Posted by: martinworster | May 26, 2009

62. OC TYPES II – SURFER GROUPS

SURFER DUDES – Southern California is surf central, Huntington Beach it’s capital. It’s the epicentre of a multi-billion dollar industry – most of the major surf brands are located here as are lots of pro surfers. Everywhere you go it’s dudes and ‘bras’. Yes – ‘bras’ – this is what some surfers call each other as a Hawaiian islands lexiconical substitute for ‘bro’. Confused? Said of course with no irony for the fact that they are in fact using the name of material to cover a womens breasts as a manly appellation. In fact the category ‘Surfer Dudes’ is so large as to deserved distinct sub-categories:

 

SURFER DAD – I obviously sit (or hopefully stand if I manage to survive ‘the drop’ when catching a wave intact) in this camp. Similar to ‘Dad Rock’, Surfer Dads cling onto the surfing lifestyle as a futile defence mechanism against encroaching middle age. ‘Cling on’ being the operative term – clinging onto their over sized surfboards, beer gut flowing over the rail, clinging onto the youthful aspirations that everything the ‘surfer lifestyle’ represents. Clinging on for dear life – literally. Buttocks clenched as they take the ‘backdoor’ (surfer terminology – not what you think) when really they should be on the beach watching the sand fall through their fingers, like the minutes and hours of life slipping by. 

 

SOUL SURFER – Surfers who catch waves for the spiritual dimensions. Eco-warriers with haystack hairdos, deep perma-Indo tans, four day stubble, Reef sandals, ethic jewellery and bleached board shorts – and a constant, faraway look in their eyes. The surfer as mystic shaman, communing with the spirits of the water world. Oh man. Talk of epic Nias tubes, getting shacked on some outer reef on a South Pacific island nobodies heard off, secret Baja spots, should have been there…blah blah. And then there’s the faux laid back persona – as if nothing matters. “No worries’, ‘chill out’, ‘yeah dude’, ‘whatever’ all delivered in a strung out, heroin drawl when secretly it’s anything but ‘no worries’. Realy they’re experiencing existential angst to the point of being driven to popping caps on innocent victims in the nearest shopping mall.

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