Brad Bowman Surf Skate Style



When did you first hear of SurfSkate style?

It was 1974. I used to go to Santa Monica to surf and skate with my best friend that lived near Pico and Lincoln. All the dudes in his area were all about “surf style” on their skateboards, which meant mimicking surfing on cement. They being the Dogtown rats and Z-Boys. They would compress and de-compress their legs (standing & squatting) while pumping and turning their boards. The ultimate goal was to do low change of direction turns and not lose speed. Also to gain speed from weighting and un-weighting by pumping. Stacy Peralta was extremely good at that. He could start from a standstill on his board and just create speed down the sidewalk.

What does SurfSkate style mean to you? 

For me, SurfSkate style is something that is really fluid, continual and smooth. When it was being   created, we watched surfing films and tried to pull style from our favorites. Gerry Lopez, Larry Bertlemann, George Greenough, Montgomery “Buttons” Kaluhiokalani, Sam Hawk, Reno Abellira and Michael Peterson were my influences.

Who has the best SurfSkate style?

Jay Adams had a fantastic SurfSkate style in his prime. Steve Olson, David Hackett, Tom Inouye, Stacy Peralta, Tom Sims, Ray Bones Rodriguez, Doug DeMontmorency, Darren Ho and Miguel Gutierrez all had great SurfSkate style.

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

Surfing influenced skating by giving skaters a more fluid approach to skating, which can have jerky, non-fluid movements at times. Staying low and going fast is also an influence from the bottom turn-top carve surfing. Skating helped surfing by making surfers stronger and more confident in the water. On land, you slam trying new things and it hurts, straight up. Try that same thing in the water and it’s luxury when you fall, unless you hit reef, rocks or the bottom. Skating also put surfing above the lip and brought in moves that were way ahead of what the “norm” was. Some surfers refused to learn this “new, lame” way of surfing. Where are they now? Who cares? Especially not them for bowing out instead of pushing themselves to new limits. That’s what divides the men from the boys.

Is SurfSkate style important today?

Of course, it is. Look at Pedro Barros, who is a perfect example. He’s a kid whose dad, Andre, is an avid surfer/skater. Andre schooled Pedro on all aspects of both sports and look what Pedro is doing, all with high speed, confidence and surf-style. The important thing is to enjoy what you’re doing, every minute of the day. Even if you don’t like it, find the joy in it. You’ll have a much better journey this way. As for SurfSkate style, it’s  important because it gives you more fluidity, smoother transitions in your skating and feels more natural.

The ‘70s skateparks exploded with concrete waves that Brad Bowman surf styled through for years and this early days layback edger was just the beginning for this super man ‘70s Icon. photo © Goodrich


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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