The surf style: what you need to know

There really aren’t that many people who surf. It’s a really tough sport that requires a high degree of fitness. There’s also a pretty big fear factor too, as the ocean can be a violent place with the water knocking you around like a ragdoll in a washing machine. And don’t forget there are sharks.

Surfing requires at least decent waves too. There are quite a few people who live within driving distance to a beach, but most beaches don’t have a good enough wave to surf on. And then there’s water temperature and rocks. There are some damn good surf breaks out there that are in really cold water or are breaking on rocks that make surfing just too dangerous. The truth is, there are not too many people who are close enough to a good surf break. So how, then, are there so many surfer dudes everywhere?


I have surfed at some of the most popular spots in Florida hundreds of times. Even on the best days for surfing, there are usually no more than a couple hundred people surfing on a given beach. As a true, real-life surfer, it used to bug me seeing so many guys who looked like surfers but weren’t. They would look the look and talk the talk but had never paddled out even once. These posers would aggravate me because the surf style is a really cool one and I wanted only real surfers to have it. Truthfully, I wanted only us to have all the girls. That was selfish and wrong of me.


Surfing is way more than just an activity or water sport. It’s a culture! It has such a strong balance of nature, daring, danger, challenge, and freedom. Riding a wave can make you feel alive and balanced and confident. Catching a few waves can put you in tune with the ocean and the world and give you focus. Surfing all day can result in physical exhaustion, full mental stimulation, and real contentment in the day’s living. This is why some guys start surfing and never stop. They have finally found that something in the world that gives them everything they need.

People are attracted to big things like feeling free, being confident, and getting in tune with nature. Surfing gives you all of that. It’ll make you less structured and more carefree. You’ll start growing your hair longer, wearing looser clothing, and becoming less judgmental. Most people are so locked into their lives and they’ve made so many little rules for themselves that they lose the feeling of freedom. When they see longer or messy hair, flip flops, and a tan, they are drawn to the freedom it represents. Especially women. Just saying.


Ok, so you don’t really surf but you’d love to have the look and feel of it. That’s ok with me now. I actually encourage it. Why shouldn’t guys benefit from the look and feel of this awesome culture? It may make you try surfing or go more, which is almost always good. Here are some things you can do:

Get a tan
I can’t think of anything that says surfer/beach culture more than having some skin color. Tan skin makes you look healthier and better as it’s a natural make-up. Try to get and keep your tan by the sun. I’m fairly against going to a tanning salon, but for some it’s the only way.

Go to a beach
So maybe you are not close to the ocean or a surf break (read above). That’s ok. There is some kind of a beach somewhere close to you, though. Maybe it’s only a lake or a river beach. Go to it and hang out. Take off your shoes and feel the sand. Maybe take off your shirt outside to feel the elements on your skin. Perhaps you don’t like the way you look with your shirt off. Tough shit. Do it anyway! It’s all part of learning freedom and connecting and not giving a fuck.

Be physical at your beach. If you go with someone, throw a frisbee or football, kick a soccer ball, or at least go for a walk down the coastline. Do something active so you can feel better physically.

Get in water
When is the last time you got in a body of water? During our first nine months of existence, we were in water. The human body loves water. Get in it and move around a little. Feel it and dunk your head in it. If you can, swim out to where it’s deeper than you are tall. Splash. Have some fun with it and connect. This doesn’t seem like a thing, but believe me, it’s part of the surf attitude.

Wear flip flops
Or go barefoot sometimes. Get the feel of your feet being exposed. Let them breathe some real air. It’s a part of learning to connect with nature. Oh, and trim those toenails. Yikes!

Wear shorts
If you never wear shorts, then wear any kind of short. Active-type or beach-type shorts are best. I don’t mean those big-ass ugly shiny workout shorts with the elastic waists that are so big that you could stretch them completely over you to a make a tent. They only represent indoor, hard floor activities like weightlifting or basketball. That’s cool, but that’s not the outdoor beach look. It’s more artificial, like the shiny material they are made out of.

Board shorts or beach shorts or walking shorts are what I mean. If you’re not too fat, get the non-elastic-waist kind. Pay attention to what length they should be based on today’s beach fashion. Check out makers like Quicksilver or Billabong and see what they sell.

Check your hair
Ok, this isn’t for everyone, but it’s for more guys than you think. Try seeing what your hair looks like if you do nothing to it when you get out of the shower. Don’t brush it and don’t put any products in it. Let your hair dry naturally and see what it looks like. This may be a cool, earthy, and carefree look for you. Don’t wear it like that at your job, but try it out here and there. Surfers have pretty crazy-looking hair when they get out of the ocean and sometimes it is a great look. Give it a shot. Try not controlling your hair all the time. It could change your look for the better.

Get a surfboard
Strap it to your car or truck and drive around town so everyone can see it. Even if you live in Kansas. JUST KIDDING! Don’t do this. You can buy a surfboard and put it somewhere because they are cool, but don’t pretend you surf with it. Not until you do.

Surfing is great but it’s not for everyone. If you are lacking some style, though, try on the earthy and free style of the surfer. It may work for you.

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