At pretty much every beach in the world there are groms, and there are the hot rippers. The rippers nuture the groms, push them into waves, give them crap, get them into mischief, sanction them when they go too far, call them into bombs, and laugh when they get drilled.
When the groms start growing they start answering back, they get more crap. When they start charging, the rippers give them less room but still hoot them on. At a certain point they will start competing for sets. At this point it is “mano o mano”, they both want to be ‘the man’ and get ‘the bomb’, but the grom is still the grom and the ripper still holds a certain psychological sway over them.
The groms love and hate this routine in equal measure, but deep down they know this intricate relationship with the role model in their life has carved out their character and nutured their talent.
The old guys, well they just love seeing the groms grow up into men. Deep down they hope they become the surfers they dream to be, and be decent humans. BUT they still want to go deeper on the next set, and they still want respect. And if they don’t get respect, then they pull out the age card or just fade the grom into the pit…Even though the grom may be 45 by now!
It is one of surfing greatest traditions and it has kept a lot of kids the straight and narrow over the years. When the ripper is JOB, the grom is John John and the local is Pipe it is on a slightly different level, but in essence it is the same game that has played out on every beach in every country in the world since surfing was introduced.
We like that!