Bennett Harada Surf Skate Style



When did you first hear of SurfSkate style?

It was definitely in the ‘80s when I was growing up skateboarding, probably from a magazine or something. For sure, I heard it from coming to Venice. Let’s just say Venice.

What does SurfSkate style mean to you?

Venice. That’s where I saw surfskate style for the first time, watching Christian Hosoi, Scott Oster and Aaron Murray just going fast and slashing, and not just going in a straight line, but actually surfing the concrete on a skateboard.

Who has the best SurfSkate style?

You could just go down the line, Jay Adams, Shogo Kubo, Tony Alva, Christian Hosoi, Aaron Murray, Eric Dressen, Pat Ngoho, Lonny Hiramoto, and all the O.G .Venice guys. I’m sure I missed people, so let’s say everybody in Venice.

How has surfing influenced skateboarding and how has skateboarding influenced surfing?

I would say that they’ve influenced each other so much. It goes from surfing to skateboarding when there are no waves, and then you’re trying to emulate surfing while you’re skateboarding, as you would do on a wave. Eventually, surfers started trying to be like skateboarders, doing more airs and grinds off the lip. I think surfing put the surf style into skateboarding as far as carving the sidewalks and riding four wheels like it was a wave, actually surf skating. With surfing, you’ve got people that started doing stalefishes and frontside airs because they saw skateboarding. I don’t think airs in surfing were happening until after they were already doing airs in skateboarding. I’m pretty sure that’s true. I wonder about a frontside grind or the frontside slash. That’s from surfing. Before people started doing that on a skateboard, surfers were doing frontside slashes in the ocean for sure.

Is SurfSkate style important today?

Yeah! Being from LA, and the Southern California lifestyle, that’s what it’s all about, for me anyway. Surfing and skateboarding – that’s my choice. Surfing and skateboarding is what we do here, and it’s a really good thing. I believe it makes you get closer to your environment. Whether it’s the ocean or the weather, you’re going to be outside most likely. You’ll be trying to use the environment to your advantage, to get a ride out of it or get a wave out of it. If you grew up playing baseball, you’re not looking at the baseball field like, “Oh, look at this cool baseball field!” You might just think, “I’m going to hit a home run.” It’s not like how a skateboarder would look at a curb or a wall ride or a skatepark, or a surfer might look at a surf spot. In a skateboarder way, you’re more underground and guerrilla about attacking shit real quick ninja style.

Sequential ghost rider, Bennett Harada, grinds through the pool coping at the Venice Skatepark while waves crash the shores just yards away. Photo © Dan Levy


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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