Surfing: some people have different thoughts on what the sport really is | Photo: WSL

It's quite a paradox, but summer in the Northern Hemisphere really is surfing's silly season.

For non-surfers and the mainstream audience, June, July, and August are the months more commonly associated with surfboards and surf equipment moving up and down the beach and back and forth on the road.

And in a way, they're right.

Surfers tend to have more time available to catch some ankle-to-chest-high waves than in any other period of the year.

Over 95 percent of the world's surfing tribe is a beginner or intermediate wave rider, so small, gentle waves are just fine.

Hence the paradox. There are more surfers than ever out there, and simultaneously, nearly nothing is happening in the surfing world.

But let's be honest.

The surf industry and competitive surfing are experiencing some of their hardest moments in history as they fail to listen to fans and adapt accordingly.

Despite the fancy marketing stunts, innovation levels are at their lowest, and not even the wave pool furor can compensate for the lack of creativity and investment in the industry as a whole.

Not even the fact that 2024 is an Olympic year with surfers battling it out at one of the most challenging waves on the planet - Teahupoo - seems to stimulate things a bit.

Gladly, there are some popular celebrities willing to entertain us through this rough period of surfing's life.

"The Hardest Part of Surfing? Paddling Out"

Let's start with Ivanka Trump, former senior advisor to the President of the United States and potential future presidential election candidate.

In one of those in-depth, one-chat-covers-it-all interviews with Russian-American computer scientist and podcaster Lex Fridman, Ivanka discusses her views on nearly everything that matters in life.

For instance, surfing. Have you fastened the cliché seatbelt? Ready, set, take off.

"You feel so much more connected knowing how minuscule you are in the broader sense, and I feel that way when I'm on the ocean on a surfboard," expressed Ivanka Trump.

"It's really humbling to be so small amidst that vast sea, and it feels really beautiful, with no noise, no chatter, and no distractions - just being in the moment."

"And you can't fight it, right? You just have to sort of be in it."

"It feels like a lot of water sports are manipulating the environment, and there's something that can be a little violent about it."

"Like, look at windsurfing."

"Whereas with surfing, you're like in harmony with it, so you're not fighting it, you're flowing with it, and you still have like the agency of choosing which waves you're going to surf, and you sit there, and you read the ocean, and you learn to understand it, but you can't control it."

"I actually had the unique experience of one of my first time surfing."

"I only learned a couple of years ago, so I'm not good. I just love it. I love everything about it. I love the physicality; I love being in the ocean, and I love everything about it."

"The hardest thing with surfing is paddling out because when you're like committing, you catch a wave, obviously sometimes you flip over your board, and that doesn't feel great, but when you're in sort of the line of impact, and you've maybe surfed a good wave in and now you're going out for another set, and you get sort of stuck in that impact line, there's like nothing you can do."

"You just sort of sit there, and you try to dive underneath it, and it will pound you and pound you."

"I've been stuck there while, you know, four, five, six waves just like a crash on top of your head, and the worst thing you can do is get reactive and scared and try and fight against it."

"You kind of just have to flow with it until inevitably there's a break and then paddle like hell back out to the line or the beach - that's to me that's the hardest part, the paddling out."

"Having a Pina Colada On Air Commenting Surf? It's Not Technically Work"

Found Ivanka Trump's surfing analysis fun(ny) and entertaining?

Well, if not, we've got more.

This time, a Hollywood star makes fun of her comedian partner's Olympic surfing participation as a commentator for Paris 2024.

Scarlett Johansson's husband, Colin Jost, will provide live insights for NBC's Olympic coverage at Teahupoo, Tahiti.

While promoting her latest movie, "Fly Me to the Moon," on the TV channel's "Today" show, Johansson commented on Jost's task ahead.

"How did he get this gig? Is this a job?" the actress joked.

"When they announced the Paris Olympics, he immediately found out that they were doing the surf competition in Tahiti, which is so cool."

"He loves to surf. We have a place in Montauk, and he's always out there surfing."

"And somehow the dream became a reality, and now he's going to be in Tahiti for two weeks, and I'm like, 'Poor you.'"

"He's like, 'Poor me, I'm going to be all over the place,' and I'm like, 'Are you?'"

"I think if you can have a pina colada on air while you're working - that's not technically work."

Scarlett Johansson may be right. If pro surfers are paid to have fun, how could surf commentary be an occupation?

What are we doing here? We might all close up shop for good, don't you think?


Words by Luís MP | Founder of SurferToday.com

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It's quite a paradox, but summer in the Northern Hemisphere really is surfing's silly season.