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Ride everything movement: The return of unadulterated joy

October 24 2009 | Joy, Jim's Blog,
by Jim

Our mission is "...the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches for all people..." File this under enjoyment.

Something happened in the mid to late 80s. Joel Tudor was in his early teens and connecting "youth," "fun," and "longboard." Of course that's an oversimplification... there were others that never stopped riding longboards and alternative shapes (Herbie, Hynd, Campbell brothers...). However, living in Cardiff at the time, Joel broke down a door to an entire generation that didn't ride anything but thrusters, and he essentially said, "ride what you dig."

Fast forward to 2009. We all watch surf videos (like the one below) and surfers ride boards that would have been considered odd or impossible a few years back. Today, riding a longboard or Alaia is no big deal. Today, a movement exists for people to simply seek joy while riding waves in the ocean. Today, there isn't just a handful of people embracing the "ride everything" mantra, it is the majority who surf. Even in the professional ranks there is rampant experimentation going on. Kelly is shaping his own boards AND riding them on the tour. Taj is riding what I'd call a post-modern construction (Firewire). Rasta, Rob and Del Moro are riding anything they can get their hands on (including shapes that predate the fin), and they aren't riding these boards for photo opportunities, they're riding them because they dig them.

The coolest thing about the "ride everything" movement is that everyone can participate. A good chunk of our staff that surfs is embracing and riding anything they can get their hands on... David Rey in membership loves his Liddle Hull and Danny Hess Handplane. Chad Nelsen, our enviro man, shaped his own Alaia... Ryan in accounting is building a Grain fish, etc.

For me this IS a breakthrough. This IS a change. This IS something different. It came to me the other day when I was talking with Drew Brophy, I had seen his mind boggling waves at Puerto Escondido on a stand-up, and he said something to the effect of, "stand-up will become bigger than surfing."

Brophy's comment reminded me of bicycles. Before Gary Fisher introduced the mountain bike, the only cyclists were bikes rode 10 speeds. Cycling, overall, was tiny. Fisher broke down the door, and now bikes come in a myraid of sizes, constructions and orientations. What happened was that the mountain bike opened up an entirely new and mainstream way to ride bikes offroad, and also reminded all of us how simple and joyful riding a beach cruiser can be, which eventually led to the current fixed-gear craze. Mountain bikes DID overtake 10 speeds, and my sense is that Drew is probably correct on his assessment of the stand-up. Next time you're in the water, look at what people are using... standups.

Watch the video. It's not about oddball shapes. It's not about throwback, retro eras. It's about fun. Look at the smiles of these guys getting barreled, much more sincere than if they were on a thruster. Imagine yourself in that George Greenough point-of-view. Go ahead, make yourself a paipo. Smile.

Chad Waldron's Momentary Film Regarding a Wooden Board from Waldron Bros Production on Vimeo.

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