Hipster Surfing

hipster surfing

By Cyrus Sutton

Good article on hipster surfing by Sean Doherty. I really enjoyed it and it got me thinking.

Not just within surfing, hipster culture is often confused and entangled with the DIY culture that started in the punk era. DIY culture is about facing the world as it is. Instead of rebelling, hiding or submitting, it’s about choosing to participate where appropriate.

From personal experience, the fun comes from looking at culture, not as good or evil, but as a game where certain pockets are constantly opening and closing. With the mainstream’s frantic march for progress and celebration of the newest and the best there’s a lot of these pockets to re-engaged with to create a more diversity and joy.

Pro surfing as it progresses is becoming increasingly exclusive. Boards break quickly and need to replaced, good waves need to be traveled to, food devoid of chemicals need to be purchased, trainers, gyms, contests fees… All of this isn’t going to stop kids who really love surfing from giving it their best. And this is what you are seeing today- kids who pulling inspiration around them with the tools at hand. They can shape their own equipment, they find stoke in bodysurfing, as much as noseriding, as much as carving as much as doing big airs.

I’m glad I live in a time when the industry supports people to explore areas of the surfing experience that the contest thoroughbreds need to overlook in order to achieve their specific performance goals. The truth is that most of these kids don’t care whether their inspiration comes from Mick in a red singlet at J Bay, or the old vegan bodysurfer dawn patroller down the street.

Hipster culture, from what I’ve observed has always been preoccupied with rebelling against a flawed system through a tendency to define themselves through their purchases. It’s about the result more than the process. It’s sad that subcultures are often celebrated and then judged in the popular eye by the actions of each generation’s most self-indulgent.

What the DIY movement has done for many of us is empowering and positive.

Here’s Sean’s article- http://www.coastalwatch.com/surfing/13320/sean-doherty-on-de-evolution-hipsterism-in-surfing


Here’s Sean’s article- http://www.coastalwatch.com/surfing/13320/sean-doherty-on-de-evolution-hipsterism-in-surfing

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