There are no Kiwi surfers on the World Tour. Which is strange when you think about it. Australia has 11 (12 if you count Glen Hall) surfers on tour as well as the current ASP World Champion, Parko. So what's the difference? Maybe its the set up. Maybe its the waves. Or the wind. Or the fact that everyone in New Zealand is too busy playing Rugby, rearing sheep and appearing in J.R.R. Tolkien films to have time to surf. Or maybe its because in New Zealand when they do manage to tear themselves away from the quest for the One Ring and head out in to the brine they spend their time doing stuff like this...
Now. There's nothing wrong with training animals to surf. And thanks to the ever resourceful Kiwi's I can now add pig to the list of other surfing animals that plague the net: Dog, Hamster, Shane Dorian I've seen them all. But it 'aint going to challenge your World Title is it Joel?...
But there is a monopoly that exists with all but 6 ASP Tour surfers coming from either Hawaii (which the surfing world seems to think has gained independence from the rest of the USA) , Oz (no surprises there), USA or Brazil.
In fact out of the top 38 surfers in the world only 9 countries are represented, with only 2 surfers from Europe, 3 if you count Glen Hall. It's a monopoly that needs to be broken, and fast, for the sake of the sport and its worldwide appeal. There is often a protectionist nature that dwells within us surfers. An instinct to keep surfing just for ourselves; with secret spots, surf slang and cliquey localism as just a couple of examples.
Its a delicate balance. Packed line-ups in Hawaii, Bali and California cause bust ups and bad feeling, however, how many of us in Britain can really claim we've been in a properly packed line up? The popularity of surfing is only going one way so we may as well embrace it and try to capitalise on what that popularity can bring. If we don't it'll only get more popular anyway, just without any of the benefits.
So come on Kiwi's, Brit's, The World. Surfing is big time. Get some money behind it and let's get out there and do what Brits, Kiwi's and almost everyone in the world like doing best... Beating Australian's. Or maybe training different animals to surf... Either/Or really.
Could there possibly be a better incentive than that?