Would Caroline Marks’ style improve if a shark bit off both her arms? Or just one?
That’s a question one cyber bully put to me late last night in a flurry of toxic surf fan masculinity.
It took me a couple of minutes to sort my offence via a quick run through the post-woke hierarchy of sympathies filter.
I was offended for Caroline, youngest surfer on Tour, World no.1. Total ripper, breath of fresh air, etc, etc.
I was offended at the flippant reference to Bethany’s attack.
I was offended at the constant vilification of sharks, some 100000000000 million killed annually by us (vs 4 human deaths by shark attack) on average.
But most of all I just felt sorry for the cyber bully, for not being able to appreciate the beauty of the Marks’ individuality; a bold original in a sea of very similar.
Elsewhere on the web, someone called it ‘over-coached’ the ultimate passive-aggressive trust-me-I-know-what-I’m-talking-about takedown.
Someone else said “I had a chance to shoot her in the shorebreak a few years back in Florida.”
Shoot her!?! I’m all for fan partisanship, but assassination? This madness has got to stop.
Thing is, I actually like Caroline’s unusual arm placement. The unorthodoxy. The instant recognisability. When it comes to squatty legs, poo stances, one knee facing north one facing south, I’m all for draconian measures from the style Stasi, for curfews, curbside disappearances with a van with a sliding door and two goons in leather bombers with a blanket. But arms?
I’ll ask you this: Why do we all love MR? Hmm?
Well, there are probably lots of reasons. The twin thing, the 4 world titles to very early retirement. The affinity with the Hawaiians in a troubled era, the long neck, the general geekery. Sure, these and many others.
But the main reason is for surfing’s best ever, and most suitable nickname. The Wounded Seagull is epic not only for its pertinence, but for its tone. Not overly sycophantic, not mean spirited. If you can make a non-complementary nickname sound like a compliment by just being you, well you’re in very rare company in the surf legend lounge.
All Marks needs is 4 consecutive World Titles (not an outrageous suggestion) and a proper nickname. The surfing part is down to her, but for the nickname, I’m happy to help.
The Plundering Albatross.
Remember where you heard it first.