The man in the grey flannel boardshorts.

goldI had been spending part of my summer holidays on the Gold Coast and the surf had been non stop and the water is emerald-green and warm. This is an out doors town if you want to keep fit surf do all kinds of sports the weather is on your side and warm water waves just beg to be enjoyed, this isn’t a place for a bookish type or an academic, thps town is all show, waxed bodies, silicon tits lots of visible tattoos if you got it you put it out there, it sure isn’t for everyone and I guess must be tiring to be here full-time but it is what it is.

The other thing I noticed, it is the home of many a retired surf pros there everywhere, and who would blame them the waves pump, a lot of the surf industry are based up here and the living is much more affordable than the big cities. But I have to say these guys are not easily recognizable if they are not tearing up a wave in front of you, you would never pick them in a crowd. As they are the grey guy, there is nothing at all distinguishing about these men, it is as if there is an unwritten code we will not stand out. Which is a shame as these guys were the kings of surfing in their day and had the world on a plate access to the best of everything and all they want is the mediocre these days. They all ride plain white wet sanded boards never any colour what so ever, they are generally all a bit over weight and can  be seen wearing a basic palate of black, grey or navy board shorts and wetsuit. These are top 16 ers, ex World Champs wears and riding stuff which looks like it comes from K Mart or surplus stock from some disposal store. Almost like they have said I haven’t paid a dime for surf gear since I was 13  and I ain’t about to start now, I will see my mate Davo and he will slip me a pair a last years dud stock out of the backroom for free, sweet got it for nothing mate who cares what it looks like.

These are people with simple dreams, they are not thinking about getting a boat and sailing through the marquess’s, or buying a plot of land on the Solomon islands with a left point out the front. No an office job at Billabong or Quikky the new dream. The days when surf stars looked different, had the best quivers with personal air brushed motives, bright custom wetsuits with monogramed initials on them and matching shorts are a thing of distant memory. Now everyone wants to just fit in don’t stand out, pro surfers become what they dreamed of being a bland every man doing a day job to best of their ability perfectly acceptable person in society. Wash away all the good things that we first found so attractive about this life the freedom and adventure and make it everyday basic, yuk.

I personally think if you do something you love and if that happens to be one of the best things this planet has to offer which is wave riding. We should honour that and also express some personality into the game and make the whole process something special, don’t drag your whole trip into a Walmart experience. Now that there is a New Years resolution.

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