Surfing made its Olympic debut this past month in Tokyo at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach. While the sport has never been featured on this world stage, the competition did not disappoint with host country Japan having an athlete medal in both men’s and women’s competitions respectively. The United States behind Carissa Moore claimed one of the first two gold medals handed out for Shortboard surfing, and Ítalo Ferreira of Brazil took home the men’s gold in dominant fashion after breaking his board in the early stages of the gold medal match.
Surfing’s arrival in the Olympics marks a dramatic shift in surfing’s visibility and arrival in the mainstream sports world on a global stage, and with the increased visibility comes intrigue. The question of fairness was posed by many as the waves were subpar for most competitions due to weather, but the sport known for the beautiful imperfections as part of the experience delivered an imperfectly beautiful competition. The waves were rough, the gold medal winner’s board broke, but the stoke couldn’t have been higher for those who participated in the first ever olympic surf and those of us who got to witness history.
Here in San Diego surfing is a staple and beloved by the local community and us. The beaches, cliffs, and waves make up a unique variety of conditions that suit veterans and beginners just a couple of miles apart. Our unique style transitioning from the beach to being out on the town is unmatched by any other surf city and at its best represents how rich the city is for surfing everyday.