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April 12

Surfing Styles: What Makes Good Style? And Who Does It Best?

SURF

Surfing and style go hand in hand, which is why the sport is so widely revered by the outside world.

But is it all about how you look? Is it about how you ride a surfboard? Or maybe it relates to the equipment you ride?

Turns out it's a little from column A, a little from column B, and a sprinkle from column C.

Read on for more...


WHAT DOES STYLE MEAN IN SURFING?

Style is synonymous with surfing in more ways one, and when we talk about style we could mean one of three things:


1. SURFING STYLE - THE WAY YOU SURF ON A WAVE

In this context style refers to the way you surf on a wave.

How you move your body, the lines you take on a wave, and your own unique technique.

All these factors contribute to your surfing style.


2. SURFER STYLE - HOW COOL YOU LOOK OUT OF THE WATER

Yup, I know, it's a bit cliché but surfers are known for their unique laidback style out of the water.

This refers to the clothes they wear, the car/van they drive, their hairstyles and a whole bunch more.


3. STYLE OF SURFING - THE TYPE OF SURFBOARD YOU RIDE

Probably the least used of the three, when we talk about styles of surfing in this context we're talking about the type of surfboard somebody is riding. 

Think of the term 'style' in this sense more as a 'discipline'.

Example: "What surfing style do you resonate with? Are you more of a cruisy longboarder kinda guy, or are you more of performance shortboard kinda guy?"


SURFING STYLE - WHO HAS THE BEST?

Good surfing style is subjective. Period.

But, there are a few unofficially agreed upon fundamentals of good style and they are:

  • Flow - The way you transition from turn to turn.
  • Grace - The effortless way you move on a wave.
  • Speed & Power - How you carry your speed, and the power of your turns.
  • Individuality - Someones unique approach to surfing a wave.

HERE'S A LIST OF THE TOP 5 STYLES IN SURFING (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)


TOM CURREN

Tom Curren is an icon of the sport, a 3x World Champion, and has one of the silkiest styles in surfing. 

Tom inspired a generation with the lines he'd draw on a wave, his unique 'look-down' bottom turns, and his effortless glide and flow. 

Head to 0.26 in the video below 👇 for a surf style masterclass...


STEPH GILMORE

Growing up on the point break waves of the Gold Coast, Steph's surfing style is effortless, graceful, and just damn beautiful to watch.

Her unique approach - and insane natural ability - has had the biggest impact on women's surfing, EVER!


CRIAG ANDERSON

Craig Anderson's approach to surfing took the world by storm in the early 2000's.

His close-footed, effortless approach, mixed in with explosive new school surfing tricks, led Craig to become a bit of an icon in the hipster world.


JOHN JOHN FLORENCE

Everybody loves John, am I right?

Of course they do, and it's for good reason.

His surfing is quite literally the best in the world, yet it's all done with such elegance & beauty.

Jon's unique approach to surfing in a sea of copy-cat, over coached professionals has made him the biggest star in surfing right now.


MIKEY FEBRUARY

Whatever board Mikey surfs, he makes it look beautiful.

From single fins, to twinnies, to performance shortboards alike, Mikey's approach to surfing is hypnotic and truly original.



SURFER STYLE - AND HOW TO LOOK COOL

Surfers have long been revered for their effortless cool, laidback style.

Here's what the outside world think surf style is all about:

MEN

  • Sun-bleached salty hair
  • Tanned
  • Ripped jeans & flannel shirts
  • Boardshorts and bare chests
  • Bare feet

WOMEN

  • Sun-bleached salty hair
  • Tanned
  • Bikini's
  • Fedora hats & backwards caps
  • Cruiser skateboards

If I didn't dress so badly I'd have some advice here for how to rock the surfer style and look super cool in the process.

Note to self, could do better. Soz 😬


WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT STYLES OF SURFING?

Alright, onto the last connotation of surfing style, and that is the type of surf craft you choose to ride. 

And although these various equipment choices involve riding some sort of board in the ocean, make no mistake the are VERY different.

In as little time as possible here are all the different styles of surfing equipment:

SHORTBOARDING

Built for technical, performance surfing.

  • Short & Responsive
  • Manoeuvrable
  • High performance

MID-LENGTH

Built for cruising, and long drawn out turns.

  • Very buoyant
  • Great in weaker waves
  • Fun over performance

LONGBOARDING

For nose riding and surfing small waves.

FINLESS

A surfboard with no fins.

  • Very unique approach to riding a wave
  • Great in straight lines and spinning around
  • Ridden mainly by hipsters

ALTERNATIVE SURFBOARD(ISH) STYLES

  • SKIMBOARD - A tiny, flat board built for skimming across shallow water into waves.
  • STAND UP PADDLE BOARD - A big, buoyant board where the surfer stands on the board and catches waves using a paddle.
  • HYDRO-FOILING - A board attached to a hydro-foil that allows the surfer to surf above the wave, harnessing the waves power from underneath.
  • KITE SURFING - Using a kite for speed to race across the water and catch waves.
  • WIND SURFING - Surfing on a big, buoyant board attached to a sail using the wind to assist in catching waves.

WRAPPING IT UP

Who'd have thought there were so many connotations between surfing and style hey?

But there you have it.

Yew!
Rowan 🤙

ROWAN CLIFFORD

Rowan is the nerd behind the scenes.  But when he's not knee-deep in code, you'll find him immersed in the crypto-world or sending it at his local beachie.

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