In the past, male and female professional surfers rarely ever united. Boys did their thing and girls did their own, separately. They were different cultures. But times have a way of changing. And now we have a retreat’s worth of smitten surf couples. A boat trip fling might lead to a flourishing relationship that could lead to marriage. And all this romance has been oozing over to social media. Some professional surfer couples are relentless with enamored Instagram posts. They shout their love from atop the Hashtag Mountain for all of followers to hear. Traditional masculinity is shoved aside to make way for modern endearment. Is this grand? Is it wretched? Chas Smith and Brendan Buckley take stands.
Chas Smith: I love that the surfer boys are all so in love and so public with their love. I think it is adorable.
Brendan Buckley: I too love the love. I once went as far as saying that I wish Gabriel Medina and Carissa Moore would procreate — a comment that I stand by. However, there is one thing that irks me about these relationships. You know what I’m talking about?
CS: I don’t. Tell me. What could possibly give you pause about young love with the added bonus of possibly making super surfing progeny? Is it all the affection on Instagram? #missingyou
BB: Exactly. Instagram has a way of sullying otherwise good things. It is turning our culture into a socially inept group of chumps that know no interaction other than thumbing through boring, filtered photos. It takes these surfy relationships and warps them into nervous displays of artificial affection.
CS: Why must you be so caustic? So darkened? Did Instagram break your heart? I will admit that some people do stream the blandest portraits of a life poorly lived. I can do without pictures, for example, of sunsets. But young love? I choose to believe that the surfy relationships and corresponding photographic proof are true. I choose to believe that the surfing man has evolved and is no longer scared about his sexuality. He is free to be sensitive! #cantwaittoseethisgirl
BB: Youthful love is one of the world’s most precious treasures, along with diamonds, gold and spiced rum. But young love should be kept busy doing young love things. It should amuse itself by drinking spiced rum and having sex in public restrooms, using thumbs to stimulate instead of scroll. It is meant to live, not to post. My concern is that these surf couples’ minds are fogged with worry about their public images. It’s a toxic obsession. How many people will like this? What do the comments say? How many new followers did I gain today? They fuss so much over this that they forget to actually live. They forget to actually love.
CS: But social media is the language of the young. It is the way they communicate with each other and communicate with the world. Certainly, at times, I don’t understand it either but I chalk it up to being old. What I applaud in these young men’s Insta stream is their lack of misogyny and their full embrace of their women.
BB: Social media may be the language of the young, but would a real man ever use any actual language to say, “sad eyes when we’re apart” to his dear? I don’t think so. This hashtagging is not born in our inherent desire to love, it’s from our adopted desire for likes. I think this trend is indicative of a raging flame of insecurities. A flame that, if not snuffed soon, could permanently damage a man’s dignity.
CS: I like to think that these boys have enough internal fortitude to weather storms of criticism. They are young poets. They are boys in love. It is like we are living in the Renaissance and the male slut caveman days are over. Good riddance, I say. Wear your hearts on your sleeves, I say. #toniiiiggggghhhtweareyoung
BB: So you believe that the male gender as a whole is at a turning point here? And that we will collectively turn into a group that expresses our love through hashtags?
CS: #itisthebeginningofagreatera #slystallonewouldhavehashtaggedinrockyiftheyexistedbackthen #adrian!
How do you feel about the incessant public displays of affection? Should the culprits be tarred and feathered? Should their likenesses be sculpted and placed at the foot of HB pier? Do share your opinions.