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WY Recommends: What to do when the sky is actually falling?


Well, it’s official. Covid-19 is wreaking havoc around the globe and has even barged its way into the cloistered little world of surfing. The WSL has called off all events at least through March, and most probably beyond, and surely other regional and specialty events are also soon to follow (Sorry Stab, that was going to be a hoot) as virtually all major sporting comps have now been canceled or postponed. NBA, PGA, NCAA, and almost every other sports acronym have all shut it down. The Summer Olympics in Tokyo almost surely the next to be making a cancelation announcement.

Ironically, however, just going for a simple surf might be one thing we still can do. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), most viruses quickly dilute and/or cannot survive in a marine environment, which makes it highly unlikely the latest coronavirus can be spread through an ocean-based transmission. Probably not a bad idea to continue with some basic hygiene though.

Wave pools on the other hand, like regular pools and spas, rely on proper maintenance and treatment with chlorine and bromine to keep them safe from pathogens and viruses. If you’re feeling brave you can take your chances on that one given the Petri-like environment and close proximity to other humans, etc., but the CDC says normal maintenance practices should treat pool/spa water adequately.

Surfing just may keep us sane through these crazy times.

One selfish question being what will keep our little surf-addled minds busy when we’re not actually surfing? Where’s our damn content going to come from? No comps to watch, surely Cote is going to run out of things to Surf Break about, and how many times can you watch Dane’s Fairly Normal episode?

That in mind, we curated a short list of suggested viewing to get you through the long days ahead.

First up, Taylor Steele’s Momentum Files, which were recently released on a YouTube page. All the names we know and love in a large library from the classics to the behind the scenes/cutting room floor stuff that can be so entertaining. And it’s all free!

Lost Enterprises Films. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a single-stop home for these classics but we’ll start you off here with ”What’s really goin’ Wrong” and let the rabbit hole take you in from there. Still timeless, with some of the best soundtracks ever. Not the best reproductions, but you’ll get the basic idea.

Dear Suburbia. Truly one of the all-time best surf movies ever made and it’s still pulling down $8.00 or so to watch 8 years later. Shit, the Japan section alone is worth the coin. Every surfer should have this download on the hard drive and watch on repeat. Just buzz by the topless chick with the donut.

Free Ride. This one is a bit tricky to find. It doesn’t seem to have been digitally copied so you’re going to have to find either an original DVD (here) or maybe a pirated copy somewhere. Most of us aren’t even old enough to remember, but this movie was a precursor to much of the modern surfing we see today. Buggs, Shaun, MR, and the boys “busted down the door” and set the North Shore ablaze. 

Five Summer Stories. Another timeless classic, FSS is available on Ira Opper’s site (here) which also has a ton of other classic and vintage titles. It requires a subscription but it’s well worth it. 

Last but not least, the What Youth YouTube page. Yes, we had to toot our horn a bit. With over 400 shorts, trailers, interviews, and exclusive shows, from personalities ranging from Tommy Chong to Kelly Slater, the WY page can be a deep and very entertaining dive.

To summarize:

  1. Wash your hands often
  2. Surf alone
  3. Watch some classic surf vids

We’ll get through this.

What Youth

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