Essay Surfing & Communciation Online

Submitted By katherineknox
Words: 632
Pages: 3

Surfing has been a world wide phenomenon since the 1950s. Today the sport cuts all demographics and elements of society, representing a multi-billion dollar industry, a professional sport, a hobby, and a source of stress and mental illness relief. This latter influence of surfing may not be as readily associated with the sport as names such as; Billabong, California, Kelly Slater, Pipe Line or panel vans. An exploration of the sport on the internet through differing digital platforms demonstrates the breadth of sources and forms of information for learning about surfing and its integration into today’s society. Exploring the topic of surfing is achieved through a variety of internet sites and platforms such as websites ( or following professional surfers such as Kelly Slater on Twitter. According to Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) website, Kelly Slater’s rookie season on the ASP surfing tour was 1991 where he was finished with a ranking of 43rd in the world. The following year in 1992 he was crowned ASP World Champion. In tournament earnings, Slater has grossed nearly $3.5 million. Kelly Slater’s Twitter account (@kellyslater) gives an insight into the day-to-day life of a professional sportsman with short grabs of information. Slater tweeted yesterday that when he left Hawaii on the 4th of February 2013 to return to California, the surf conditions were flat and windy, and that he was going to ‘sacrifice to the surf gods’. Slater relays further information from the surfing world through another social media tool, Instagram with a photo of Caleb Moore, a young surfer who recently passed away. The photo management application, Flickr, displays the mental health benefits of surfing in a collection of photos demonstrating stress relieving concepts in life. Within the themed images around metal health, Flickr includes a photo of surfers catching waves in particularly chilly looking water. The Age newspaper in Melbourne maintains an online presence through articles on its website. An article from the 28th March 2010, entitled; ‘Making Waves’ contains an interview with Dr Patrick McGorry (Australian of the Year 2010) and discusses mental health, surfing and the impact the sport has on people’s well-being. The article includes an in-text video of Dr McGorry surfing. The above mentioned digital platforms were selected as part of the exploration of the breadth of influence of surfing on society because of the varying information/sources they provided. Kelly Slater’s tweets…