Generally a nuisance, these relatives of moshers propel themselves above the crowd at a concert and are essentially passed around from person to person like a joint. When a crowd surfer is coming your way, watch your head, and try your best as to push them somewhere.
My girlfriend recently joined their ranks during the Smashing Pumpkins set at the Summersault 2000 concert in Halifax.

IMHO, crowd surfing should only be undertaken if you feel you're going to pass out and are using it as an escape method.

As Italiano so eloquently put it on the SP message board,


I couldn't agree more.
I was once a critic who saw mosh pits and crowd surfing as an excuse to push, shove and all the rest of those violent, angst-ridden teenage tendencies. But then I tried it. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it, right? In the middle of a pit at an Offspring concert, a complete stranger asks if I wanted to go up. I thought to myself, "what the hell," and I did.

I have never felt as above the world as I did that first time. Literally, I looked down upon a constantly gyrating mass of people, hands and faces, but the exhilaration of seeing it all from above, feeling completely untouchable (no pun intended) and having time freeze for what seemed like an eternity... it blew me away. It is a feeling unparalleled - undescribable and amazing.

Obviously not something for the faint of heart or body, there is always the possibility of being dropped on your head at any given time. However, there is risk in everything we do, and it is that sense of risk that makes it all the more fun.

If you're fat, don't crowd surf.
If you're big and heavy, don't crowd surf.

Take shoes off.
Put clothes on. (people don't really like holding people up by their sweaty armpits)
If you're over 150lbs, lose weight, repeat.

While crowd surfing:
If you didn't take your shoes off, then keep your feet in the air. That way you don't end up grinding your shoe accross my face or ear.
Keeping your feet up in general is a good idea so you don't kick me in the back of the head causing me to smash my nose against the chick in front of me.
Try and aim yourself to move to the back of the crowd, people are either trying to "dance" with the chick in front of them or watch the band play- not looking behind them for idiot crowd surfers.
It's advised not to crowd surf belly down- this goes for guys and girls.
If you've been "up" several times and keep falling down, stop trying. You're either too heavy or there's too many middle schoolers to support your weight. Everytime you fall everybody around gets pushed (even harder) into the person next to them.

For the people not crowd surfing:
Try and push the person to the back so people can see they're coming.
If some 300 pound dickhead continues to kick people in the face, fall down, get back up, kick people in the face, fall down, etc- don't help him up again, politely say, "I don't think I can lift you".
If some other dickhead continues to help the other dickhead up, try and aim him into the mosh pit. Falling smack dab in the middle of 5-20 kids beating the shit out of each other is a nice way of saying "maybe it's time to stop"

Crowd surfing is an interesting pastime I have on occasion indulged in. Especially vividly to mind is an occasion where I went to a Skunk Anansie concert, and was lifted onto the crowd against my will.

Another time was when I used it as an escape method during a Pearl Jam concert, as I couldn't handle the pressure. Apparently, it may have been a good idea, because during that very same concert at Roskilde Festival in June 2000 nine people lost their lives by being trampled / suffocated. (see for more information)

So obviously, there are good reasons to crowd-surf. And there are bands such as the Exploited who stir up such a racket that crowd-surfing, mosh pitting and other mayhem is the rule, rather than the exception.

However, please consider reading the following account as to why crowd-surfing is discouraged: If you do it wrong, you may get seriously beaten up. And I will be the one to do it.

So. You are at a rock concert, and you decide it would be a good idea to let a bunch of people hoist you up on top of all the other people, and get lifted across, eh?

Well, let me tell you a little story about being six-foot-four-and-a-half, and therefore usually one of the tallest people in any concert venue...

Yesterday, I got kicked and/or hit and/or head-butted by no less than five people who were crowd-surfing.

I understand better than most people that crowd-surfing has a purpose: if you are so deprived of oxygen that you pass out, people will lift you up and pass you to the front so the first aid people can take care of you, instead of getting trampled. Obvious solution, really, because in concert environment, navigating through the crowd (especially if you are about to pass out) is not easy.

Yesterday was taking the piss though: Hundred Reasons and Jimmy eat World - the average age in there must have been about 18. Lots of kids who obviously went to a concert for the very first time in their lives. And decide to do all the things the cool kids are doing.

So I'm standing there, rocking my poor little heart out, slightly wary, as I had already been hit in the head several times, by idiots who use crowd-surfing as a form of entertainment. Anyway, I'm rocking out suitably, and suddenly - out of nowhere - a foot appears, and twats me straight in the eye. Not just along the side of the cranium, or against my eyebrow - his heel literally digs its way into my eyeball. I scream, and crumple up. The only reason why I don't collapse to the floor is that the crowd keeps me upright.

