there's no surf culture. it's just surfing. that's what's great about surfing these days. you can come from any walk of life and be a surfer. however, that's one of the drawbacks these days...especially in California where everyone and their friggen brother "surfs". plus, you got a lot of old/new guys who take up surfing in their 30s/40s/etc. PLUS, you got the whole SUP contingent, guys riding pop-out NSP longboards, you name it. i dunno man, i think it's just the whole wane and bane of surfing popularity. we are living in a time when surfing is super popular and uber cool. i think surfing just needs to fall out of the mainstream media, then maybe the kook factor will decrease a bit, i dunno.
all i know is, once you got the bug, and I mean really got the bug, it doesn't leave you decade after decade. i've taught plenty of people to surf, and with great success and ease, and they never get the bug. that amazes me, but i guess it's a good thing. if every tool that learned how to surf on their honeymoon in Hawaii stuck with it and donned a 5/4/3 in the winter, we would all be screwed.
I don't think surfing is any more popular in the mainstream now than it was in the 80s or 90s when I was a kid. I remember being able to watch surfing themed programming on ESPN in the late 80s/early 90s and now the only network that touches it, fuel tv, keeps cutting back on it's surf coverage in favor of skateboarding and motocross. Check the other thread about video games... no one is making surfing video games anymore even though skate and snowboard games are thriving. That probably says something about it's popularity.
^^^ yea really tho. why don't they make a newer surfing video game??!!! or do they already have good ones?? anyone know of any good surf video games for Xbox360? I'd kill to own one.
This thread - and a couple of others especially the ones about etiquette and airs - got me thinking about the similarities between surf culture and climbing culture and their relationship to mainstream society and mainstream ways of thinking. If you think about it, both surfing and climbing have ongoing issues with access to beautiful places, etiquette/form, secret spots, localism, and the never-ending clash of different approaches (what's really surfing and what's really climbing), etc. Both surfing and climbing predate recorded history and both became central to the different cultures that pursued them. So whether you're talking about Polynesians or Peruvians catching waves or indigenous cultures on almost every continent scaling cliffs and peaks, both of these activities have been going on for a LONG time and both were very important to the (now-marginalized) groups of (non-European) people involved. In more modern times, surfing and climbing were taken up by counter-culture type Westerners who lived outside of mainstream society and developed rich written and oral histories with colorful characters, famous spots, and fantastic tales. Unfortunately - some would say - they have also both been slowly moving towards the (urban?) mainstream. Both surfing and climbing have gone global and both have all sorts of internal conflicts, ethical debates (most of which seem trivial to outside observers), and competition for increasingly scarce resources. One big difference that strikes me is that there isn't the same competition for rock and ice as there is for waves and maybe this is why you don't have the same sort of territorial tribalism in climbing that you do in surfing. Climbers generally seem to be less selfish about sharing information (beta!) about new climbs and cool places, more friendly and accepting of visitors and even newbs. There is definitely localism in climbing but it's rarely hostile or violent. Not sure where I'm going with this, but I know I'm glad to be in Alaska - far from the mainstream - where there is plenty of rock, ice, and waves and that the people who are out looking for them still (for now, anyway) have respect for one another.
You guys sound like a bunch of old men, which are tired of the kids next door playing on your grass lol. There has always been "trends" in the surf culture. I don't mind sharing some waves with guys sporting balding heads of hair, or mullets. No issues with guys jammin classic rock on the beach, as their longboard collects sun. These posts trip me out. The "modern" culture enjoys surfing just as much as any of you have. Honestly, I believe we enjoy it more. Consider the fact that the "modern" crowd does not need to get stoned on the beach, and actually trains outside of the water. It seems like the "old-school" crowd brings the bad "vibes" to the water. Let the endless summer go, and lighten up, please!
In my mind there are two surf cultures now. I don't think of this as necessarily a good or bad thing, just the way it is. You have the summer types who hang out and ride the slop on SUP and funboards. Maybe they own a 3/2 and enjoy the early/mid autumn days, but then they hang it up. They don't ditch work to go surf, and they have their "life priorities in order".
...and then there's the slightly unhinged of us who would do just about anything to get shacked. We spend the cash on a 5/4/3 and full quiver, drive longer than a normal person would consider "reasonable", we ditch work, forgo life's luxuries and take comfort in the green room. There's a different culture associated with this group. It changes all the time, though few people would actually consider us "cool" other than each other.
It's funny how many women I've met over the years who responded with the "oh, you're a surfer" in that quasi-lustful tone that indicated approval of this sort of thing. Later, however, things ALWAYS changed. "You are ditching me AGAIN to go surf? Do you realize that there is something seriously wrong with choosing waves over sex? Do you really expect me to sit on the beach like a dog and watch you surf?"
I suppose to some extent the mainstream folks do a pretty good job of making us look a lot more appealing than we actually are. Much like Hollywood stardom, however, experience shows us that this false positive image doesn't really get you very far.
Crap it's late, I like this thread. Hopefully it keeps going...
but yeah, surf culture to me right now is at a stand still... 3 years ago, the home of "surf culture", socal changed its colors... its not as trendy as it was 5-7 years ago... Yeah, i still hear the same d-bags talking about "name drop spot here" and how they took the "boat out with the boys to score that south swell" at the "secret" spot... But for the most part... All over CA, its not a fad anymore... Its back to people griding for work, making money, delaing with family... surfing has taken a backseat here, which is AWESOME!!!! It will spread soon enough like skinny jeans and 80s clothes... FYI, its been 90s flannel for like 3 years out here... So when you see guys rocking flannel in your home town, you will know that surfing is officially uncool again.. AMEN!
Seriously though... Sponsors arent out as much... photogs got real jobs.... no one is "living the dream" these days... its back to business as usual... so lets all indulge and take advantage... cause when cash is in abundance again, they will flock to the beach... buying boards they will never ride... but for now, its just drunk old hasbeens, eating fish tacos, talking about how "Sick it was today" but they really didnt go... I will take that any day of the week...
Point being... We are at a low right now as far as market saturation, and the cool factor... its back to those of us who care... everyone else is too busy working 80 hours per week to care enough about the brisk, macking barrels that they miss each day... take it while you can.... when money swings back up, so will the "modern surf culture"