Surfing is rife with characters. Travel to different lineups around the world, though, and you’ll notice each lineup has people that fit certain molds. They may have different haircuts, maybe a different color board or wetsuit, or even a different language, but the attitude is the same as what you might find at home. The following is a list of 10 folks that you’ll likely find at any and every lineup imaginable, and a handful of quotes you’ve definitely heard before.
1. The Soothsayer- predicts conditions, never right.
“It’ll glass off.” (It doesn’t).
“Dude, wait ’til tomorrow. It’s gonna be pumping!” (It isn’t).
2. The ‘If Only’ Guy- always says it’d be better, “if only…”
“It’d be sooooo much better if the tide were a little higher.”
“Just one degree more westward and this swell would be incredible!”
“If only the wind were offshore and the waves were 2ft bigger, it’d be sick!”
3. The Always Happy Guy– zen master, just happy to be alive and in the water.
“Getting burned happens, man, but if you let it get to you, you’ll never experience true happiness.”
(Waves are terrible). “There’s a little something out there! It’ll be nice to just get in the water!”
4. The Always Angry Guy- gets the barrel of his life with a frown. Burns people all day and yells at first guy to burn him.
“It’s soooo crowded!!” (to nobody in particular).
“Go home, kook! Locals only!” (not from there either).
5. The Blind Man- insists he didn’t see you screaming down the line.
“Oh, man. That sun’s gnarly, huh? Didn’t see you there.”
“My bad, dude. Had no idea you were right behind me.”
“Hey man, check out my ultrapolycarbonate hydropolymorphate super light but extra durable leash. Cost me like a grand, but it gives you live info about how to improve your surfing while in the lineup.”
“Did you see my surf stats on Facebook last night? I got a 271-degree turn during an evening sesh at Lowers. That’s 3 more degrees than I normally get. I shared it, you must’ve just not seen it.”
7. The Rootsy Dude- no leash, rides only board designs developed in the 60’s and 70’s (i.e. traditional longboards, fishes, and single fins), beavertail wetsuit.
“What is internet?”
“Nah I don’t know what time it is. I’ve never owned a watch. Time is relative in the world of Mother Ocean.”
8. The Screamer- yells curses after every completed ride, discontent with the number of opportunities missed to perform aerials, turns, floaters, et al.
“Fuck! You’re such an idiot.” (Talking to self).
“Land that one next time, pussy!”
9. The Talker- friendly enough, but always trying to talk everyone’s ear off and hard to get a word in edgewise.
“Hey, you watch the debate last night? I did. I think so and so won. It wasn’t the best. Where are you from? I live down the street. That’s a rad board. Mine’s brand new.”
10. The Gear Geek– Always wants to take a look at the undercarriage of everyone’s board.
“Hey, that last one was sick. Is that a single fin? Quad? Half moon tail? How many liters of foam is it?”
“What bottom contours you rockin’, dude? Single to double-triple concave with a quadruple V out the tail?”