August 12, 2011

"Spontaneous Pagan Holiday"?

NY Times "When New York City surfers cross paths, they greet one another, exchange notes. Because so many of them are new to surfing, having taken it up in adulthood, they are less like seen-it-all New Yorkers than surfers in pre-'Gidget' California, who would pull over when they passed another car of surfers and introduce themselves. Anyone who has surfed in Santa Cruz or Huntington Beach — chilly, xenophobic 'surf cities' — knows how exceptional this urban aloha is." by Thad Ziolkowski

'And if surfing has a soul, it is aloha: welcome, hospitality, generosity without thought of recompense. The word is Hawaiian, of course, and Hawaiians are the ones who gave surfing to the rest of the world. The bitter irony is that the rest of the world returned the favor with a vengeance, and Hawaii’s storied line-ups, flooded by outsiders, are now as famous for being jam-packed and short-tempered as for the waves.

'Which is why Quiksilver’s descent on Long Beach is so ominous. Imprinting the Quiksilver brand on New York’s burgeoning surf scene makes perfect sense from a business perspective, but the corporate siren song threatens to sour the mood of surfing in New York, which for the moment remains a bastion of surf spirit. It’s a spirit that companies like Quiksilver claim to value but have in fact helped degrade elsewhere, peddling a vision of surfing’s blithe, blue allure that studiously omits the ugly realities of overcrowding that such marketing abets.'

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