Hendo honeydicking. All images by Kane Skennar.

The Revolutions Are Upon Us In 2018

And it’s going to be softcore

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Surfboarding has finally reached its renaissance period. The conservative conventional shortboard surfer is regressing into the dark ages, while anyone who is open to enjoying every aspect that surfing has to offer is entering a monumental rebirth age of wave riding. For far too long surfing has taken itself far too seriously. Surfing is ultimately about having as much fun as possible while exploiting Mother Nature’s energy lines to their fullest potential. Interweb pages such as “kook of the day” and other hate-fuelled discussion forums, with critics hiding anonymously behind their computers, have contributed to surfers fearing how they will be perceived by others. In reality it’s the so-called “kooks” who are the ones enjoying themselves and those of us who make fun of them are only contributing detrimentally to our hobby.

This rebirth in surfing is happening for a number of reasons. Firstly nothing progressive or revolutionary has occurred in surfing’s centre stage for a long while. Noa Deane couldn’t have been more accurate when he proclaimed this decade’s most powerful three word statement, “FUCK THE WSL”. Surfing was in a zone of stagnation. The tour’s “combination of major manoeuvres” meant that the elite had almost let go of surfing’s most important aesthetic characteristic, “STYLE”. So overly concerned with getting a number associated to a bunch of tricks it felt like they were starting to lose the most important aspect of it. Almost all subjective competitive sports include in their criteria a form of “style” as a key judging component. Competitive surfboarding does not? How can the common surfboard riding enthusiast aspire to greatness when our world’s best were just going skitzzz trying to get a score and forgetting about the key ingredient that makes our hobby so unique.

However, the times they are a changing. Those of major influence are exploring other options, John John is unashamedly hydro-foiling, Toledo is basically Tom Cruise in Top Gun, Rasta is going Mach 69 on surf mats and Kelly has got his Lear Jet and wave pool in full swing.

So where does that leave us, the average surfboarding person wishing to contribute to the revolution? Consider this equation… 5OfT T0p5 >>>>

Soft topping is surfing’s first decentralised crypto-buoyancy surf craft category. It is a worldwide buoyancy system that works without a central repository or single administrator. The experience can occur as a singular exchange or it can take place peer-to-peer using digital wallets. This phenomenon uses a series of algorithms to determine how much each unit is worth. Essentially the more people who are involved in the movement, the stronger and more powerful it becomes. Although most of what we know about soft topping’s history remains a mystery, we do know that it was first released in 2009 by a Japanese assembly who go by the alias of Satoshi Nakamoto. As more and more people become open to the idea that you don’t have to be constrained by surfing’s unspoken laws, the more we will see this crypto-buoyancy moment flourish. Everything we do in life is governed by laws; soft topping does not have these same parameters. Perhaps one of the most refreshing aspects of soft topping is that everything that is annoying in normal surfing is the opposite for softying. You encourage other riders to join you on a wave, whether that be boogs, surf mats or simply your soft core flaccid fellow or fellowettés.  When you lose your board on the rocks it’s funny, while being hit by a softy is enjoyable and more often than not painless.

Breezy swingin’ it back around.

Not only is it fresh and welcoming but there is no outer limit of what is possible. A completely new repertoire of manoeuvres is waiting to be discovered. If pushing the performance envelope excites you then this may well be something you need to explore. Soft boards allow you to access waves of consequence that you wouldn’t normally contemplate riding. Any normal session can be a full “careery” and change how you approach surfing forever. Without entering the spiritual realm, it truly does make you appreciate the subtleties that make surfing so difficult and yet so rewarding. The slightest change in pressure can make the difference between sliding into oblivion or executing the most radical manoeuvere you have ever done, and this can all be experienced in absolutely all conditions.  You will find yourself caring less about achieving a desired result, and more about seeing what happens along the way.

United by the common goal of surfing happiness, and sharing the stoke of super soft nonseriousness, allow yourself to accept the soft core movement for what it is; the endeavour of attaining undiscovered performance mastery and surfing happiness in an accepting non-judgemental tribe of visionaries.

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