I start making my way sideways towards an area with some air. My eye is burning in its socket, and I am convinced I'm bleeding like a motherfucker. I'm trying to look out through my left eye, but no avail. Nothing. Just blackness and searing, horrible, vile pain.

As I stand on the side, this ugly little brat - about 17 years of age - walks past me, and animatedly recounts to his friend how he kicked someone in the head while crowd-surfing. Still convinced my eye is bleeding, not sure if I'll ever be able to see ever again, i stick out my left arm, pull him towards me, and scream: "Hey, asshole, do you think that's funny? Look at my fucking eye, you dipshit - you fucking kicked me in the head for no reason. Do you like that, huh?". He glances over at his little friend (who is about 15, and stands about 5' tall), and mumbles something along the lines of "uh, well, it wasn't my fault"

"You were fucking bragging about it,", I yell, as I raise my right hand, balled to a tight fist "... not half a second ago, you complete fuckwit", I finish, and then land my fist square in his ugly, pudgy little face. His friend tries to protest, but one glance later, he changed his mind and ran off. I let my victim stumble off, bleeding like a stabbed pig from his nose.

"You are so cruel, SharQ", I hear you say. "It was only an accident". Bullshit. People bragging about kicking people in the head do not NEED to crowd surf - they are just being indulgent little brats spoiling the whole fun for those of us who are there to dance, rock out, enjoy the music, and have a good time.

I'm perfectly happy to be kicked in the head by someone who has been injured or who is about to pass out (they won't be flailing like fucking idiots, at least), but - and this is a promise, not a threat:

The next person who hits me in the head while crowdsurfing for fun,
I'm going to latch onto,
drag down into the fucking crowd,
and batter to within an inch of his fucking miserable little life.

Then, I'll send him back up to be deported - with good reason, this time.

(parts of this story is fiction. But only the part where I leather the fella who kicked me in the eye. But only because I couldn't find him. I did go looking for him. Oh, and the dude who was proud of kicking someone in the head really did exist. He didn't kick me though. I should have fucked him over anyway)

Aftermath: After about half an hour, normal vision returned to my eye. 12 hours later - it still has this dull, constant ache. Annoying, but probably not dangerous.

I was at the Brixton Academy the other day to see Manowar. I saw something there I'd never seen before at any venue, ever.

A sign with stickmen crowd surfing crossed out by the "universal no" circle.

Jesus Christ, I thought to myself. What a bunch of killjoys. Because some whining arses don't like it they have to spoil it for the rest of us by complaining or picking fights or threatening to sue and the venue isn't insured.

To be fair, I've never met anyone, repeat ANYONE, who has ever had a problem with crowd surfing (at appropriate gigs) until I went onto this node. Granted, some people crowd surf while being fat bastards, which may be inconsiderate, but think about this - if they're so heavy people can't keep them up they're the ones who risk being dropped on their heads and/or otherwise maimed. Also, while it's unpleasant being crowdsurfed into testicles-first by a kilt-wearing German with no pants on, on which I speak from experience, generally that's the exception. Also, bear in mind that if this person does kick or slap you, his bollox are inches from your hands. Altogether now: "Come on, let's twist again, like we did last summer." Heh heh heh. That'll teach 'em.

There are people like the scroat to whom SharQ refers above who do exist. That's life. There's rotten apples in every barrel. The fact that he was seeing a band whose fandom consisted mainly of wangsty teenagers (is there any other sort of teenager, I wonder) may have had something to do that, I suspect. Of course, if one goes to see Manowar or Overkill or Children of Bodom or Morbid Angel most of the fans are large hairy men so kicking folks in the skull for shiggles is ill advised. However crowd surfing, moshing, stage diving and walls of death are all part of it and if one goes to see punk or metal bands then this can reasonably be expected. I wouldn't go to a Justin Bieber concert, by the same token, and then complain about hordes of squeeing fangirls, now would I, because that's all part of it and can be expected from that Canadian eunuch. Well then.

I have crowdsurfed myself despite being a fat bastard. I usually get dropped, which is not pleasant, so I don't do it that often. However, I did do it in 2009 when Municipal Waste set the world record for that sort of thing during their song "Beer Pressure" at Bloodstock that year with 428 simultaneous crowd surfers. It was fun, although spoilt by the fact that the security men were a squadron of little hitlers who objected to anyone doing anything remotely described as enjoyable, yet missed people obviously smuggling their own alcohol into the arena, but that's irrelevant right now.

Incidentally, just for the record, when I went to see Manowar like I said above, despite the presence of this sign, there were many crowd surfers. So stick that in your SIA licence and apply for it, security men!

(IRON NODER 2011, 14/30)

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