To nobody’s surprise, a $120,000 bronze attempt to honor the surfing community was a failure. In Cardiff, Ca on July 22nd, a commissioned statue by the Cardiff Botanical Society entitled “Magic Carpet Ride” was unveiled. Since that time, a bunch of criticism has been raised from the surfing community.
If you are a surfer, you may be able to see right away why it might get criticism: He is scrawny, and his pose is off. Without knowing from Matthew Antichevich (the statues’ creator), it would be hard to know what the surfer is doing. According to him, the surfer is doing a “floater”. Doesn’t look like it to me. Last time I did a floater which was Saturday, my back definitely wasn’t that straight and my arms so bird-like. It looks more like a beginner trying to keep his balance. But if that was the case, he wouldn’t be getting spray from his measly turns. Not to mention, he looks a little whimpy. Which is why some pranksters took it up themselves to dress him up one day in a pink bikini top, skirt, and lucha lubre mask (see the pic at the bottom of this post). Apparantly Matthew, the creator of the statue has surfing experience himself. If that was the case, would he really name the statue “magic carpet ride”?
I don’t think it’s the statue itself however that caused the criticism. Matt Warshaw, the author of the “Encyclopedia of Surfing”, said:
“When outsiders try, more often than not, they get it wrong. And if they do get it right, surfers are too cool to even see it.”
He added that in this case it was a “misfire” because it didn’t accurately show a true surfing move. A Cardiff local and writer Chris Ahrens, mentioned how surfing is becoming overly popular as it is, with surf spots being overran by rookies. He also said:
“Our identity is being ripped off,” Ahrens said. “Surfing has become big business. They’ve taken our words, our styles.”
I can see where he is coming from, as most surfers are trying to slow the explosing of surfing popularity to protect the population of their home break. We don’t want to see statues erected to celebrate the sport of surfing; we don’t want more parking lots paved to near our favorite spots. We want clean beaches; we want the environment to stay entact; we want our good waves in our favorite spots to stay good. Surfers are probably mostly upset at the fact that they paid $120,000 for that piece of
crap metal. They could have done a mass cleaning of the Cardiff water; or a huge beach sweep of pollution; or maybe use that money to stop companies along the coast from putting pollutants into the water. I am sure there are even better ideas I didn’t quickly think of.
With many good wave spots becoming super crowded and many surfers feeling “under siege”, a statue like this just adds fuel to the fire. As the Union Tribune reported, Surfer Magazine a few months ago had a pole asking readers what they thought about a new HBO series called “John From Cincinnati,” 15% said “Hollywood should leave surfing and surfers, alone – forever.” We are tired of movies like Point Break and Blue Crush which don’t depict the surfing scene at it’s core, and try to capitalize on the “glamor” of surfing.
Now that the statue is up, Hansens Surfboards is going to try and help clean up the mess. On his blog, Josh Hansen said:
“I am optimistic that with some effort from all parties involved we might be able to do something to fix the statue. Don’t quote me on this, but if there is any chance of a fix we will be involved.” I guess I am quoting him on it, but it will be interesting to see what that fix might be, beside melting it down. There is talk about turning it around and having it face the water as well.
If you want to hear what more local surfers are saying about this statue, check out Surfer Mags Report.
And, if you feel like getting pissed off, read this guys lame rebuttle to the article.
Well, no matter what, some surfers had a field day with it: