99.9% is far to high of a number. people have to eat, **** needs to be cleaned , money has to change hands for goods and services, homes and cars need to be repaired, broken bones need to be mended, etc. that cog in the wheel is necessary for a functioning civilization.
as far as technical advances stemming from pro surfing. well take Jack O'Neill and the invention of the wetsuit for instance. the short board revolution. George Greenough and his many technical advances. all happened b4 pro surfing. it all stemmed from the pure enjoyment of riding waves. not from people getting paid to ride waves.
I agree that 99.9 is a higher number; but we're all cogs in a wheel and most of us don't have jobs that change mankind or history. I think even the criminals who are lifelong criminals and make income from it... hell that's a job isn't it and they also supply a service or buy items that in turn feed the system, right? I'm a retail manager and also an army vet and now reservist... still a cog bro.
I knew O'neil would come up But take the modern short board technology... the multiple fins.. the FCS housing... all part of what pro-surfing has done to improve the sport/hobby of surfing.
Matter at hand is it a job to be a pro-surfer. I used to say that a job is something you do to pay a bill... not something you always dream on doing. Kelly Slater loves surfing and surfs when he doesn't have to.... is there a separation of his job when he is not surfing or is that just training for the next big event?
Me I'm jealous of anyone who has a job on something I do for fun... be it surfing, reading/writing, drinking, travelling, hell you name it. Its a job... a job I would love to have; but perhaps I didn't surf for contest, write to get published, drink and start a tv show around it (Three Sheets to the Wind), or travel and have a camera man follow me.... But then again why be jealous on something I didn't strive to do if it was that important to me....
I also want to be a lotto winner... but never buy a ticket.
(Sorry for all the posts tonight.. wife is watching the damn "Host" movie... its terrible by the way)