What is modern Surf Culture?

Discussion in 'Mid Atlantic' started by LBCrew, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. Etl1692

    Etl1692 Well-Known Member

    Jun 12, 2011
    Baggy jeans or Skinny Jeans. Im going baggy (not so much hood baggy). But I cant stand thos pu**y a** skinny jeans.... Look like a bunch of tools
  2. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    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: Dec 9, 2011

  3. macedon

    macedon Member

    Apr 10, 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!
  4. dave

    dave Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    forget trying to analyze "surf culture" which is a meaningless concept, instead embrace the "waterman" culture
  5. havanasand

    havanasand Well-Known Member

    Aug 9, 2011
    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.
  6. surfislife

    surfislife Well-Known Member

    Nov 17, 2011
    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...
  7. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    Yes... the question I can't find an answer to is are they becoming the same? The SURF fashion industry is promoting the urban image more and more these days. Is this in response to the culture of surfing changing and becoming more "urban" in image, or is the promotion of the urban image by surf companies just reaching out into a new demographic and culture to make more money, and changing surf culture?
  8. kielsun

    kielsun Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2011
    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: Dec 9, 2011
  9. jtblue18

    jtblue18 Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    This is kind of humorous

    There must be a lack of swell, considering you guys are posting novels
  10. Masterjasson

    Masterjasson Well-Known Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    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: Dec 9, 2011
  11. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    Must not have gotten any moonlight barrels last night...
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  12. goofy footer

    goofy footer Well-Known Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Just an observation, has any one else noticed some "higher end" department stores carrying more of the Surf Shop Brands (fashion) if so, might validate your last statement of "urban" image crossing over by Surf companies.
  13. macedon

    macedon Member

    Apr 10, 2011
    I think the surf fashion industry like any fashion industry latches on to what's popular at the time, and the hip hop look has been extremely popular. I remember all the new wave neon pinks and greens of the 80's with shorts WELL above the knees being cool and that look faded so if kids latch onto something else the surf industry will follow suit. I am amazed at how long this current urban look has ben going on for though,
  14. zaniac07

    zaniac07 Well-Known Member

    Jul 25, 2009
    sort of on this topic:
    I wonder how you guys define a kook. I started surfing in February of 2010. I am obviously still a beginner and on top of that I live two hours away from the beach. I am therefore a kook?

    I am the kid who paddles hundreds of yards away from any other guy or the lineup to stay out of the way. I read both both surfing and surfer from the library. I'll drive two hours to go to the beach just to visit my grandparents and paddle when its flat. Most importantly I have never worn Hollister. Someone please enlighten me on what and who a kook truly is
  15. Kuono

    Kuono Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Don't sweat it dude, you're fine, I'm a newb too and started last Sept and pick up tips from my friends or people I meet. You don't need to surf in isolation but stay out of an organized lineup unless you know everybody than its cool (some etiquette). I talk to some of the older surfers and the common theme is having fun, and the best surfer is the one catching the most waves etc.. There's older posts on here about what peoples opinion of a kook is so look that up. I picked up on the culture/history by research, hanging w/people that surf and reading some posts like the ones here and just be yourself in water. I met a guy the other day who big time surfs here and abroad and he did not look like he just walked out of coastal edge... Peace
  16. marknel83

    marknel83 Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2009
    It is what it is. Just surf.
  17. cresto4

    cresto4 Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2010
    True. Except you can't surf on a surf forum. The whole point of a surf forum is to have discussions about surfing. If you're gonna come on a forum and say 'just surf' why come on at all? Just surf, right?
  18. super fish

    super fish Well-Known Member

    Sep 2, 2008
    surfing culture has turned into aggro, expensive, and full of kooks. It almost looses its fun when you have to deal with some of those people in the water.
  19. OldSoul

    OldSoul Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    What is Modern Surf Culture?

    Modern is defined as "of or relating to the present or recent times as opposed to the remote past."

    Culture is defined as "the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively."

    And because it is relevant, Trend is defined as "a general direction in which something is developing or changing."

    So one could argue that no matter what surf trends rise or fall, they are all part of the one surf culture. Modernly speaking, one could say that the easy going ways of the 60's are or are not part of the culture today, but this comes down to what we view as "old". But whether you are the guy out there strictly for shredding and leaves the surf image at the beach, some yuppie who wears "kooka shells" or the old school laid back hombre hanging loose who carries that smoothness where ever they may roam, it is all one.

    "The term (culture) was first used in this way by the pioneer English Anthropologist Edward B. Tylor in his book, Primitive Culture, published in 1871. Tylor said that culture is "that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society."

    IMO, surf culture is whatever you perceive it to be.

    P.S- I feel like I'm writing an English paper over here hahahaha damn finals week.
  20. Stranded in Smithfield

    Stranded in Smithfield Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2010
    What is modern surf culture? Gay. Just be you. Tight pants or baggy pants. Athlete or stoner. benign or agro. Beginner or loc dog. Airs or turns. Long or short. Just watch out for the corporate BS. Its necessary evil but don't let them tell you how to be. Just be you.