The Elements Of Surfing Style
Appreciating Casual Clothing
The first element of a surfer's style that you'll notice is their clothing. It's unique to them. Baggy shorts, sandals and brand name t-shirts are the norm. Simple-looking necklaces and bracelets are often worn to complete the image. Rarely is jewelry worn. It would merely get in the way when a great wave appears. Instead, surfers prefer casual clothing that they can remove quickly to dash into the waters to catch the waves. Ironically, the surfer's rumpled look has often appeared as the style of choice in fashion magazines such as GQ.
The Car As Transportation
While many people consider their cars a part of a carefully-planned image, surfers look at their vehicles as simple transportation. They're usually not interested in others developing a perception based upon their vehicle's sticker price. Instead, they merely need a way to get to the beach. You'll notice surfers often have cars, jeeps and vans that look perfectly-suited for carrying a surfboard. It's an essential part of their style because it provide the utility they need for their sport. The closest most surfers come to maintaining an image with their vehicles is placing a few bumper stickers. Even then, it's often done out of a deep-rooted brand loyalty than caring about the perspective of others.
A "Laid Back" Attitude
Most surfers are thought to be relaxed and "laid back." In truth, many surfers aren't laid back. Despite their seeming nonchalant attitude, many of them actually lead highly-stressful lives. Typically, a surfer who attacks the waves aggressively leads a similar life on land. They tend to be ambitious and expect the best of themselves. Most people who observe surfers make the mistake of thinking they're slackers. But, many of them have jobs and families that require constant vigilance and a hard-charging perspective on life. A surfer's "laid back" attitude is partly due to the connection they feel with the waves and partly due to their culture and style.
What Did He Say?!
Instantly-recognizable, a surfer's language is a part of his (or her) style. So distinguishable is their manner of voice and language that people in other countries poke fun at it. Indeed, words like "dude" and "surf's up" have come to represent popular culture in California. But, it's a misrepresentation. Just as many cultures around the globe contain tribes with unique dialects, surfers use a language that represents their "tribe."
Surfing style includes the clothes surfers wear, the cars they drive, their attitude and speech patterns. To a casual observer, it's easy to mistake this style for a lackadaisical perspective on life. But, many surfers are entrenched into the same fast-paced, high-stress routines as others. They merely take time from their lives to leave it behind while adopting a style that represents their true longings.