Dear dude with curly blond hair who rides a white longboard with blue rails – you know who you are,
I understand that I’m a girl in a predominantly male sport and, admittedly, not even one of the better girls. This, however, does not give you the go-ahead to backpaddle me and catch every wave I paddle for. This is especially uncool when the waves are mediocre and there are not that many people out in the lineup. You should consider yourself lucky that I didn’t drop in on top of you and run my fin into your head. I hope you are very ashamed of yourself and spend a long time thinking about what you did.
Now that I have that off my chest, I have some advice. Let’s call this installment of the surf column “how not to be an asshole.” Heed my words and pass them on to others. Maybe we can start a trend, and someday, in the very distant future, there will be no cause for water rage.
Let’s start with the crime of curly-haired dude, who shall from here on out be referred to as Dick. Backpaddling is when you paddle out and position yourself to the inside of a person who is already waiting for a wave, so that, when a wave does come, you have priority to catch it. This is bullshit and a violation of everything our kindergarten teachers worked so hard to imprint on our brains: waiting in line, taking turns, sharing, remember? When you paddle out and know that you’re going to want a wave right away, go somewhere where there are few or, if possible, no people already out. If you’re one of those people who insist on being in the middle of the pack, learn to share. There are plenty of waves to go around.
Part of the reason backpaddling is such a dickhead move is because it puts the backpaddlee in a position of having to drop in on someone, surfing’s highest crime, in order to get a ride. Either that or perform a counter-backpaddle to regain the inside position, which is equally heinous.
I guess the problem is that the basic rules of courtesy are just not adhered to. All of you know that you shouldn’t drop in on people or backpaddle them, and if you don’t know this you deserve to have your ass kicked by someone much larger than you.
So Dick, whoever you are, watch your back. This blondie’s got it out for you, so you better be setting a good example next time I see you in the water.
With love, Kristina.