15 Types of Surfer You'll Find on Beaches Around the World
Like a bird-watchers guide to the beach, only for surfers
Anyone who has ever ventured down to their local surf spot will know that they are home to a colourful bunch of people. Those who are surfers might even find themselves reading about one of the following characters thinking that it all sounds very familiar.
And if you haven't ever had the sheer joy of encountering these guys we suggest that you head on down to the beach with this guide in tow. It's a little like birdwatching or train spotting but in our opinion far more entertaining. Enjoy!
The Superstar Kid
Like everybody on the beach, these dudes are there to serve a purpose. To make us feel bad about ourselves. As we struggle to carry our 10ft foamie down the beach, these kids run past us without a care in the world, jump gracefully into the water, paddle seamlessly out beyond the break and proceed to show up every person twice their age.
The Surf Bum
Likes to hang out in carparks adjacent to the best swell going. Will usually own a VW van or something similar and when he ventures away from the safety of his van or the beach to civilisation, he’s often thrown spare change as people assume he’s homeless. We are never quite sure how the surf bum fuels his van or himself for that matter as there seems to be nothing as inconvenient as a job getting in the way of surf time.
The Mid-Life Crisis
There reaches a certain point in everyone’s life where that all important question raises its scary head: ‘Where am I going in life?’ One day this guy or girl was totally content with their life and then bam the next they feel worthless. They need to shake up their lives and quick. And all of sudden, the solution is so clear. Surfing. Kelly Slater makes it look so easy, so cool, so fulfilling. They are totally confident they too can rock that vibe.
So they head out, buy all of the kit. The sales assistant talks them into buying the works – of course you need the latest merino wool lined 5mm suit – after all you’ll become totally addicted and want to surf all year round. Before they know it they’re running across the beach daring David Hasslehoff to give them a run for their money in the cool stakes. They hit the water feeling awesome. Until reality hits and they realise surfing is a lot harder than it looks. Reality check.
The Grumpy Local
Despite the fact that this dude is guaranteed to be benefitting from the recent influx of surf schools and the business they bring to the local community, no surf town is complete without a grumpy local. A fan of leaving abusive “No Parking" messages on windscreens and telling anyone who will listen that surfers are a reincarnation of the devil. Rest assured though, he will not turn your money away when you buy a cup of tea from his local café.
The Surf Schoolers
Dressed in brightly coloured rashies, it’s impossible to head to surf school and remain incognito. Bouncing around in the whitewater, these are the guys who always appear to be having the most fun. Nothing quite matches the first time you stand on that board for all of about two seconds. You can guarantee that every single person in the surf school walking away from the beach is doing so with an ear to ear grin, even if they are freezing their nuts off in the rental suit!
The Surf Instructor
Not to be confused with the surf school owner. The surf instructor can be found standing in the water with a false grin plastered on his face as he pushes the 100th person into a wave that day. He is simultaneously wishing that he had not drunk so much last night, while mentally planning another big session that evening.
The Surf School Owner
This guy seems to have endless enthusiasm. He celebrates even the most pathetic shred of mediocrity on a surfboard. He is genuinely passionate about his business and loves nothing more than watching people get into the sport that he loves.
The Silver Surfer
Otherwise known as the pioneers of the sport, these dudes remember the days when surfboards were wooden and instead of wetsuits people wore woollen jumpers in the water. They may have grey hair but they still rock the same bodies they did when they were 25 and mentally they haven’t aged a bit. A little stiffer than they were in their prime, they opt to rock a longboard and show the young ones that they still have it when it comes to grace and style.
The Stoner is content to be on the beach. He claims he surfs but we’ve never actually seen him in the water. And to be honest that’s probably for the best as he seems to spend his whole life totally baked. When he is not sitting on the beach completely mesmerised by the surfers in front of him, he can be found in the local bar nursing the same beer for hours on end speaking very slowly to anyone who will engage with him and never really making much sense.
N.B Most stoner surfers will not be as good looking as Matthew McConaughey or as cool as Woody Harrelson.
Blond beach hair, a year round tan and rock hard abs define the poser. These guys and gals were God’s gift to the human race and they know it. They will be found hanging out in the carpark, flicking their hair approximately 15 times a second and letting out the odd fake laugh as they ‘accidentally’ catch a glimpse of themselves in the wing mirror. Their gear is always pristine and perfectly matching and they will ensure they do a suitably long warm up on the beach to ensure as many people as possible can look on in awe of such beauty.
Usually seen with a bevy of girls in their wake, the pro will always make out that they hate the attention but we know that they secretly love it. These guys deserve to have a bit of an ego though, they are properly talented and we all look at them with utter awe as they show us how it’s done time and time again.
Every beach has one and they are without doubt the most loathed guys in the water. We’ve all been there, you are about to catch the most perfect wave of the day and then out of nowhere the snake drops in on you. It is the most frustrating thing in the world.
Usually in their mid-forties, the wannabe still thinks they’re 20. Unwilling to accept reality, they believe if they spend a tonne of cash on gear, speak the lingo and rock up to the beach every single weekend they’ll be part of the crew. This video sums up the wannabe better than we ever could.
The Soul Surfer
No matter how good a peak is on the beach he will always paddle off and surf alone. He or she doesn't need the validation of his peers seeing him surf. He's elusive, but is always on the very best swells of the season. He has flawless style, yet rides old boards. Drawing the right lines on a wave are all that matter in life.
The Speed Bump
You're paddling into the wave of your life and he is in the way. He duck dives right in front of you, ruining a barrel and just when you're enjoying a tranquil moment with mother nature he will turn up next to you and start a conversation.
He or she will likely have a neon coloured board from the seventies and will be oblivious to how annoying they are.