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Surfers snub salutary statue

CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA, Calif., Aug. 12 (UPI) -- A new California surfer statue has not made any more of a splash with surfers than previous efforts to memorialize in sculpture their way of life.

The $120,000 statue in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif., was installed by the local botanical society to honor surfers -- and was built by an artist who actually surfs, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Sunday. That has not stopped the local surfing community from roundly criticizing it.

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Many local surfers say "Magic Carpet Ride" is just a bad sculpture.

It was intended to portray a man doing a “floater” on a broken wave. But the botanical society ran out of money, so there is no surf, and locals say the man does not look like he is doing any sort of surfing move.

There is also homophobia in the surfing community, and some of that is reflected in criticism of the statue, the newspaper said. In Web chat rooms, the work is called "Fairy Mary."

The criticism may also, however, reflect an overall tendency in the surfing community to reject its portrayal in popular culture -- especially now that the sport has become more mainstream than ever. The Beach Boys and movies like "Point Break" more offended surfers than made them feel appreciated, the Union-Tribune reported -- and with more and more insurance agents and schoolteachers taking to the waves as a hobby, surfers feel as though their way of life is in more danger than ever of being co-opted.

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