Friday, October 23, 2009
Arm Raising Shoulder Dweller Accuses Surf Mag Editors of Discrimination
By Guest Goldminer Tim Brimblecombe
SLACKS CREEK – Local arm raiser Ray Smurgon has accused surf magazine editors of discrimination after failing to feature in any magazine or website with his arms up while a surfer rides the barrel.
Mr Smurgon believes the editors are conducting an orchestrated campaign and has accused them of photoshopping him out of images.
“I don’t understand it ... I’ve been to most of the big sessions in the past six months, you name it, I was all over it sticking my hands in the air and playing an important role,” said Mr Smurgon. “But did the back of my head with my arms up get one photo in any of the mags? No. Not fricken one.”
He accused editors of disrespect for failing to acknowledge his work and that of others who dedicate their lives to sitting in the channel or on the shoulder looking like they are taking part but never catching a wave.
“I’m out there on the shoulder, you know, doing the hard yards,” said Mr Smurgon, who admitted he cannot surf and has sometimes had to be saved while returning through the shore break by bodyboarders and young families on vacation. “I’m on good terms with all of the photographers, there’s a lot of mutual respect out there and that’s what comes with being a waterman. But as for the editors ... I don’t see them out there on the frontline.”
Mr Smurgon said several lucrative advertising contracts were under threat because of the poor exposure he received.
“There’s a lot that can be placed on the back of your head, believe you me, and I’ve been working on some new techniques to give advertisers excellent return on their investments.
“I have a new technique, which I call “the line of sight project”. Basically I line the surfer up with the photographer and the back of my mind’s eye. It’s like having an eye, but it’s at the back ... of my mind.
“And that’s not to mention the months of training I put in preparing for the latest big wave season. I spent hours watching Ricky and the boys in the Australian slips cordon during the Ashes and admiring how they raise their arms when appealing.
“I not only marvelled at their passion in the appeal but what also amazed me was the drive they seem to get through the legs. Of course I’m sitting on a board and can’t use my legs so I’ve worked hard developing that drive through my core. I do a lot of SUP ... that’s great for the core.”
Mr Smurgon was unsure what the future held.
“I plan to speak individually with each editor and if they won’t budge then I have a couple of other projects on the go, one of which is my book to be called “Presenting the Eye”, which is basically a how to guide which I hope to have in all good book stores by Christmas.”