Dear Stab Mag, Do Better.

By John Snow.

“They say three’s a crowd, but thankfully we don’t count prone parties”.

A caption supporting a recent post from Stab Magazine of two surfers dropping in on a bodyboarder, at what looked like an overly crowded session.

The caption is derogatory towards bodyboarders, and the underlying message is that superiority exists for those whose ride on a surfboard.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m ‘prone’ to a lot of pisstake, and this is what my humour is geared towards. But I would never disrespect anyone in the water based on the craft they ride, nor claim superiority over them under any circumstance.

This really makes me beg the question – in this day and age, is it still considered acceptable to be promoting hate speech or discrimination of any kind? Simply swap out the word ‘prone’ in the caption with a marginalised community of any sort, and it becomes blatant hate speech and discrimination.

I’ve had my fair share of run ins with local hero’s because I ride on a bodyboard. But I’ve always brushed it off, because generally when the surf gets to a half decent size, those same hero’s are nowhere to be seen and the superiority complex can be likened to a form of small man syndrome.

Furthermore, in lineups of consequence, you will generally find a complete mutual respect between surfers and bodyboarders, and a vast majority of the professional surfing community (those that are any good), respect the bodyboarding community.

Why? Because surfing actually owes a lot to the bodyboarding community. Let’s not forget the amount of big wave discoveries that were championed by bodyboarders, or pushing the limits of what is considered rideable or paddleable. Not to mention aerial surfing actually owes a lot to the progressive bodyboarding days of the 1990s and early 2000s.

I believe peaceful action is required by both the bodyboarding and surfing community to stamp out these forms of discrimination. If you see it, please call it out for what it is.

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