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Culture

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Surfers represent a diverse cultural group this includes those who embrace the practice for recreation and those who make it into a career and lifestyle choice. This culture stared to develop in the early 20th century and spread further afield and very quickly during the 50’s and 60’s. Within the United States surfing culture dominates areas such as California, Florida and Hawaii, in the UK the surf culture is confined to the southwest coast most notably St Ives, Newquay and Bournemouth.

There are now recognizable styles associated with surfing; the woody, the VW van and board shorts not to mention the development of the skateboard formed as an alternative allowing the rider to “surf” on land. The clothing and product market associated with surfing is now a multi-billion dollar industry with professional surfers receiving corporate sponsorships and lucrative careers.

Good surf spots are rare and this is often recognized by local surfers whose surf spot is seen as their territory and becomes highly guarded. This territorial behaviour is often produced around beach towns where tourism can infringe upon the coveted commodity of the ‘surfable wave’ and produced a ‘locals only’ attitude to outsiders.

Localism in some instances has developed to produce gangs who occupy a certain break or beach, these are often referred to as “surf punks” or “surf Nazis”. The most notable areas where this sort of surf culture has been observed are in Malibu and Hawaii, the da hui as they are known to even threaten physical violence to protect their spot. Furthermore at the Venice and Santa Monica beaches of Southern California local surfers are renowned for their hostilities to surfers from the San Fernando Valley. One extreme example of this gang mentality was at the location of Windansea in La Jolla in the 1960’s where the swastika symbol was adopted and used on their boards, however it has been claimed that this was just a way of scaring non locals away. The depiction of surfing culture and gang mentality within it was also depicted in Movies such as lords of dog town and documentary’s such as bra boys, bringing the issue onto a more global scale. These also highlighted the socio-economic problems that existed but that were often ignored by other locals, resulting in anti surfing cultures; hence the term ‘surf bums’. Many of those who chose to embrace the surfing life style and ‘live’ surfing all year round were often from a lower economic class and thus were resentful of outsiders, especially those who came to surf recreationally and were well to do. Australia had a particular problem with this in Maroubra bay where surfers were infamous for localism due to hostility from local government, events of which were documented in the aforementioned bra boys.

Big Wave Surfing: In the mid 1990’s big wave surfing became a popular practice, surfers began to make use of personal watercraft such as jet ski’s and speed boats, to tow them into waves that they were too large and fast to catch.

LONGBOARDING AND SHORTBOARDING There are traditionally two divisions in surfing; the Longboard and the Shortboard, the typical construction differences in shape and length ultimately produce different surfing styles that can be suitable for different wave conditions.

Surfing is all about travel and exploration and as surfers are usually not the richest people on earth, so with cost on the rise for surf travel what will happen to surf culture as we know it? will surfing become a sport just for the rich? In this story is a breakdown of fees so you don't get any extra charges at the airport. With 11x world champ, Kelly Slater on board, will he be able to use his fame and following to make a change?

Christmas Surfing Santa E-Card

December 13th, 2012

The perfect Christmas Surfing E-Card This FREE Christmas e-card starts off with Santa surfing a gnarly wave at the beach – it shows that even without snow he will be on time. Santa looks great with his funky shades on. This FREE surfing e-card is for anyone who knows how to not drop in or for those people who forgot to send a card and [...]

Hundreds of miles from the coast, a group of travelling pro surfers made their way to Allentown to christen the town’s new wave pool, their heads swimming in futuristic dreams of a perfect, clean Trestles. The reality was something else completely! “We got out of the car – Pottz, Elko, Glen Winton, and I – and we’re standing there with our boards looking at a [...]

How much is a surfer worth?

January 6th, 2012

How much is a surfer worth really? With earnings conflicts crippled commencement of the NBA season and the AFL agreeing yesterday to a $1.14 billion participant payment arrangement, the sums sports folk pull in is dominating in the headlines right now. So when BRW (Business Review Weekly) relinquished its summer edition Rich List with the Top 50 Aussie Sports and Entertainment Earners, there were a [...]

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