Greg Galbraith Surf Skate Style



When did you first hear of SurfSkate style?

I remember reading an article in Surfer mag back in the early ‘80s that focused on SurfSkate style. This was around the time surfers were starting to execute functional airs. Before that, I remember reading Action Now and I would see photos of Steve Olson skateboarding and surfing. At first, I thought it might be different people with the same name, but he kept appearing in several issues ripping on both a surfboard and a skateboard. After further examination, I was pretty impressed that a pro skater was also a legit, ripping surfer. Super inspirational. Also, I remember Jay Adams being featured in that SurfSkate style article in Surfer cranking a sick bottom turn. I had no idea he was such a good surfer until that photo.

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

To me, it’s when you incorporate moves and tricks from skate to surf or surf to skate. The article in Surfer was interesting because I was surfing and skating while the surfers who were making airs functional, were also skateboarders. That is when skate started to really influence surf and helping it evolve. The ollie became a mandatory maneuver in competitive surfing. Surf has always influenced skate, but the functional air in surfing gave the term SurfSkate style meaning. Plus there are cultural influences: fashion, music and art – which are important in defining SurfSkate style. Artists, brands and bands like Craig Stecyk, Agent Orange, Stussy, Devo, Santa Cruz, Jane’s Addiction, RVCA, Thomas Campbell, etc. help define SurfSkate style from a cultural standpoint. The pioneers of surf/skate style were Olson, Adams, Tom Curren, Occy  and Martin Potter. Then Christian Fletcher took the air to a mind-blowing level. Christian was grabbing the board just like skaters – mute, stalefish, indy, etc. and riding out onto the face. He is the biggest contributor when it comes to skate influencing surf. His contribution is massive and he disrupted surfing in a very positive way. My favorite surf film of all time is Runman 69 because it shows how amazing Christian’s feats were back then (plus it’s hilarious – it was Jackass before Jackass!).

How has surfing influenced skateboarding, and skateboarding influenced surfing?

Now, when I see skaters who skate fast, have great lines that flow with a relaxed style – I think they have a surf-influenced style. Legends like Omar Hassan, Christian Hosoi, Chris Miller along with young guys like Tom Remillard, Curren Caples and Greyson Fletcher are just a few that I think have a surf inspired style. Surfers who epitomize the skate influence – young guys who execute airs and radical turns like skaters include John John, Conner Coffin, Ozzy Wright, Rastavich, Alex Knost and Dane Reynolds.

Is SurfSkate style important today?

Yes, from an evolution standpoint it’s proven to be important. Skate has helped surf evolve (functional airs and aggressive, vertical turns) while surf has helped skate evolve (speed and flow with a relaxed/effortless body language).

Galbraith cruisin’ in Santa Teresa Costa Rica. Photo © Sonny Redding


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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