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Byron Shire
August 6, 2021

Surf abuse

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Paul Bibby’s front page story suggested an abusive surf culture was more a factor in surf rage than overcrowding and inexperience. I couldn’t agree more. Chest thumping is to blame, not kooks.

Our hyper-masculine surf culture is a form of social Darwinism. Aggression and dominance are seen by many as the way to win waves. This toxic culture venerates ripping up the best waves – communing with nature, or fraternising with mates, are ancillary objectives.

We saw this a few years ago when, amid great panic about shark attacks, a local boardrider’s club drew international headlines with its obscene advocacy of a shark cull. Our surf culture is about mastery over nature and dominating the weak. Some work is definitely needed.


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