This week the East Coast Surfing Championships, “the second-longest, continuously-run surfing contest in the world”, hit Virginia Beach. What a party! The event actually started as a party in 1961. This is the stuff all those beach music and movies were born of, except it is live. Much like hearing a band perform vitalizes a recording, attending the ECSC makes one realize what is so exciting about the beach scene that it continues to inspire artists, poets, musicians.
What does this have to do with baseball? Probably nothing. Maybe everything. Is surfing a sport? Some say golf isn’t a sport. Some say baseball isn’t. Technically speaking, they are wrong in both instances, considering the etymology of the word sport. Sport is diversion.
And what is going on here is certainly diverting. There is more than just surfing: there is skateboarding, skimboarding, volleyball, an oceanfront 5K run in which my son and co-author here on SBY is participating, and, the ultimate sport, a swimsuit competition.
As Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys sang, “catch a wave and you’ll be sitting on top of the world”.
— Michael Norton