This issue we unveil our sixth pillar, an invisible force that non-surfers peering in immediately recognise. Yet, many surfers are oblivious or choose to ignore it. As decades roll past, certain beliefs and mannerisms have been cultivated. Culture, from the Latin word colere: to tend or cultivate, has evolved from the early 16th century to include other areas of cultivation1. For example, the mind grows to accepts new ideas, modifies perspectives and personal development occurs. The collective achievements of human intellect, art, customs and social behaviour is culture.
Does surf culture exist? Or is it another way for mainstream couch spuds to spruik off in their nasal Aussie twang, so they can justify jamming us into a surf-labelled box, stacked in uniform rows as a part of their methodically controlled system? Somehow, their egotistical minds form a vicarious connection, in hope of being part of us, without ever feeling that grippy wax underfoot.
Maybe surf culture has always been there—unnoticed—an ambivert that colours the room depending on its vibe. With the right crowd, “surf culture” is a Jekyll-infused extravert, often plastered across mainstream media as reckless, rebellious, fearless victors of the sea, larrikins—more like lunatics—who spontaneously throw themselves and their boards into the fate of tsunami-sized waves. Or in its Hyde-persona, “surf culture” is coveted by the stressed-out nine-to-fivers, because we’re seen as laidback, barefoot, tanned, nature-lovin’, dolphin-huggin’ lifestylers who are soulful philosophers, or arty-muso types, so in sync with the universe that gliding along water seems better than walking on it.
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