Updated: Sep 12, 2021
The Splash, The Splash, The Splash, what the fuck is The Splash I hear you asking? Good question. The Splash is the nitty-gritty, our pointless opinions, thoughts, and observations on surfing. It’s the real, always objective truth to what we’ve seen and witnessed in the surfing world. Look, none of us are getting any younger and we’ve been about long enough to see surfing evolve, grow, and change in good ways and fucking terrible ways. Make no mistake, we suck ass at surfing, period, however, these salty eyes might just share a good observation or two that you might connect with or at least get a tickle out of our ranting.
I remember the first time I ran into my first territorial altercation while surfing. Gwithian, Cornwall, was my local break, lived there since I was 10 and for many years called it my haven for surfing. I remember the summer of 2014, mid-20s, spending summer days at the beach surfing as I was too poor to drink (I still lived with my parents), and too unsocial to hang with my friends (nothing's changed). I was obsessed with surfing, any opportunity, I would be in the big drink practising tenaciously to see little to no improvement.
On one glorious summer's day, I headed out with my Fred Rubble sloshing into 4-5ft clean sets. The perfect day. I got to know a lot of the local surfers, not by name but more by head nods, I looked like Jesus at the time so I guess I was an easily recognisable character. On this day I surfed more towards the river mouth, this side of the beach is considered more for the advanced or those that are local. As stated earlier, having grown up on this side of Cornwall since I was 10, I felt my place had been well earned.
I paddle out, few head nods, and a few good waves, I am stoked at this point. No amount of wet wishy-washy Jesus hair in the mouth or eyes are going to fuck this day. After 20 minutes I sit out back when your typical Cornish surfer paddles by. The VW van, puffer jacket with flip flops, cropped spiked hair, chiselled chin, and probably has a Sex Wax air freshener in said VW van came to mind. I am getting the dirtiest look, a look so dirty, that even the shittiest nappy would suddenly look like a bed of roses compared to this look.
“LOCALS ONLY!” He cries out as his dominance and rage echoes through my ears. I look left to right just to check that it is actually me he was talking to. I pointed to myself “Who, me?” “Yeah you, locals-only on this side of the beach!” Had I snaked him? Nearly hit him with my board? Perhaps I had given the dirty look first? We will never know. “It's a good thing I live 5 minutes down the fucking road then, right?” I exhale in both quick wit and sarcastic frustration. The sheer fucking nerve, years upon years coming out to this spot and on what I would call the perfect day, this idiot lashes out over being territorial.
“Oh sorry, I didn’t realise you were local?” He answers back, this time in a more friendly and relaxed tone like you would use on a friend. We are not friending my friend. “Locals only.... what sort of childish behaviour is that?” I snap back. “Sorry mate!” He whips back as the shame has finally hit him, brightening his face redder than any amount of sun could. With my pride still intact, I continue my surf and live out a perfect day.
The moral of the story should be this, don’t be that dick. If you are so concerned about who's surfing where then fuck, you have a pretty easy life. I have heard of guns being fired in NZ, untold amounts of knockouts in Hawaii, car bust-ups in Australia, it's just so unnecessary. For what? To try to claim a piece of land that you have no claim over? Get a fucking grip on yourself. Your pettiness holds no value here.