Sitting out in the lineup at the weekend I was staring around at a packed beach and couldn’t help but notice a few similarities between certain groups. This got me thinking…
Is this a surfing stereotype? – pic Tez
Following on from this I decided to scribble a little post, with my tongue firmly in my cheek, playing on the idea of surfers and their stereotypes. While drawing on real life observations, this isn’t aimed at anyone directly, but I’m sure we can all spot traits from each group in fellow surfers we know or have seen.
– The teen grom
With a Penny skateboard firmly under one arm and an uber short surfboard under the other, the teen grom is a cheeky mop of blonde hair that whirlwinds around the beach causing mischief when the surf is flat and gets chased out of McDonalds by giggling girly mates after surf sessions.
If there’s even a sniff of swell then he’s on it – punting aerial moves left right and centre, dropping in on elderly longboarders, harassing surf school students and generally tearing it up – the teen grom will be a real ripper when he (if he) ever matures!
‘Ahh, Mom! Do I have to tidy my room?’
Well versed in aerial trickery and small wave grovel surfing but slightly lacking when conditions get more serious – although his time will come. As the brother of the hardcore local he has inspiration on tap and a family gene pool of distinguished rippers.
– The lady longboarder
Stunning catwalk good looks, an olive tinged permatan, wavey blonde (or brunette) hair and a svelte athletic figure – the lady longboarder is the type of girl that all the men stop and ogle, and all women are completely jealous of. Riding a 9ft (ish) performance longboard, she swoops, dives, cuts back and surfs with style, grace and elegance.
The lady longboarder
Girly surf clothes cut it at the beach but she’s not afraid to dress to the nines if the occasion dictates. Scrubbing up well for parties or formal occasions, men want to be with her and women want to be like her.
Unfortunately you’d have the local hardcore dude to contend with as this is her devoted hubby…
Giggly, but not dumb, flirty but not a tease, the lady longboarder is intelligent, laid back and educated. Don’t underestimate as if provoked, she will bite!
Graceful in the water, the lady longboarder is happy to cruise or sit it out and watch her man from the beach. Will take on the big days but at the same time never feels the need to ‘prove herself’. Stylish and aggressive, all in the same blink.
– The hardcore local
A shaved head, rippling torso, gruff voice and weather beaten skin suggests this isn’t a boy to mess with. A jet black wetsuit, pure white surfboard, without logos or brand stickers – this chap is the ‘real deal’.
The hardcore local
Charges in waves of consequence, regularly seen out at the gnarliest spots and always snagging the limelight when those offshore bombies start working, this is a seriously talented surfing individual who shunned the pros life when he realised how shallow it all was.
There is no surf chat! Mr hardcore local turns up, paddles out, rips everything to shreds, and then disappears with the lady longboarder.
Away from the beach, the hardcore local can party hard and knows all the pros when they roll into town for the annual surf comp. Feared by competitors, the hardcore local could easily take the win – it just comes down to if the conditions are pumping and whether he can bothered.
Hardcore local’s surfing ability is through the roof. Having scored cover shots in a few surf mags he’s well respected and constantly chased by brands to sign sponsorships deals – of which he always turns down.
– The pro
Covered from head to foot in branded surf wear, sunnies and rolling in a pimped out white VW T5 van, stickered to the max – paid for by one of the big four surf companies.
Flowing blond locks, a permanent suntan, from constantly being overseas, and a cheesy white toothed grin that could make any girl in the nightclub swoon. Constantly surrounded by a group of frothing fans, the pro is hardcore local’s best mate and super confident to boot.
Loud and proud, the pro is heard before seen and likes everyone to know that he’s a sponsored surfer on the world tour – don’tcha know! Tales of faraway waves, hedonistic nights at tropical full moon beach parties, discovering new spots and nearly beating the world’s number one are all ripe topics of conversation for the pro.
The pro’s ability is super high, although he’s never going to win a world title. Able to mix up new school and old school surfing moves as well as grovel in the soup or charge in big heavy juice.
Sits out in the lineup trading waves with the hardcore local, every now and again doling out abuse to the teen grom.
– The blow in
Wearing a harassed look from a long week driving his desk, the blow in rocks up at the beach in his brand new sporty BMW. Strapped to the roof is his spangly new surf stick although, he looks out of place still wearing his Italian pinstripe suit from a day’s trading big money in the city.
The blow in
The tie, at this point, is usually off and the blow in is preparing to hit the surf for the first time in what he feels like is ages. Slick back dark hair, pasty white skin and an ever so slight paunch is now showing around his midriff.
Although usually quite vocal, during work, the blow in is actually quite humble once out in the lineup. Having grown up at the coast, and been quite a shredder in his day, he’s all too aware of how blow ins are viewed by the local surfing fraternity and therefore keeps himself to himself.
During the first half hour of his session the blow in gets pounded by relentless white water. Being extremely unsurf fit, it takes him a while to get back into the groove. After a few hours he starts to find his feet and begins picking off a few waves. Every now and again he’ll surprise himself with a great ride.
– The odd
The odd is someone who is no less talented in the water but chooses to ride a variety of different wave slaying craft. Everything from windsurfing kit, stand up paddle boards and bodyboards are utilised.
Although the odd still rips he’s viewed with some scepticism by his peers who wonder why he chooses to go against the grain.
The odd can mix it up with surfers, paddlers and windies with equal measure and is often found dishing out advice to all and sundry about the quirks of his local beach.
The odd is also a raving mentalist once out on the town. After being plied with alcohol (usually Jaegerbombs!) he’s usually the first one onto the dance floor and the last one to leave, regularly dragged towards the exit, kicking and screaming, by the bouncers. The odd will cut the rug to shreds and take the whole damn carpet home – still managing to crawl to the beach for the dawn session the next day!
– The enemy
Flabby, pasty and often found strutting up and down the sand with a brand new unwaxed surfboard under his arm and a perfectly dry wetsuit rolled down to his hips – revealing the ugly paunch of skin that doubles as his belly. Ugly ‘try hard’ and badly etched tattoos are scrawled onto each arm and his goatee beard still has remnants of his pasty lunch entwined in the wiry hair.
Prancing up and down the beach, in an effort to attract the attention of any unwitting females, this type of surfer should be avoided at all costs.
During the après, the enemy will be found propping up the bar, holding court with a bunch of gullible onlookers, loudly describing tales of how he ‘likes it big man!’ Naff beach/surf wear is usually the attire of choice while the thinning blonde hair is not quite doing its job of hiding the bald spot on top of his head.
The enemy has no surfing ability whatsoever. Instead, his skills lie in being able to chug ale at a steady pace and talk utter rubbish. If seen on your beach all eye contact should be avoided and a quick U-turn made.