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10 Reasons Surfing Sucks - Agree to Disagree TSP94

10 Reasons Surfing Sucks - Agree to Disagree TSP94

Alex Dick-Read


10 Reasons Surfing ‘Sucks’


Surfing’ cool, but beware the pitfalls. 

By Raph Anemolius


There’s plenty that’s great about it, but, please, watch out for these:

1.     It turns you into a moron, only interested in one thing. Think about it. Anyone who’s interested in one thing only is BORING! This is a universal truth, therefore you are in danger of being really fucking boring.

2.     It makes you selfish. Yes, whether you admit it or not – your obsession with surfing comes first. You’ll miss work, play and quality time with friends; time you could spend helping people who need help; time you could spend making yourself a better person. You will leave wonderful girlfriends/boyfriends because they ‘just don’t get it’; you will cause pain and anger to your parents or spouse; you will miss key moments in your childrens’ upbringing and important moments in the last years of your parents’ lives. This stuff is irreplaceable, but it’s ok, you got barreled again, dude.

3.     You will start using words like ‘dude’, ‘sucks’, ‘going off’, ‘sick’, ‘mate’ and a host of other perversions of the English language, no matter where you’re from. Balinese, Russian, Australian, French, Cornish – everyone succumbs eventually/occasionally and we all sound like twats. That’s because the original perversions mostly came from California and Australia and twats in those countries don’t know they sound like twats. We just absorb the twat-shit that these people have spread through their economic and psychological control of the sub culture. To any sane human being, we sound like twats and that’s that.

4.     We get arrogant because we think surviving a big drop or making a tube or riding Uluwatu or our home break or any fucking thing to with surfing makes us somehow better human beings than other human beings. It doesn’t. We are as good human beings as we are good human beings, regardless if we surf or not. Male surfers buy into the myth that they’re cool because chicks – who are as simple and dirty as guys underneath all the pretence – find surfers’ body-shapes and tans horny – in much the same way men find strippers automatically horny. (‘Wow! They’ve got tits!’) Doesn’t make male surfers great people. Female surfers think they’re great because so few women surf that they get off on being a step above fellow members of their gender. In many subtle and truly shallow ways, being a surfer makes us think we’re fantastic. And we’re not. Unless of course we are – but that’s an entirely different story.

5.     Surfing is dangerous. Skin cancer, surfers’ ear, staph infections, spinal injuries, shoulder and lower back wear, red eyes/pterygiums, shark attack, pollution exposure, damaged hair and water on the brain that makes you stupid.

6.     You will waste time and you will waste fuel. Both time and fuel are money, so you will waste money, too. You will stare at computer screens for hours when you’re not surfing, wishing you were surfing, looking for a hit in some sad vicarious form, planning your next surfing excursion and dreaming of ones you can’t afford. Later you will drive around looking for waves and checking spots just around the corner or, fuck it, 500 miles drive away just because you’re a radical dude and you want to impress your friends with how hardcore you are. If there’s no rideable surf there, or if it isn’t as good as the surf you just left, you’ll happily drive back and surf that. You waste hours of time, gallons of fuel and therefore uncountable amounts of money. And did we mention – you add carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that probably wouldn’t be there if you weren’t a surfer?

7.     Your whole ‘close to nature’ vibe is only a skin you wear when it suits you, unless you really are someone that cares about nature and maybe even does something about protecting it. You don’t automatically qualify as one of those people just because you’re a surfer.

8.     You are a colonialist. Might as well buy a pith helmet right now. You’ll fly to foreign shores and not, probably, give a damn about understanding, integrating or having any awareness whatsoever about the impact your presence has on the destination community/culture. Not your problem, mate. You’re just there to surf.

9.     Surfing will start to make you think idiots are heroes. People who take huge amounts of drugs, drink like lunatics and drive rental cars like assholes suddenly become worthy of your respect because they’re often the same people who take off late on huge waves and pull into giant tubes and get spat out. Watch out for this. They could still be assholes.

