I have to add the "written by" part, just incase there are a few angry birds out there who would like to question me directly, but I do, seriously believe, we as a community are in the middle of a high for bodyboarding in the Kwazulu Natal area, and here is why...
Now before this gets underway, in no way do I condone what started this whole snowball but I do however find positives in all of it, so this is what id like to share...
Put away the boxing gloves for a minute, well in this and most cases nowadays, throw away your keyboard fingers and take a stab at this angle... Bodyboarding in the last lets say, decade, has been on he downfall. The industry has shrunk, the contest are no longer and the basic character of a bodyboarder, has slowly vanished. Its sad but its true. You see bodyboarding, when I was a grom, had a lot more "fcuk you" than it did "thank you" if you catch my drift. Bodyboarders were proud to be bodyboarders, and we couldn't give a flying who said what, we would always be out there doing our thing. I loved that about bodyboarders. Which in this case got me thinking, starting off with character and venturing into the actual industry of our beloved "sport"
Chapter 1 : Character
Who gives a fuck.
That is more the story of a 'core' bodyboard of the past. The bodyboarder 90% of us fell involve with which is why we pursued this thing. We had our own style, our own identity, our own swagger. I frothed it as a grom. Picking up a standup board never even crossed my mind, because bodyboarders were the "rebels" they were having a shit load more fun and it didn't matter who was around, they did their thing and it was epic!
So incase you were reading this and were not aware of the current situation online. The Central KZN bodyboarders, are in the most incredible Facebook war. Which in my opinion is fckin amazing! I think, for the first time in years, I'm witnessing bodyboards, have a backbone! It all started with a post from a bodyboarder in KZN who had a little Facebook rant about an 'altercation' between the piers during a recent "swell" which went pretty nuts! There were so many people jumping onboard, majority bodyboarders, but they were all letting loose of this fuming, growly, spewing animal inside! All sorts of personal jabs were thrown, companies names, personal vendetta's, old school stories, new school stories... Fuck, everything that had been swept under the carpet for years, was all coming out with zero filter for anybodies business, or feelings....
I thought to myself, that its hilarious! Then I thought, fuck me, this is real. Like this is the modern day, " Take me to the beach and beat me up" kinda thing.... Like Facebook is hectic and these bodyboarders weren't holding back!
The identity. Zero fucks given. Its back.
Then I took a while to process and I started to read deeper into the emotionally written posts and started seeing more...
Chapter two : The Industry
Now you obviously never wish bad onto anybodies life or business, well most of us dont. I began to see a few comon denominators who were so emotionally attached to the recent Facebook rant, that nothing was off limits... Their were even store owners having a go at my company! Which at first, bothered me for a second, then I was flattered, then I thought, " Holy shit! "
If a store is bothered by the fact that my business is effecting there income, that means that my business is growing, our manufacturing plant is growing, our numbers are growing, therefore, the industry is growing!
Who cares what he said and how he said it, the bodyboard industry is on the rise! Now I don't blame him or the other emotionally responsive guys who wear a heart on the sleeve. Infact, I'm kinda stoked on it. A lot of the misguided statements were made at me for an Instagram post I made : https://www.instagram.com/p/BeiMAA0g-L2/?taken-by=michaelostler Which was basically a post directed at those who claim rights, yet weren't physically in the water claiming them. Wrong or right of me? Who cares, the bigger picture is that people got emotionally involved, from a deep level. Not one or two guys either, this whole front of anger and rage, actually stems from a place of passion and love. Which is the reason for this post!
The industry is growing, we have stores and we have manufacturing plants in Durban South Africa. Solely dedicated to the selling and manufacturing of bodyboards and bodyboard equipment. That is fcking epic!
Chapter Three : Tomorrow
What happens tomorrow. Do we wake up and fight or say sorry and move on. My vote, neither. I think tomorrow, we wake up and realize this intense passion we have, how many people share it. I think we wake up knowing that our industry is growing and this opens so many doors . I think we wake up tomorrow and stop Facebook trolling and start training for the next big swell, where ever it may be, get fit and get out there, greet your fellow booger and let your riding do the talking!
We are all in this together, lets take control of our identity and make this sport what it has alway been!