was getting hassled and getting angry he turned to me and said:

"let it go through to the catcher boy, and only swing at the ones worth swinging at"

Kono said...

don't sell your drugs on my corner or i'll shoot you, sound familiar? seems like there's a lot of "territorial pissings" going on out there, i understand where the locals come from but you can't haze everybody right? basically it boils down to mutual respect, shit shouldn't be this hard... and i don't live anywhere near a beach but i live near alot of those corners.