"Kids resent organizations," says Don Murray. "In surfing you just pick up your board and go—no rules, no uniforms, no one you have to compete with. Skin diving has a similar appeal, but surfing's cheaper. Sports where the majority of the participants are teen-agers are hard to organize. It's going to take adult and civic cooperation. Kids are too irresponsible. 'What do I get out of it?' they say. 'What do I care about Seal Beach? I live in Malibu.'"
One of the main problems surfing faces is that there is an increasing number of surfers and a decreasing number of good surfing beaches. Many West Coast towns have closed their beaches to surfing or limited it to specific hours. The construction of new harbors has eliminated other surfing areas. The California Fish and Game Department is now building concrete structures underwater to attract fish, and it is the USSA's fond hope that these can be somehow located in places where they will create artificial reef surf.
"Surfing is not controlled by the people in it," says Murray, "but by those who control the beaches. These people are not necessarily interested in the surfer's welfare. The beach cities should make some provision for surfers. We don't question the swimmer's rights; everyone questions the surfer's. Los Angeles and San Diego generally have good attitudes; it is those scrubby little beach towns that are always yelling about the bunch of bums that come down on weekends and louse up their beaches. What do those towns have to offer anyway? Why don't they exploit surfing?"
"The serious surfer isn't any better or worse than the typical teen-ager," says Joyce Hoffman. "Maybe he's a little bit rowdier, that's all. You can find the crumbs in everything. You see what you want to see. Aristotle—one of those big philosophers—said the same thing 2,000 years ago: 'Gee, this new generation is going to pot.' It's just natural, I guess.
"Surfing's really neat. The ocean and the mountains are the neatest—the way the ocean can change so fast, just like the mountains. Every wave is different. Every beach is different. It's really a neat feeling, this big thing between you and nature. You have to outthink the wave, you're mastering nature, you're making the wave give you something. It really kills me to see beginners wasting a wave, not getting anything out of it. If we ever had to move inland I'd run away. I wouldn't want to be one of those inland jerks."