Surf culture

From ArticleWorld

Giant surf board
Giant surf board

Surf culture is the term attributed to a group of people dedicated to the sport of surfing and all that has become associated with it. Surf culture extends to numerous fields away from the sporting arena, it can be seen in fashion, appearance, music, literature as well as films and television. The surfing culture is often stereotyped, but it remains a diverse blend of styles and ideals, but the one thing that remains constant is the core surfing ethos.

Popularity of Surfing

Popularised in the 1950’s and the 1960’s, surf culture has continued to grow and flourish up to this very day. At the heart of the modern day surf culture is a desire for seeking out waves, whether locally or elsewhere in the world. Surfers are willing to travel hundreds of miles if necessary to tackle new types of waves, which offer different challenges. Hawaii, California and large parts of the Australian coastline have become the popularised images of surfing locations, but whilst these may be highly popular, surfing is a world-wide phenomenon and it can be seen on beaches globally. However a slightly darker side to this free world of surfing appears in the form of localism. People will defend their section of beach with threats, verbal abuse and on occasion physical violence, in order to prevent persons from using their waves.

The Culture

The surf culture spread through youths in the 50’s and 60’s and it was coaxed along by a number of popular bands, actors and films, which all set out to capture the essence of this new growing culture. Bands like The Surfaris, Dick Dale, The Ventures and arguably most popular of all, The Beach Boys, created the soundtrack to the surfing lifestyle. Modern day incarnations of these old bands include a different tone but the same distinct ethos, these include Jack Johnson and Donovan Frankenrieter Films too were looking to exploit the growing market with pictures like Endless ‘’Summer’’ and ‘’Big Wednesday’’ becoming popular. Surf culture is also about the look, boardshorts or ‘baggies’ were essential attire, bikini’s too were becoming the fashion for female spectators and participants alike. There is no code for the surfers to follow, but these garments and often an unkempt look involving long hair and some facial hair are a common stereotypical view of the average surfer. Surf culture grew to adapt skateboarding as a dry land alternative of their sport and helped popularise this as a sport as well.