Rasta surf ideology has been around since the sixties. Around this time surfing was associated with places like the Hawaiian and South Pacific Islands, Australia, South Africa, USA, Mexico, Indonesia and Brazil. As surfing has developed into a multi million dollar industry, more and more out of the way surfing spots have been found and promoted by intrepid surfers worldwide. People even surf the Thames in London and the icy waves of the Atlantic in places like the Hamptons and Cornwall.
The Caribbean surfing seemed to be focused on the islands on the Atlantic side like Puerto Rico and Barbados.Jamaica, being tucked up under Cuba in the calm of the Caribbean Sea was not known as a surfing destination in those days. The rasta surf mythology was just a natural metamorphisis for the values of surfing.
Reggae music, Rastafarian livity and surfing have always had a natural connection.A reverence for the mighty power of mother nature and a symbiotic journey with her in a harmless personal meditation.
It may be a surprise to many that the surfing scene has been chugging along nicely in Jamaica since the sixties. Intrepid young souls were riding Boston and Wreck on home made boards fashioned from refrigerator foam, laminated with resin and fibre glass drapery cloth, and using black electrical tape to make racing stripes.
Jamaica is blessed with an eight month surf season and the remaining four months of flat time broken up into short one or two week spells.This has provided the perfect raw material for the development of Jamaican surfing.
The new millennium is here and now a sport that was not even thought to exist in Jamaica is clawing its way to the surface and every day new and exciting developments unfold.New spots have been ridden and old ones lost in the recent spate of hurricanes that have unleashed their fury on the Caribbean.The world famous Zoo was destroyed by the torrential rains and thirty foot seas brought by Hurricane Ivan, but not before Billy Wilmot caught the largest wave in recorded Jamaican surf history.The Palisadoes peninsula has now come alive as a spot for the long board riders.
Surfing is something that the Rastas are happy to encourage for their youth. A meditation that provides an opportunity for revering the mighty power of Jah and the ecstasy of dancing in unison with nature.It keeps them fit and happy, gives them the opportunity to excel at an internationally renowned sport if they want, and when combined with spiritual awakening free from religious indoctrination that Rastafarian livity provides, is the perfect extra curricular activity for the kids.
Rastafarian livity and the rasta surf ideology is where greed corruption and the police state oppression are forced to make way for simplicity, transparency and spiritual awakening from religious indoctrination. It involves going back to basics and remembering what our grandmothers used to do when surviving with honour.Ego and corruption are not part of this credo.Unity, one love, one heart, one destiny.
The Flower Power, hippy brown rice surfies of the sixties seemed to disappear in the eighties and nineties and there was suddenly a lot of aggression and heavy hardcore music attached to surfing.Aggression, competition and egotism.
In 2009 Reggae and the heartbeat rythmn is moving into the surfing culture, a natural unification, and a signal that the old gentle Rasta ways of surfing are still alive and well.An old consciousness is new again and rising like the sun.
Grateful acknowledgement to the Jamaican Surfing Association
Jamaican Surf Spots