As we outlined in previous posts, our vision at Surf ATL is to connect, grow, and foster the joy of riding waves here in Atlanta. And we aim to accomplish this via a community-driven, wave-focused culture with accessibility for all.
Like most tribal experiences on the Internet (or in real life for that matter), if you choose to go down the rabbit hole of comments or threads in surf communities you will find strong and even (ghasp!) negative opinions about surf experiences that don’t fit a person’s own world view.
If you grew up at the beach, ocean waves are true surfing and nothing else compares.
If you grew up near a lake or river, wake or river surfing gets you stoked and ocean surfers don’t get you. Plus they seem a little holier than thou.
And if your only surfing experience is in a wave pool, you may as well not show up in the comments. You’re viewed as a kook from the jump.
It’s as predictable as it is silly. Especially when you consider each of us as prospective surfers are placed in this world at different times and different places of which we have no control.
Do we all need to live or move, once its in our control, within an hour of the beach in order to be a true surfer?
We say no.
We’ve lived at the beach and surfed ocean waves. We’ve live inland and wake surfed and river surfed. We’ve surfed technology-driven waves.
These are all complementary experiences that may seem disparate in nature but can be pieced together through one thing — joy. They all brought us joy.
When you combine that joy, which is what we are all chasing as surfers anyway, with the ability to enhance our own surfing skillset through these complementary avenues, what does it really matter what you are surfing on as long as you are surfing.
View Through The Appropriate Lens
Put simply, there is no replacement for ocean surfing.
You can’t replicate paddling out in the force of mother nature, jockeying with other surfers (but hopefully not too many), picking the right wave, navigating the drop-in and unpredictable lines you encounter after your drop-in with the hopes of making it through a 5–8 second ride. Only to turn around and do it all over again without getting pounded on the paddle back out or waiting 30 minutes between waves.
And we don’t want to replace that. It is its own experience and as Surf ATL grows and more people are introduced to surf culture we should encourage those people to go experience ocean waves because it will enhance their appreciation for the power and beauty of the ocean and the waves we ride there.
By that same token, the sheer repetition afforded by wake surfing, river surfing or technology-driven waves delivers is its own unique experience and can scale the skill of wave-riding at a pace the ocean simply doesn’t regularly provide.
When you add in the direct access of quality waves without having to hop in a plane or car for multiple hours, these outlets can be beneficial in cost and environmental savings as well.
If viewed through the appropriate lens, each type of wave experience affords a benefit to the end-user. And, again, if it brings the end-user joy then all the better.
Build the Connection
At Surf ATL, we want to build that connection across all surfers and wave-riders.
We want to introduce connect people to waves. We want to grow their ability and love for waves. We want to foster that through whatever avenue they want to pursue — ocean surfing, wake surfing, river surfing or pool surfing.
And we want you to help us do it.
So engage, share and connect!
Or if you want to reach out to us with questions, ideas, or just general good vibes, contact us here!