I always thought that surfing’s soundtrack was a mix of punk, reggae, and surf rock. These three genres have been staples of every surf movie released since The Endless Summer in 1966. But after spending years hanging around parking lots and eavesdropping in lineups, I realized that surfing’s true official mixtape is not one that involves drums, bass, or upstroke heavy guitars – it’s grumbling. While you may not be able to purchase the sweet sounds of two dudes bemoaning tide fluctuations on Spotify, the gripes of surfers are still the most common sound of this sport.
We love nothing more than to talk about our surf-induced headaches, because, as much surf culture tries to embody the phrase “no worries,” we have worries – and OH, they are many. And most are due to so little of the surfing experience being spent, yah know, actually surfing. We spend 99 percent of our time overcoming various obstacles in order to surf – conditions, crowds, traffic, overeager teenage surf shop employees – that the act of catching a wave merely becomes a game within the larger game.