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Thread: What is modern Surf Culture?
Dec 9, 2011, 07:32 AM #21Senior Member
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- Jun 2011
- East Coaster
Dec 9, 2011, 11:49 AM #22
I'm more confused now than before this thread started... is there no surf culture, as some have said, or multiple surf cultures?
I am interested by what somebody said (at least this is my interpretation) about there being a sort of "media culture," created for normal people to relate to, and a far less appealing "core culture," for lack of a better term. Attached to the media-created form of surf culture are expensive, stylish clothes, movies and tv shows that target general audiences, music (although not so much anymore... think Beach Boys), and the good ol' "surfer dude" image and lingo. This culture is good for the economy, and makes people feel good about what they wear, how they look, and makes them feel like they're part of something "cool." In this culture, styles change... fads come and go... and the endless cycle of creating, producing, buying and selling is perpetuated. Many in this group surf. Many do not.
Then there's the much smaller core surf culture... nothing new there... it's the same as it's always been, deeply rooted in the simple act of riding waves. People in this culture may or may not "rock the same gear," use the same vernacular, and go see the same movies (it is, after all, created in their image), but have a love-hate relationship with all of it. They might even feel confused and conflicted by the powerful messages created by the media culture about what to look like and be like, and their own natural inclination to position themselves outside of it.... "I'm supposed to be different... but in a certain way." This group may be more interested in videos of pro-level surfing over major motion pictures (Blue Crush), may subscribe to magazines (mostly _ing and _er), probably cares more about what others within this culture think about them than what others outside the culture think of them, is willing to make sacrifices in work and relationships for regular access to waves (especially when it's good), and may have a slightly unhealthy or antisocial attitude attitude toward unfamiliar faces in their local lineups. Many of this group are quick to judge others, fearing others may be more talented or "core" than them (or at least wear cooler clothes) again causing them to question their own identity or ability. Their passion for surfing might make them, consciously or subconsciously, constantly compare themselves to others within the cultural group. Surfing for them is not only a physical activity, but can also influence their emotions... they can get depressed when they miss a good swell or haven't surfed in a while, get angry when they blow a wave or have a confrontation with another surfer, and get an emotional "high" for sometimes days after an exceptional session. Some even call it a "religious experience," or have some other spiritual connection to surfing. the cultural norms of this group are different than the media culture... in fact, the media culture group might not even be able to read the same cues as the core group... and visa versa - Hollister has different meaning to one group than the other. Google it... see what comes. Add "ranch" and see what you get.
Last edited by LBCrew; Dec 9, 2011 at 02:02 PM.
Dec 9, 2011, 12:33 PM #23Junior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
Was watching the news about thre recent eruption of violence in Egypt and one of the protesters was rocking out a Billabong t shirt. The fashion industry sells the surf image as well as the urban image. Go to the middle of the country in some small town away from the inner city and you will see kids rockin the baggies like they are straight out of the hood the same as you'll see kids with board shorts and O neil T's miles from the ocean. Who cares? I'm sure a lot of 70's surfers jamming to ELO and Yes looked down or didn't understand surfers getting into the Ramones or the Clash and sportin' a mohawk. If the older generation doesn't understand the youn ger generation then the young are doing there job!
Dec 9, 2011, 12:44 PM #24Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2008
- MB 07750
forget trying to analyze "surf culture" which is a meaningless concept, instead embrace the "waterman" culture
Dec 9, 2011, 12:59 PM #25
The greed of the surf industry (Nike has jumped on the bandwagon) and the media portreyal of what surfers should be and act like has degraded once what was considered to be "sport of kings." Surfing has become just another way to capitalize and make big money off people's perceptions of what they think the lifestyle should be like. The last thing that comes to my mind when I think of surfing is not about how I dress. My most vivid memories of being a surfer in the last 20 years are those of ice cream headaches at Masonborough inlet in Feb, being nervous in sharky lineups in N. California but scoring some of the best waves of my life, getting barreled in Hatteras alone while a group of Amish women swam in the shorebreak fully clothed having the time of their lives while their husbands watched them from the beach and mystical sunrises and sunsets. They can't sell that in overpriced surf shops yet.
Dec 9, 2011, 01:37 PM #26
i'm so tired of listening to all you so called surfers complaining about (kooks)beginner surfers..like were'nt we all beginners at some stage..i don't think a local shop is gonna turn down business from kooks..so lets all enjoy the blessings that we have. share it with others, and have fun...
Dec 9, 2011, 02:05 PM #27
I think everybody's pretty right on, except perhaps the people who are commenting on how baggy pants signify more than a fashion choice.
The fact of the matter is, nearly EVERYTHING is more saturated, watered-down, and co-opted by the mainstream culture than it once was thanks in large part to the Internet. Punk rock, independent music, skateboarding, heck, even something that was already pretty mainstream like basketball! That simply means that those who choose to skate, listen to punk rock, or play basketball have to decide for themselves what it means to identify with that activity or interest.
That said, I'm not arguing for a 100% individual-centric view of anything, but I certainly think it's going to be impossible to singularly define or identify a specific norm and to call that norm modern surf culture. Everyone dresses differently, listens to different music, views lineup etiquette differently, etc etc, but if I could choose just two things to be a part of every modern surfer's idealistic quiver they would be:
1. Respect for the ocean, which includes making choices in one's life to produce less waste and to dispose of the waste we inevitably produce in a proper manner.
2. Respect for others, which includes a general regard for the safety and well-being of others in the water, regardless of what you may feel about them.
Surf culture is what WE, those who feel that we've connected with surfing and ocean in a way that it's not just a fad for us, make it. Corporations like Nike and Billabong aren't going away, but we have the opportunity to align ourselves with them or to stand opposed to the image they're deciding we should fit into. Corporations only have the power that we grant them.
Last edited by kielsun; Dec 9, 2011 at 03:42 PM. Reason: details
Dec 9, 2011, 04:34 PM #29
This is kind of humorous
There must be a lack of swell, considering you guys are posting novels
Dec 9, 2011, 05:03 PM #30
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- Mar 2010
- Virginia Beach
Even lil' wayne is rappinig up about board shorts, and "dressin' like a skater" as far as the saggy pants H.o.m.o-erotic therory goes; it's now accepted, and trendy,( at least by the set standards of MTV) to be gay. Which is cool, I aint here to judge.... but don't hate on me for playing "smear the queer" in my youth either, young buck! I guess my point being is that while surfing might be for the "in crowd" these days, so is putting a ***** in your mouth. So I try not to look too deeply into trends, or fashions of the time. I just try and be me.
Last edited by Masterjasson; Dec 9, 2011 at 05:10 PM.