Art Brewer Surf Skate Style



When did you first hear of SurfSkate style?

It had to be 1959 in Laguna Beach after seeing older local surfers skateboarding. They were making smooth turns and cutbacks emulating surf moves that were normally done in the water. It was surfing without waves.

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

It’s like a high speed dance that originated from surfing with a style that was a smooth, clean, controlled movement performed on waves. It made the surfer more pleasing to watch, instead of the awkward jerky body movements of a surfer without control. As skating progressed, with new equipment and urethane wheels, it started giving back to the style of surfing. From streets to pools, bowl skaters making vertical moves on their front and back sides, combining aerials to push the edge deeper, skaters started to influence young surfers like Larry Bertlemann, Mark Liddell and Buttons Kaluhiokalani. Surfers started to incorporate skaters’ movements expanding the hard vertical edge. Bottom turns and cutbacks became harder, more extreme and quicker; then the birth of aerials on waves started emulating the style of modern skaters.

How has surfing influenced skateboarding, and skateboarding influenced surfing?

When skateboarding started out, I think the style of surfers influenced skate style. Surf skate style came from surfers like Mickey Dora, Phil Edwards, Bill Hamilton, Skip Frye, and the hard-edged Hawaiian style of Barry Kanaiaupuni along with style masters like Joey Cabell, Jackie Baxter, Terry Fitzgerald, Michael Peterson, Gerry Lopez, Wayne Lynch, Shaun Tomson, Tom Curren, Tom Carroll, Rob Machado and Kelly Slater. It was the power style and extreme moves of skaters like Tony Alva, Jay Adams, Stacy  Peralta, Bob Biniak and Mike Weed that helped change the way surfers surfed waves finding new ways for a wave to be ridden.

Is SurfSkate style important today?

I feel that bowl and ramp skating style is really more important to snowboarding these days because they seem to mirror each other so closely in style and power. Where surfing has changed by becoming faster and more vertical than what it initially started out as, the aerial evolution of surfing has progressed to a daily act in both competition and everyday surfing.

Art Brewer surfs a downhill asphalt wave circa 1975. Photo: Courtesy of Art Brewer


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.


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