Stories of the open road

Tales of a Vagabond...

surf 2"...there was purity and there was the dream, and the adventure, and there was the counterculture aspect. It was like shove society, shove the nine to five, shove the rules... we're just going to follow our hearts, treat each other well, eat well and enjoy the ocean. It was not for money and it wasn't for fame... that's what we're going to do... purely because that's what our hearts want to do. That was amazing."

~ Jim Banks

It is sheer madness if you ask me. It is a madness bonded with the search for great tidal waves, the hunt for a perfect ocean to surf… It is the desire for the ultimate ride, its surf 5

Surf subculture arose to its peak as a part of a popular culture within the decades of 50’s and 60’s. Simply the sport of surf board riding or "surfing" is the core idea of the subculture and it enveloped with the lifestyle, fashion, music, literature, films, jargon and many more aspects related to ‘surfing’…

The history of modern surfing roots back to the 20th century but the spirit of surfing runs way back in the pages of history. The first known occurrences of surfing are connected to the ancient Hawaiian tradition of "he'e nalu", meaning "wave-sliding". For this ancient Hawaiian culture, the sea had an attached persona, which could reflect emotions. A good day of surfing required the proper waves, and in order to convince the sea to provide these waves, ancient Hawaiians relied on ‘Kahunas’, the Hawaiian priests to pray for good surf. Kahunas would engage in ritual chants and dances, with the intention of pleasing the sea to provide the people with ‘surfable’ waves!

surf 4Surfing subculture feeds its own terminology; its own slang, admixed with Valley-speak. If a surfer says “Point break”, you ought to know it means an area where an underwater rocky point creates waves that are suitable for surfing…

Surf music is a reflection of the allure of ‘surfing’, the feelings they share with the great ocean waves and the experience of floating on waves… Surf music dawned as an offshoot of early rock music or rock n’ roll and it branched off again to sub genres such as surf rock and surf pop. ‘Jan and Dean’, ‘The Beach Boys’, ‘The Surfaris’, ‘Dick Dale’, ‘The Shadows’, and ‘The Ventures’ served as pioneers of ‘surf music’ and still we hear their surf music creations among the popular culture…

surf 3As the hippie culture also peaked in the 60’s and being free spirited being a shared credo of both cultures, ‘Surf visual art’ also inscribed free spirited themes and the hippie nature of many surfing lifestyles into their paintings and murals.

“Surfing culture” even gave birth to many aspects of popular culture we experience today. For an example, how do you think the term ‘surfing the internet’ originated; not forgetting popular comics such as the ‘silver surfer’ or ‘Captain Goodvibes’ in popular culture.

If you remember classical television legends of the X generation and most of the time Y generation such as ‘Baywatch’ or ‘Hawaii Five-O’, you can have a pretty much have an idea about the elegant perspective of ‘surfing’.

As final words, being a surfer means not to just show-off among tidal waves but look for the real thrill of just ‘being alive’! Waves of the great ocean speak about life. It’s all about seeking the life betwixt great waves, amalgamating with the persona of the Great Ocean… Believe me, surfing is one of those things that you should do one day before you die…surf 1

By Pathum Punchihewa

Special Thank: to my friend who ignited the deep down buried desire of surfing in my heart…

Published on Daily Mirror (20th October 2011)


Bindi said...

We have the ocean , we got the wave

why not surf??? not that brave

...Is sad ,the ocean is not much fun for Sri Lnkan.Dnt knw why. Once my Belgian friend came and dive at Eastern sea and wondered why I never dive. Funny , I even cant swim in the sea.


can u edit comment moderation please

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Fat Bastardo said...

This is from the very deep south... Equador.

California surf guitar phenom Mark Kuhn of Voodoo Court has formed a new surf band called the Compadres. They have a strong Spanish feel. Please give this upstart band a free listen.

The Compadres are the next big thing in modern surf music click HERE to hear their tunes

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