10.   It’s a beautiful thing, but you need to be careful to retain your sense of right and wrong, good and bad, time and place etc. Surf culture is fuelled by commercial interests that know no depths. In their search for sales, they will say anything and sponsor anyone to promote their products. Just because you love the sensation of riding breaking waves, don’t let these things turn you into a twat.

  1. andrew quilty

    From one surfer to another, well said.

    1. david


  2. Mark Parry

    4&7 there is some truth in.

  3. dave thomas

    I hope every surfer reads this.

  4. carl

    Spot on… dude

  5. Jorge' of the Jungle

    YOU need some WAVES DUDE!! What spew!! I wish I could say “Way to go there Ralphie Boy” but that aint happenin’!! When was the last time you got in the water?? I’d say its been too long!! Seeyalaterbyyeee!!!

  6. Oliver Monk

    The Twats !!

  7. Bryson Deleeuw

    I’m a twat and I’m proud of it!
    While you typing up another true but stereotypical story(that is 100% me)
    I’ll be gettin pitted

    1. the dude

      ride the wave and get pitted… so pitted! LOL

    2. the dude
  8. Beau Ewan

    This is pure genius.

  9. Paul Lamont

    There is a lot of truth here. I hate the “holier than thou” attitude that so many surfers have. However, whether it’s surfing, hiking, stamp collections or trainspotting, being obsessed about certain pastimes is seen everywhere. If you can find time for your family, friends and job and also indulge hours looking at all aspects of whatever floats your boat – good on you.

  10. Duncan

    There are some truths in this and it can be used as an eye opener to anyone starting off in surfing. But there are people out there who surf and are still nice well balanced human beings 😉

  11. La

    I was gonna write a long reply breaking down each point and explaining myself, as a fellow surfer. But I actually don’t have the time to spend on a piece of shit article like this. Over it

    1. the dude

      step 1, denial. :)

  12. Pilot

    Well said and mostly true, surfing alone doesn’t make you great but saying that there are many surfers that are amazing people and deserve huge respect. There are a vast number of sports that are far more damaging to the environment than surfing is and I would rather my children surf than take up one of those.

  13. Niall

    True enough. Compare these 10 to 10 reasons why surfing’s fantastic and I don’t think you’ll convince anyone to give up. Nice try though, might have thinned out the lineup if you’d been successful 😉

  14. Js

    Surfing is not what it used to be… And surfers are freaking idiots these days… They do think they are better than you. Few believe in earning a simple spot at a line up… The pecking order the respect for the older surfers, are gone.

  15. Theme7net

    It’s more, ‘why surfers suck’ than ‘why surfing sucks’.

    1. the dude


  16. bryan jackson

    So basically what you saying is many, if not most, surfers are arrogant assholes. I couldn’t agree more, especially when it comes to traveling surfers I’ve met on the road in places such as the South Pacific, etc. They’re like “Dude, we’re just here to surf and have a good time which we paid for one or the other, so stay the eff out of our way!” But you know who are the biggest victims of some surfers assholiness? Other surfers who are trying to just stay low key and do the right thing. So the lesson here, my friends, is to stay humble and realize that while we’re out there looking for a good wave, there are many people on this planet who are just looking for a decent life, or even perhaps just trying to survive, period. So if, in your travels you can help them out along the way, then please do so. Otherwise, stay humble and stay stoked!

  17. Maria

    I guess it’s a kind of right when you live away from a surfable-beach.

    Also your conclusions are applied to any extreme sport. This type of sports there’re two main groups of people:

    1.-who really love and enjoy the sport

    2.-who’s seeking for a kind of recognition from others to fulfil a fantasy

    People who really loves and enjoys extreme sports, like surf, are smart enough and open to new things … which means swap to the local extreme sport such as kite-surfing in Dublin

  18. helladuderbro

    california is a country?

    1. chris

      no, the golden state in usa, i live here in the bay area, wanna know more? email me

  19. Joseph Giannini

    I returned from Nam in 1968. Surfing was my safety net. I didn’t live to surf. I surfed to live. Still do.

