I was supposed to be taking a break, but the daily news feed has moved the TDF (tubbyland Defense Forces) onto the second highest state of military alert, and you called it correctly. Once again the PRC is the bad element in the global woodpile. I shall attempt to deal with this situation in visual terms, but that does not lessen the fear.
The Great Southern Land is noted for thongs (flip flops to you aliens), casual sex, weapons grade ganga, cricket, rapid uptake of digital technologies and gormless politicians, but most of all for its Endless Summer surfing culture.
And, as you would expect, this culture supports a healthy artisanal industry of board designers, shapers, manufacturers and boutique surf shops.
From Bells Beach to Brisbane, Australia’s board builders are facing a choice: close down, or try to preserve local designs and branding by applying them to products made abroad.
“Surfing is almost our national pastime,” Blauw (Spokesdude for the Oz Surfboard Manufacturers) said of the birthplace of the three-finned “thruster” surfboard in 1981, which changed maneuverability and revolutionized the sport. “But small manufacturers like ourselves are shutting down left, right and center.”
Okay, lets give the xenophobia a rest and look at a positive development on the beachscape. Is surfing still the preserve of white dudes and dudesses (I worry about the latter), but we are experiencing a national emergency here.
Brief answer, no.
IQ Test. Which Asian nation is making a major imprint on the Oz surf scene: DPROK, Formosa, Cambodia or Japan.
And no holiday to the Caribbean if you selected Japan.
Japanese tourists and long-stays are now a commonplace in the waves and rapidly gaining a presence in competitions. Fearless on big waves and deft in the pipeline, and probably successful with Oz beach babes to boot.
And the really hot dude to watch is 16 year old Hiroto Arai, originally from Chiba Japan, who still retains his Japanese good manners – “I’m so happy to win here in Queensland. All surfers are fantastic here and I feel honoured to take out the event,” he said – after winning the Rip Curl Grom Search at Coolum Beach reported Surfing NSW.
HERE is a link to the best surf websites around incl French (Teahupoo) and Japanese sites.
You will note that I linked the the seminal Oz surf movie Endless Summer above. Well, here is a bit of Japanese reverse engineering.
And how better to finish this piece. Aliens, eat your hearts out.
Back Link on more Surf Culture:
Nov 20 2011
Manifest Destiny meets the Pacific.