Surfing is constantly evolving and so is the technology that comes with it. Most of the new technology leads to advancements – thrusters, inflatable life vests, zinc cream, neoprene and those after surf towel smock changy thingies have all made life better. However every now and again some bright spark comes with an idea whose execution actually takes surfing backwards. Here are a few.
Front Foot Deck Grip
Deck grip, on its own, has been one of the great accessory technology leaps of our time. Eliminating the need to reapply wax and providing consistent grip and tail protection, it was, and remains, genius. An idea of such genius, in fact, that in the latter part of the 1980s people could think of no reason not to apply the principle to the whole board. In doing so though, it tipped from genius to sheer stupidity. The reason was simple, front foot deck grip and surfing in boardshorts went together like vomit and sex. Unfortunately not only did it provide grip for your front foot, it also was a fantastic adhesive to your stomach and acted as a cheesegrater does to a block of parmesan. The resulting rash meant the front foot deck grip died out in the early ’90s, just after both Barton Lynch and Damien Hardman won world titles on it. They have the trophies, and the scars, to prove it.