Just a decade ago, surfing used to be a “male-dominated” sport and rare surfer girls were babes in bikinis. Things have changed a bit lately and this sport except of becoming super popular has attracted a little bit different profiles of people.
A few weeks ago, I was walking down the beach checking the waves and spotted two 5-year-old blonde boys carrying their surfboards. Just a few seconds after, a little girl probably the same age as two boys joined them and all of them paddled out to the main peak. The boys were ripping, catching every single wave and doing some amazing manoeuvres and I must admit, the little girl was not falling behind them in showing her surfing skills.
Just a few hundred meters down the other line-up with a little bit mellower waves, an older lady was surfing with her husband. Both of them used long boards and it was pleasure watching them slide and smile.
The next day I met a mother with 2 teenagers. They were surfing together and obviously had a great time. The mother had been actually their student and the two boys were encouraging her and giving her advices when to start paddling, which wave to try to catch, how to improve her style and speed. It was a beautiful family surf session.
Just a couple of days ago, while I was surfing at my favourite surf spot, I met a couple. Not an ordinary couple. They were a gay couple. It is definitely not something you see every day in the water. Both of them were friendly, respecting others and waiting for their turn to catch waves. And even though they were not kissing or cuddling, the way they looked at each other and talked made other surfers aware that they were gay. Few rude guys made inappropriate comments. It made me sad and uncomfortable, but then I realized that the majority of people were fine and totally indifferent if they were gay or not. And just like in every surfing day, there are those few kooks that spoil other people’s surfing but that day, those few rude dudes didn’t manage to do that because the crowd didn’t get under their influence and actually totally ignored their comments and continued surfing and enjoying waves.
And if two or three decades ago, a surfer was a sun-bleached handsome guy, nowadays, surfers are kids, middle age women, grandmas and grandpas, chubby girls and geek guys, and that makes this sport even more exciting and impressive and therefore, popular.