[Surf Or Die]
Where Surf Kulture Goes To Die
I went to the Coconut Peet’s surfboard warehouse before they closed Saturday afternoon and checked out the racks for a short and wide 6-foot squash that could fit against the wall behind the drivers seat of the Safari. I’ve seen a new shape being popularized that resembles a bar of soap, squared-off in front and in back. But all they had that fit the description was a twin-fin. Not stoked on that. I’ve owned a twinnie way back in the dark ages when I was a teenager and World Champion Mark Richards made them famous but I found it squirrely. I surf better now and would probably expand my tool box of moves rather than be limited by it, but would still rather stay in the direction of the devil you know and get another tri-fin for this next purchase.
Coconut Peet’s, formerly on Voltaire in upper Ocean Beach, used to have a large $100 board yard where one could find used surfboards for a C-note. Billy at their front desk wasn’t specific but hinted that the shop had this largest collection of used boards due to their army of buyers scouring the market. However the $100 selection they had offered was largely a thing of the past now that their current location is east of I-5 above Little Italy. If they sell one for $100 it might go not to a rider but to a local artist who paints it and turns it into a $2,400 wall hanger creation. Billy pointed to a narrow blue stick propped against the front of the rack for sale next to us. The top of it had the artist’s name and website along with the asking price.
Interestingly, the shop recently unloaded 40 of their boards to a merchant who resells them in Florida, Billy said. Due to a shortage of board-makers on the East Coast these days surfboards are a scarce commodity there.
Surf culture in the USA has experienced a precipitous decline since its heyday in the 1960’s to 1980’s. Coastal demographics may be partially to blame for this since higher beach rents and local population youthful vigor, or lack thereof, mean there’s not as much interest in the surfing lifestyle that once attracted Hollywood and magazine publishers. No one can afford to print surf magazines when Facebook and Google take all the advertising. Hollywood isn’t budgeting movies about youthful waveriding if there isn’t a pre-indoctrinated audience that find it mythologically attractive. No one has time to live for surf when the cost of living is so high. Charge what the market can bear and before long the market is gone.