One of the things I love about surfing is that traditionally it is a great leveler. It doesn't matter what social group you belong to, how far up the career ladder you have got, or how much financial wealth you have on land. All that stuff is left behind and doesn't account for anything when you are in line up.
But in recent times I have seen a significant shift in this paradigm. For I have noticed wealth indicators have snuck in to the domain of surfing that was previously free from such things, on the whole. These days it is becoming more and more about the purchase of kit, expensive kit at that. Certain brands of boards are given vast amounts of kudos, not because they have been hand crafted by a master shaper, nor because they have any heritage. More over they have come in to this world by way of a CNC router, much the same as the majority of mass produced boards, regardless of their price. They have the label, a cute little name and a price tag that puts them at the top end of most peoples budgets. The same goes for wetsuits. These days so many of these have become branded luxury goods, designer suits if you will. But really, does the level of warmth and comfort justify the crazy price? Personally I wouldn't know, because even if I could afford to do so, I would never spend that much on a wetsuit, or a suit, suit for that matter. But from what I hear, they don't match up to the hype. A mid range suit will almost certainly keep you just as warm and will undoubtedly last just as long.
This might come across as being a bit like sour grapes, I can assure you that it isn't the case. For I come from the school of thought that says that it doesn't matter what you ride, what you wear to keep you warm, or how much money you shell out on surfing kit. If you have the moves, the skill the style, you get the respect and admiration, oh, I should also add the right attitude, that last little attribute is priceless. Buying the latest, greatest designer kit won't make anyone surf better. In fact the ocean has a funny habit of making anyone look like a goose, no matter how much money they spent on their premium board and suit combo.
Yuk! Chanel 'surfboards'. I bet they ride well.