I will tell anyone who cares to listen that I grew up surfing. Never mind that I have probably surfed a handful of times in the last decade. But up until I finished school I surfed most weekends and enjoyed more uncrowded after-school daylight saving sessions than I had time for. Homework? Meh, I’ll be surfing when I finish school, what can go wrong with that?
Well, things happen, time passess. You travel, you grow, you see other things; for god knows what reason you become involved in an industry that has about as much in common with surfing as the independents do with our new government. But you soldier on, you look for meaning and purpose in the things you consume; you crave it.
Patagonia knows exactly what I mean. They provide clothing and gear for the traveller, the adventurer, the sportsperson and environmentalist alike. Patagonia’s kit, in fact, is all about the environment, but they don’t flaunt it. It just is, and that’s the way I like it.
Patagonia board shorts, for example, feel familiar but aren’t retro in that tiresome way. They’re not labelled to within an inch of their life, or in shocking colours. Their production is environmentally friendly and their style suggests free surfing cool as opposed to competition and aggression; it’s more the discerning surfer, if you will.
As testament to their ethos even their sponsorship partners are unique and more about lifestyle than dollars – so Gerry Lopez, the Malloy brothers and even Wayne Lynch make up their amazing but motley crew of riders. More Johanna than Bells Beach, if you know what I mean.
Basically, they don’t need to look green to prove their worth; they just are.