The Wedge


                Whether we like it or not, technology has influenced every sector of our sport. Unless you are a true soul surfer and wear only the oldest canvas boardies, ride the most archaic of boards, walk or ride horseback to the surf and never ever travel unless by foot, sail or carriage (and good on ya’ if you do), you have succumbed to the age of technology.

Although surfing is more physically and spiritually connected to the natural environment than almost any other past time, we owe our aquatic love to the technology that makes wave riding so enjoyable and so possible. Ironically, surfing in the farthest reaches of the most isolated and secluded places of the planet, places one would think are completely removed from technology’s influence, is in fact completely dependent on it.

Surfing in frigid Canadian or Icelandic waters wouldn’t be possible without wetsuit innovation. Getting barreled in East Timor, for most of us Californians, is only possible after an oceanic crossing in a jet airplane. And dropping in on south Chilean bombs, aside from being dependent on the previous two elements of the new age, is so much more feasible with a high performance rhino chaser…and maybe even a jet ski and tow board. Sure, we can paddle out in rigid trunks that chafe, on an old board that rides like a garage door, and use a good, old-fashioned guessing game as a swell prediction model, and hope the waves are good when we get there. But do we enjoy it as much as we do in a flexible short arm full, surfing a new board, and knowing before you even leave the comfort of your desk chair exactly how that forecasted SW swell arrived on schedule at your local beach break?

If you’re that surfer who considers himself totally displaced from technological innovation, not only are you fighting a losing battle, it’s one that you should give up all together. Technology expands our capacity for improvement. Today’s surfer has a deeper understanding of the different variables that go into the literal act of riding a wave (i.e. board design, fin design, wetsuit/boardshort design, swell forecasting, environmental implications, etc.) and therefore surfers are surfing better and using better equipment. Technology is the enabler of progress. So why not embrace new technological injections into the sport of surfing? Sure it has put way too many people in the wate,r even on a cold day, but you or I probably wouldn’t be out there either if it weren’t for the fruits that innovation has injected into the sport.

This entry was posted in Magazine, Photo Exposure at The Wedge. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a comment