MU Surf Refines Competition

Competition. It is a term that follows most, if not all activities. Competition is a way to understand who is the best. The Broncos won the Super Bowl and are regarded as the best team in football. The same can be said for the Golden State Warriors after their championship run last year. However, asking who is the “best” surfer will not offer the same clear-cut answer.

From a young age, competitive surfers enter contests in order to qualify for competition in the World Surfing League (WSL). The WSL aims to give the world of surfing their very own Peyton Manning or Stephen Curry. However, in the surfing industry, contests are not the only way to make a living. Freesurfers make up the other half of the surfing world. These surfers choose not to compete and instead gain exposure and sponsorships through photos, video edits and surfing films.

Whichever side you fall into, the tough question still exists, “Who is the best surfer in the world?” Adriano DeSouza tallied the most points on the World Championship tour last year, however that may not make him the best surfer… Can we deny the Craig Andersons and the Asher Paceys of the world their shot at being the best? It’s a tough call.

Sophomore student-surfer, John Waldron offered his opinion, “Adriano rips, but a world title doesn’t mean he’s the best. Freesurfers go for broke every time they take off on a wave because they don’t have to worry about scores and judges.” Waldron continued, “Competitive surfing works if it remains unique. As soon as surfing becomes football, I’m out.”

Waldron’s opinion is increasingly becoming that of many surfers around the world. Many are worried that an increase in new money and new sponsorships could change surfing and those involved.

“Competitive surfing is fun to watch, but sometimes taken too seriously. I think the competitive aspect can definitely take the fun out of surfing,” says junior student-surfer Alex Krenkel.

Either way, it’s competition season! No matter who your are, surfers in general cannot wait to see the “best in the biz” duke it out over the best waves Mother Ocean has to offer.

The young-ins are chomping at the bit to thrash their National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) heat to bits. And the Kelly Slater’s of the WSL’s Championship Tour are preparing to go head-to-head with their counterparts in the upcoming Oi Rio Pro in Brazil this May.

While Krenkel says, “I want to see Kelly Slater win the Rio Pro. He’s definitely due for a win.” Waldron states, “I’d love to see Kolohe Andino win the Rio Pro. I feel like that wave suits his surfing pretty well.”

While, the guys love to watch the pros do what they do best, individual surfing progression is always at the top of a surfer’s priority list. A surfer can only watch so many near-perfect waves without getting anxiety about their next session. For the boys of MU Surf, the competitive aspect could become a reality sooner than later.

“MU Surf will be competing next year! We have begun the process of becoming a club sport. If we keep surfing and pushing each other to do our best like we have been, I have no doubt we will succeed,” says junior Surf Club president Tyler Sankey.

As Monmouth transitions into summer, the Surf Club will begin to prepare for next fall semester. MU Surf will do what it takes to keep the club unique and to stimulate growth. Competition should not be praised nor condemned. It is simply another untapped resource for Monmouth Surf Club to gain exposure. Monmouth Surf will not allow surfing competition to change it, Monmouth Surf will change competition.