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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    MD - VA
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    Predictions on Crowds in the Water

    So, I was in the water in VB a couple weekends ago. I'm looking up & down the coast from about 46th Street. I did a rough count from the beach for as far as I could see.

    Must have been 400 people in the water, counting surfers & spongers. Obviously more than that, since I uldn't see all the way down to 1st Street, Croatan & Sandbridge.

    I surfed Cabarete & I used to think 30 people in the water at Playa Encuentro was crowded. That was 5 years ago. Encuentro gets maybe double that now on any given halfway decent day.

    Got me to thinkin'...

    Rapidly expanding American population.
    More affluence.
    More leisure time.

    Any projections or numbers for your local beach in, say, 5 years....? Or, what people will do when faced with potentially Waikiki-like conditions at every break on the east coast ? 8 riders on every wave ? Lottery tickets to surf ? Or will pollution just stuff the whole water sport genre in 10 or 20 years?

    "People....soylent green is people..."




  2. #2
    Unfortunately, surfing is a fashion statement for many people. These days you are either a d-bagger, a hipster, a thug, a geek, or a surfer. I dont care how crowded PacSun gets, but i liked that crowd better when they were "posers" and not "kooks".

    We should make surfing less cool. It will be tough, because we ARE some cool mother Fukkaz. I'm making the switch from surf shop to American Eagle and only listening to top 40. I'll also go ahead and trade in my flops for some jordans. When I do surf, ill suck it up and wear a speedo. If we all do it, noone will want to learn because surfing is for losers. Then we (and our banana hammocks) will enjoy good waves and empty lineups.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by yankee View Post
    Rapidly expanding American population.
    More affluence.
    More leisure time. people..."
    I don't think more affluence is a factor. If anything, I see downward mobility in employment, especially in young people.(ie getting a college degree and then working a service job for 8/hr...that's what happens when EVERYONE starts going to college) More Leisure time? haha This is America my friend. Got to make sure the rich are getting richer. Less and less people taking vacation time. Work...work....and then more work for the majority. We will soon be like Japan with 70 hour work weeks commonplace and no weekends or worse like China. Surfing is simply a more popular thing now. It was almost unheard of in the 50's. It's a culture thing. Also, an ever increasing overpopulation.
    Last edited by mikeb2056; Sep 9, 2010 at 05:43 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    It's all cyclical. Surfing always has boom and bust periods. The advent of fun/longboards certainly makes it easier for people to get into the sport which leads to crowded conditions. That ease of learning goes around the old way of slowly paying dues which instills etiquette in people. so now we have more beginners with less etiquette in the water today. THAT is a bad combination.

    My guess is that at some point either surfing loses it's cool factor or rabid localism/enforcement will make a comeback. I'm already seeing this at some breaks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Annapolis
    Posts
    146
    I see two problems:
    1. Cheap products that are easily available on a whim (cheap popout surfboards that people can buy in boardwalk souvenir shops (people buy them as an impulse purchase!), and more effective (but less costly wetsuits), etc. Man, companies want to cash in!

    2. A Freaking advertising culture that puts surfboards on every car in every car commercial, and ones that show families with "active lifestyles" as they grab their surfboards and jog down to the water's edge.

    Advertisers know what their doing - they know that people want to be like those "beautiful people" they see on tv and magazine ads! Its f*cking sickening!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    True, BUT, with everything today, overexposure tends to have a backlash effect. At some point people will say 'I've had enough of this 'surfing' crap. Show me something else'.

    I also think that many of the older newbies get a serious dose of reality when they get into surfing cause it's not what you see on TV. At many spots, it's ultra competitive and aggressive. You see it on this board all the time from people who whine that surfing isn't this happy, sing-around-the campfire sport they thought it would be. Those people tend to sell their boards pretty quickly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    MB 07750
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    all those things contribute but the biggest impact is you have a lot of people too inexperienced (or too stupid) to figure out for themselves when the best times are to go and which are the best places for specific conditions - so when there's a storm or event with good waves predicted more than a couple days out, everyone goes at that timeframe and to the more well-known spots.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    milton delaware
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    Quote Originally Posted by yankee View Post
    Any projections or numbers for your local beach in, say, 5 years....? Or, what people will do when faced with potentially Waikiki-like conditions at every break on the east coast ? 8 riders on every wave ?[/I]
    I think warm season crowding at several spots in Delaware / Maryland has leveled off in the past few years. The explosive growth happened around 5+ years ago and got so bad (multiple riders on waves accepted at certain spots under small conditions) many stopped going to the "obvious" spots. Winter crowding seems to be on the rise still.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by aka pumpmaster View Post
    I also think that many of the older newbies get a serious dose of reality when they get into surfing cause it's not what you see on TV. At many spots, it's ultra competitive and aggressive. You see it on this board all the time from people who whine that surfing isn't this happy, sing-around-the campfire sport they thought it would be. Those people tend to sell their boards pretty quickly.
    It should be a happy sport, guys like you ruin if for everyone else with your crybaby selfishness. You're like a 2 year old....WAAAAH That's my wave! I hope you're mostly in the water dec/jan/feb wearing your 6mm diaper to save everyone else the agony of your unnecessarily aggressive presence.
    Last edited by mikeb2056; Sep 9, 2010 at 08:05 PM.

  10. #10
    I used to think surfer dude's were chill and laid back at one with nature hippy type of deal, until I started bodyboarding myself then I learned that a ton of them(not all) are total douche's.
    Last edited by mikeb2056; Sep 9, 2010 at 08:09 PM.