Brian Brannon Surf Skate Style



When did you first hear of SurfSkate style?

Can’t nail down the exact time, but where I grew up in Arizona it has to be pretty big for the waves to break, so the only surfing we could do was surf/skating, unless you wanted to go to Big Surf (a.k.a. Big Flush because everyone pissed in the water). It was a wave park with artificial mush that dudes in new wave glasses and long hair pretended they shredded – no surf style at all even though they rode surfboards – so the only real option was to take it to the ditches, backyard pools, and giant pipes. Go fast, hang on and do it with style was our motto and we concentrated on a surf-inspired, streamlined attack. I remember when I first skated High Roller Skatepark in Phoenix with Chris Camano. It was right next to a big hill with a giant white S on it that stood for Sunnyslope. We were skating that killer High Roller big snake and Chris pointed to the mountain and said, “You know what that S means? It means surf-out. You’ve got to surf out in everything you do!”

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

Looking good in highly critical situations. It’s like the guys that pull into a barrel at Pipe and lean back like it’s a walk in the park. Keeping your cool no matter what is all it’s about. You could do the biggest air in the world with your arms flapping every which way and your knock-knees spread-eagled in full stink-bug fashion, but in my book that wouldn’t hold a candle to a frontside slash done with picture-perfect commitment. Bring back the slashback gnarler! Scott Oster’s G-turns are still the single best move in street skating. Jay Smith laybacks! Anything Christian Hosoi touches. Jay Adams. Tony Alva. Shogo Kubo. Kevin Reed. Wally Inouye. Steve Olson. David Hackett. Chris Miller crossbones! Phoenix desert surf-skaters Donnie Ho, Steve Shelton, Danny Moped, Doug Perry and Sam Esmoer. The list goes on.

How has surfing influenced skateboarding, and skateboarding influenced surfing?

Skating would be what it is today if it wasn’t for surfing. And whatever it would be without it, I wouldn’t want to be a part of it. Skating started paying surfing back when Christian Fletcher started the aerial revolution.

Is SurfSkate style important today?

It’s more important now than ever. You can feel it when you got it. A good turn can carry you for days.

JFA Captain, Brian Brannon, grinds his 215s over the love seat. Photo © Arab


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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