Carnap Cassirer and Heidegger The Davos Disputation by Friedman

By Friedman

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The core of surfing is, obviously, the performance of the embodied experience of the ride, slide or dance along the wave, the cultural dimension pertains to the significations, images and motivations which comprise the epiphenomena surrounding surfing and also influence the style of performance, while the technology of surfboard design facilitates the possibilities of the dance. In reality, each of these three dimensions perpetually interact, but it is useful here to attempt to disentangle them for analytical purposes.

On the other hand, this embodied awareness deepens with time and experience, and there is always a new learning process when a surfer encounters a surf break for the first time and comes to terms with the particularities of its waves. Preston-Whyte’s survey in Durban demonstrated surfers’ rich awareness of the varied nature of the waves (bowl waves, shorebreak waves, outside waves, mound waves and reef waves) along the Durban seafront. Indeed, often with merely a glimpse of the texture of the sea and waves breaking over some distant rock, an experienced surfer (knowing the tidal situation) will immediately have a sense of the size and quality of surf conditions at a range of nearby breaks.

The competitive tendency in surfing was reinforced in the rise of the professional circuit. g. through ‘Beatnik’ affinities (1950s), Counter Culture (late 1960s) and punk (late 1970s) (Booth 1999) powerful) underlying values and images, which are recast and re-expressed in different forms in different decades, but viewed over the larger sweep of history show a surprisingly high degree of continuity. Furthermore, as is elaborated below, some of these values (such as harmony and competition) are in tension with one another and thus are perhaps best viewed as interacting in an interplay or dialectic.

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