The ocean is a large and unpredictable place. Tides rise and fall, temperatures fluctuate, waves form, and sands shift. However, across all oceans and beaches there is one constant: a bitter rivalry amongst watermen. Body boarders despising short boarders, short boarders annoyed with long boarders, and long boarders sick of paddle boarders. It is to the point where beaches have established rules that segregate each group from sharing the water. How did it get to this point and is it possible for these groups to coexist peacefully? All of us at POP Paddleboards respect the rules of the water, but that doesn’t mean we won’t question them from time to time.
Boarders far and wide have one thing in common and that is that they want to have a good time. Sure, it may be easier for body boarders to catch waves than it is for short boarders, but that’s no reason to prevent the two from sharing the same break. The same goes for SUP surfers and long boarders. Nobody owns the ocean except Mother Nature herself. Separating individuals based on their preferred board type is too extreme and alienates people who just want to surf. Moreover, it perpetuates a deeper divide amongst watermen increasing overall tension.
Surfing, body boarding, and paddle boarding are sports driven by passion and should not be characterized by elitist rules. Encouraging respect amongst riders and adopting a mentality of giving and taking may be the answer for oceanic harmony amongst surfers.
Keep the peace:
- Respect a rider’s right-of-way
- If you’re paddle surfing don’t hog all the sets
- Keep an eye out for the uninitiated
- Stay salty
POP Paddleboards encourages our riders be mindful of fellow boarders and kick them over a wave or two. Just because you can catch every wave that comes your way doesn’t mean you should. If everyone adopts these values the water would be a more inclusive and fun place.