Roger Cox: Time to wave goodbye to surfer stereotype
Up until fairly recently, the world thought it knew what a surfer looked like: young, male, dishevelled, besandalled and laid-back almost to the point of being catatonic – Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, in other words, give or take a couple of IQ points either way. As surfing has grown, however (and it really has grown – the International Surfing Association now estimates there are 23 million surfers worldwide) the old cliché of the nice-but-dim Southern California surf dude has come to seem hopelessly out of date. For proof, look no further than the line-up for this year’s Ocean Film Festival tour, which stops off in Edinburgh and Inverness later this month, with a further Scottish date in Glasgow towards the end of October. This carefully-curated selection of shorts profiles divers, kayakers and sailors as well as surfers, but two of the featured wave-riders in particular are a perfect illustration of how diverse the “sport of kings” has now become.