Why Surfers are A-holes

There’s an ancient proverb in skiing that goes like this: “There are no friends on a powder day.” You could know a guy for 20 years, have been a groomsman at his wedding, and even given him a ride to the airport that one time, but if it’s a powder day, all graciousness is suspended. Take too long to get to the lift line? See you tomorrow. Lose a ski? Tough luck, best of luck finding it. This personality binary can be found across sports, but it is especially evident in the world of surfers.

Surfers have a reputation for being fiercely territorial and competitive, and it’s not without reason. When the waves are perfect, it’s every surfer for themselves. The ocean becomes a battleground where all bonds of friendship and camaraderie are temporarily forgotten. The struggle for the best wave often brings out the worst in people, leading to some pretty funny, albeit frustrating, moments.

To illustrate this point, check out this hilarious video lampooning folks who turn into jerks once their toes hit the water. The video captures the essence of how even the nicest people can become downright nasty when it comes to catching that perfect wave. From cutting each other off to blatant disregard for surf etiquette, the antics are both cringe-worthy and amusing.

So, why do surfers turn into a-holes? It’s a mix of the competitive nature of the sport and the scarcity of perfect waves. Much like powder days in skiing, prime surfing conditions are rare and fleeting. When those perfect waves roll in, surfers are driven by a primal urge to seize the moment, often at the expense of others. It’s a phenomenon that’s both fascinating and comical to observe.

Next time you’re at the beach and you see surfers battling it out for the best waves, remember this: It’s not personal, it’s just the nature of the sport. And if you ever get the chance to surf, be prepared. You might just find yourself turning into a bit of an a-hole, too.

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