    Semper Fi,


  20. jct

    Excellent article, very articulate, hitting every point with profound insight. No question surfing is one of best sports activities in the world. However a Real Surfer must ubiquitously be grateful, express this gift into the right perspective of meaning, relevance to life, family, community, and the world. Definitely be fully committed to surfing, but simultaneously be detached, spread your joy. especially to those outside your hood.

  21. Scales

    Its an epidemic, and Not just in surfing does this condition exist. Unbelievable, but true, that humans are considered the smartest creatures on this planet. By humans! Go figure….

  22. Keone

    Can’t be denied, it’s just a matter of degrees among the committed surf tribe. You left out the way some surfers treat less accomplished riders out in the line-up and the gritty details about CO2, which enters the atmosphere at a rate of over two pounds per gallon of gasoline.

  23. Snake

    All mostly true. But fuck it, I have been surfing for 30 years and you just made me want to pull on my wettie for an extra long sesh.
    You either surf or you don’t, there is no in between.

  24. iirena jah lawio

    my five famil and three wives livd with me i’m live on png with five family.
    my understand not good about what you write. ilook upt rule to suf and used travellle computr he hellpe me. i dont no what you say not where i am.

  25. mark

    how can an editor of a magazine be so tunnel visioned? Is he writing this from his own experiences?

    1. Alex Dick-Read

      Hi Mark
      This was POSTED by the editor of the magazine, but WRITTEN by Raph Anemolius.
      It appeared on the last page of Issue 94 in the Agree to Disagree section.
      Just so you know!
      Alex Dick-Read

  26. bob

    sounds like a twat who wrote this garbage no way hey actually gets paid to write crap like this
    ?i bet this sore loser couldn’t catch a wave if he tried,trying to hate on the sport for which his site and way fucking overpriced magazine are based on(no wonder I never sold one of these shitty magazines ,so hes saying surfing sucks so dont buy our magazine because its a waste of time to surf so why would you want to buy our crappy magazine,surf icons make the sport we have today and if it weren’t for them pussys like this writer might be in our lineups with shitty style and looking like a kook that he is,stay out of my lineups kook!

    1. Alex Dick-Read

      Hey Bob
      Thanks for writing. The guy’s a reader, and we don’t know if he’s a surfer, but the most he’s getting paid is a pair of shoes for writing this contentious piece for a reader contribution page – you seem not to have noticed this aspect.
      Anyway, though we totally disagree with it, like the writer, you are of course welcome to your opinion and we appreciate you taking the time to write it for us all.
      As for never selling any magazines, you should cheer up and adopt a friendly, happy tone. Salesmen who do that usually succeed better than miserable ones who cuss and grouch a lot.
      Just a thought.

    2. Rico

      If you surf you know this rings very true. I think if you disagree with this you are probably one of those brainless surf monkeys, all you boards should be snapped and your surf privileges removed.

      1. Lyneesha

        I’m a brainless sea monkey thanks asshole I keep my head in school at school and my mind on danger when surfing how’s that brainless

  27. Terence

    Fair enough, surfing sucks. But then again, for all that, and compared to all the other things in life that suck too, it remains an amazingly enjoyable thing to do.

  28. Lia

    Colonialism. One of the worst things.

  29. Lia

    Talk about exceptions and a far more critic view about the subject: Cori Shumacher.

  30. nj surf

    Ive done every other sport and surfing makes them all seem like sh*t on a stick. Surfers are not only interested in one thing but its the most fun thing. It takes pretty big balls to ride those 30 foot waves and higher. Also, I get all da biddies cuz I surf and im not some dumbass. I have straight “A”s in honors classes ya twat.

  31. Esela

    ” People who take huge amounts of drugs ”

    Really? Your a loser. Please go drink bleach & kill yourself.

    I am so tired of people calling surfers druggies & stoners.

