Money Matters?

There is a very interesting post over at Confessions of a Novice Surfer about Surfline buying out a surf spot in Puerto Escondido for an elite group of “VIP” surfers at the exclusion of the locals. I’m sure there are gaps in the details of this story, but it is true that as the sport of surfing grows and the business of surfing matures, money matters. For decades, surfing, both as a sport and an industry, were underground and out-of-the-mainstream for a relatively few obsessed (and yes, those surfing “first point” at Malibu in the 60’s will argue it went mainstream 40 years ago with Gidget). In the past decade, however, the world over has discovered surfing: the media has embraced it (commercials ranging from Amex to Toyota and beyond), the malls have usurped it (Pac Sun and Quicksilver at Walmart) and as every surfer knows, the line-ups are near unbearable.

So like so many things in life, money will now buy you an empty line-up at the exclusion of “the others.” The irony is that many surfers, by choice, elect to work very little so that they can surf. Does this mean that in order to get access to an empty line-up, you have to go corporate (or pro) in order to afford to surf? Hmmm…

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