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Surfing - Surf Culture, The Good, The Bad, And The Beautiful

Sep 13, 2008
While the days of the '50s beach movies are long gone, some things remain, even as they have evolved. Surf culture is first and foremost all about surfing. Sure there are fashion elements, styles of speech and a whole lingo. But surfers are united in their love of the perfect wave that gives the perfect ride.

It takes months or longer to get familiar with the many ways a wave can form and break. It takes a long time to build up the skills to take advantage of it. But surfers will share locations, techniques and provide help to those who are struggling to get up to speed.

That's the good.

There are fringe elements in surfing, as there are in any culture. They think they own the waves, they may dominate the beach. Sometimes they engage in threats and violence against others. Not cool. That part of surf culture sometimes gets big press. That's not surprising since people often, for reasons no one understands, prefer to read about bad news.

That part of the culture happens on public beaches. Yet the surf Nazis think it's ok to try to control access to the beach and the waves. Whatever demons are running around in them that push them to do it, they come out when they can get away with it. Police and right-thinking surfers are rebelling against that anarchy, but it sometimes still happens.

That's the bad.

But the most important part of surf culture is the beautiful. And there is lots of it.

The sky on a clear blue day isn't something created by surf culture. But the choice to take advantage of it is. Seeking the sun and the colored sky plays into the feelings that draw surfers to the waves. Even when the skies are gray, the view can be dramatic in a quiet way. That's part of surf culture, that impressive natural display.

The warm yellow sand also is a given, but it's another element that draws surfers to become part of the culture, not just weekend wave riders. Nothing wrong with that, of course. The wide stretch of gently curving sand that gives underfoot is part of the natural gift that creates the mellow state that is part of surf culture.

But there's a state that isn't mellow, that is all passion. That comes from riding the perfect wave in a perfect way. And there's a kind of beauty to that, too. It's the beauty of excellence, the quiet pride of a skill well earned and the whooping joy of the rush when you use it.

Whether big endorsements that flow from winning competitions is your goal, or you just want to experience the ride for its own sake, that beauty is there for anyone who seeks it.

The safe surfer always wear sun protection swimsuits, sun protection hats, sunglasses, and sunscreens. Riding waves unprotected could cause kin damage at later stage in life.
About the Author
J Edmond have been working in the sun protection clothing industry for several years. The main aim is to raise awareness of the sun' UV radiation and it's effect on human skin. Click here for more info about sun protection swimwear and UV protective clothing.
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