    No “surfers” are not stoners.
    If we were stoners then how the hell would we be able to get off our high @ 5 am and paddle out to freezing cold water. We can’t be stoners/Druggies even if we wanted to for the sake of surfing.
    Get your facts straight chicken shit.

    1. Lyneesha

      Amen Sister

  32. bryn

    your obviously all a bunch of cunts the only bad thing about surfing is there is not much of it

  33. Steve

    I’d say this is all true of ignorant people who just happen to be surfers. I know a lot of well balanced responsible people who have good jobs who surf all the time. Including myself. Idiot.

  34. Brian

    1. Surfing doesn’t make you a moron – it gets you away from them!

    2. “Attachments lead to suffering” – Yoda

    3. Everyone (even the least cool) is stealing our lingo now – we must be ahead of the game.

    4. Surfers are all fantastic c’mon man.

    5. This is actually kinda true haha.

    6. I’ve been doing SUP for a few years now it makes any day even flat worth getting out – even if only to paddle around a bit.

    7. I care I have reusable shopping bags.

    8. “Your just there to surf” Well put friend.

    9. Don’t do drugs (that aren’t officially sanctioned by Jah) or drink excessively and you won’t end up hanging out with said assholes.

    10. Amen to that one bro!

  35. Vince

    First: Thanks for that bro! I’ll think about it when I paddle out next time.
    Second: One love mate – It can’t possibly be wrong
    Third: The thing about the children = Wrong! I already look forward to teach my son how to stand up.
    Fourth: You sound like a twat – Go do something worthwhile and don’t sully surfing u little b**ch =)

    1. Lyneesha

      Quoting Vince “you sound like a twat Raph” lol

  36. Seabass

    Poor guy, got dumped by a surfer girl…
    Hang in there bud

  37. Mike

    Hey this guy wrote an article about me, how nice dude 😉

  38. Lyneesha

    I am a surfer and I’m none of those reasons I am only 15 and people who get hurt surfing know it was there choice to surf No. 10 was so true but I don’t think idiots are heroes My parents (caregivers) and family and friends are heroes are you going to tell me they’re idiots and before you ask for a good reason why they’re my heroes my family parents (caregivers) raised me , my family was always there for me and my friends helped me through some tough times so get your facts rights and I’m not selfish or use the slang you think surfers use “I don’t say that was so sick” I instead say “That was such a good save” so think before you post d#$*head!!!!

  39. k

    When I have time, I’ll pick this apart for fun. :)

    1. Curtis

      Spot on..

      However, he title of this article should be “10 Reasons that Surfing Has the Potential to Eff up Your Life.”

      Those who are bashing this article obviously haven’t read item 10.

      And if ‘k’ above is supposed to be Slater, c’mon man. Whether it is Slater (doubtful) or not, give me a break. For your average human being, surfing, if taken to an obsessive extreme, can be very detrimental. I know a 50 year old man who is broke and living in a van on Maui just because he is so ‘hardcore’. He’s either on public assistance or will be at some point. This is entirely immoral. He’s a burden to society. Slater is a freak of nature and a multi-millionaire. He gets paid to be ‘hardcore’. Whereas there are legions of ‘hardcore’ surfers that pay dearly to try to project a silly image. They’re not the only ones who pay a price for their chosen lifestyle – friends and family pay also because their hardcore loved one is shirking responsibilities.

      Trying to build a sense of self worth out of being a ‘hardcore’ surfer has produced in me a character that is as thin, flimsy and unsubstantial as a page out of a surf mag. Surf mags are to men and boys what fashion mags are to girls and women. This is irrefutable.

    2. Curtis

      Dear ‘k’,

      Please address what I wrote below..

      1. Curtis


  40. Matt

    Wow, honestly all of this is 100% true,and right now Im finding myself evaluating my intentions, Im not going to lie to myself, I find myself feeling above others sometimes because, but nothing to the point of saying or acting like it, I dont know, amazing spot on post

  41. nicklecount

    Ralph ur gay!! Surfs Up


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