Eric Britton Surf Skate Style

SURF SKATE STYLE WITH ERIC "TUMA" BRITTON.
INTERVIEW BY DAN LEVY.
PHOTO BY DAN LEVY.

 

When did you first hear of SurfSkate style?

I’m not really quite sure. It had to be around ‘87 down in Venice. It was probably Aaron Murray that I first heard of surfskate style from.

What does SurfSkate style mean to you and who has the best surf skate style?

First off, surfskate style means don’t be a kook. It means fluidity and expression. There is an artistic aspect to it because you’re just flowing and become one with the elements, and your board and the bank or the wave. Scott Oster and Aaron Murray have a great surfskate style. Those two have different types of surfskate style. Scott Oster makes everything look pretty and it’s really drawn out, his backside especially. Aaron Murray, hands down, has one of the best frontside styles that I’ve seen, and it’s really powerful. Dave Hackett has great surfskate style. He has one of the best frontside snaps. It looks like he’s riding on a wave. Greyson Fletcher has good surfskate style too and he grew up in a surfing family. Chris Miller has great surfskate style and Eric Dressen has a great frontside slash grind that looks like he’s surfing. Skateboarding is so creative that everyone is going to do the same trick in a different way, but there are people that flow better than others. It’s all about style.

How has surfing influenced skateboarding, and skateboarding influenced surfing?

Well, surfing has influenced skating due to the fact that skateboarding started because surfers couldn’t surf because the waves were flat, so they made these skateboards and they started sidewalk surfing. Initially, it started as them cruising and pumping down little driveways and banks like they were on waves. Surfing has influenced skateboarding in its fluidity and style – surf style. Skateboarding has influenced surfing with aerial maneuvers and that’s pretty much it. There’s no reverse there. Airs came from skateboarding and then they took it to surfing. The fluidity came from surfing and then they brought it into skateboarding. It’s a nice mix. It’s like chocolate and vanilla. It’s like Oreo cookies. [Laughs]

Is SurfSkate style important today?

If you don’t think it’s important, then you probably don’t have any style. Yes. Surfskate style is important today. Skateboarding is an artistic form of expression. If you watch someone skate a pool, it’s like they’re creating a picture. If you watch someone that is really good at street skating, it’s like they are painting a picture with the maneuvers they are doing. It’s like an artist. You can be an artist that doesn’t put emotion into his art, but if you don’t put a lot of emotion into it, it doesn’t translate well. You gotta look good. You gotta make it look pretty. You have to create that canvas that catches people’s eye. If you’ve got no style, then you do stinkbugs and you’re just a barney. It’s one thing to have all the tricks in your bag, and it’s a different thing to skate like your board is an extension of your body. Yeah. Surfskate style is very important.

Tuma front rock at Venice Skatepark pre-grand opening. Photo © Dan Levy

JUICE MAGAZINE SURF SKATE STYLE STORY:

The influence of surfing on skateboarding has been discussed since the beginning of both, yet we have now entered a new era, where skateboarding has returned the favor with its own unique influence on the surfing world. In order to get to the core of this cross over and to try to define the origins and current state and status of surf skate style, we’ve interviewed some of the most innovative skateboarders, surfers, artists, documentarians, photographers, filmmakers and musicians on the planet. In honor of the great, Shogo Kubo, who once said, “To me, style is everything…” welcome to our exploration of Surf Skate Style featuring interviews with Aaron Murray, Aaron Astorga, Abraham Paskowitz, Art Brewer, Bennett Harada, Brad Bowman, Brandon Cruz, Brian Brannon, Carter Slade, Chris Miller, Chris Strople, Christian Fletcher, Christian Hosoi, Craig Stecyk III, Darren Ho, Dave Tourje, David Hackett, Dennis Martinez, Dibi Fletcher, Don Redondo, Eric Britton, Garrett McNamara, Gerry Lopez, Glen E. Friedman, Greg Falk, Greg Galbraith, Greyson Fletcher, Herbie Fletcher, James O’Mahoney, Jef Hartsel, Jeff Ament, Jeff Divine, Jeff Ho, Jim Fitzpatrick, Jim Gray, John Van Hamersveld, Jonathan Paskowitz, Josh “Bagel” Klassman, Kalani David, Keith Morris, Kirra Kehoe, Larry Bertlemann, Laura Thornhill, Lizzie Armanto, Marc Emond, Michael Denicola, Michael Early, Nano Nobrega, Nathan Fletcher, Nathan Florence, Neil Stratton, Norton Wisdom, Pat Bareis, Randy Katen, Ray Flores, Rob Nelson, Robert Trujillo, Scott Oster, Shane Allen, Shaun Tomson, Shota Kubo, Solo Scott, Stacy Peralta, Steve Alba, Steve Olson, Takuji Masuda, Terry Nails, Tim Curran, Tim Hendricks, Tim Kerr, Tom Groholski, Tony Alva, Wes Humpston and Zach Miller.

FOR THE REST OF THE STORY, ORDER ISSUE #75 AT THE JUICE SHOP…

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