Customs
Folk Beliefs
Protection
Signs

Never Say Goodbye

Background:

My informant is a twenty-five year old USC graduate who splits his time between Los Angeles and his home in La Jolla, CA. The informant is a lab assistant but spends the majority of his free time surfing. It’s both a personal passion and family activity that has taken him all over the world.

Performance:

“Surfers are pretty superstitious, which is crazy just because of how, like, chill we’re supposed to be (chuckles). But one thing is that you never tell people you’re leaving…like, if you’re out there and you know that you’re going to just like, get one more and then go in, you don’t say it. You just paddle in and like, you’re done. If you tell people, like, ‘hey I’m going to go’ it basically brings like, really awful conditions. Like, no waves and stuff for anyone else. Not cool. Don’t do it!”

Thoughts:

This is both etiquette and superstition. It seems to speak to the limited time most people have available to surf. People tend to talk about surfing and surf culture like it’s pseudo-religious; there is a spiritual importance to the individuality of a surfing experience. In this case, it seems like the act of ending your own session is tantamount to ending everyone else’s. You’re supposed to let everyone have as much or as little of their own time to surf and do your own thing.

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