What are three most annoying things in surfing? Pissed off locals, paddle boarders, and body boarders. Depending where you surf at, you can get all three in one day. The funny thing is they basically share all the same traits: body boarders and locals will charge everything and paddle boarders according to the laws of “I have a paddle and you don’t” must be there for every clean set taking wave after wave. Angry locals I have little sympathy for, just share the surf man…nobody owns the ocean. Paddle boarders can be okay, but a lot the time they just end up taking every wave they can. However, I have some respect for body boarders, and its for good reason. For many years, the sponger was almost like the annoying kid that would run up and down the beach destroying sand castles; but the infamous sponger has evolved. Body boarders have developed into the people that will take the waves that surfers simply can’t, whether its massive bombs or tiny barrels. Most spongers nowadays go where surfers either won’t or rarely do, they venture the dangerous frontier of places like the Wedge and Shipsterns. A perfect example of this new breed of spongers is Lewy Finnegan who forged an addiction to sponging when he was 16 and has been doing it since. The video below highlights his rise to fame in the world of spongers.
Another great example is the guys who chased the Yeti, no explanation needed, just check out the video.
Spongers are the unsung heroes of slabs, the unseen experimenters of waves who say, “yes, you can surf this”, they are the vigilantes of surf…a dark knight. Ok I’m probably giving them to much credit, but maybe the next time you see a sponger after he takes a closing freight train of a wave, make sure to give him a little nod of thanks.