Jonathan Paskowitz Surf Skate Style


When did you first hear of SurfSkate style?

When I was a little kid, I remember a place called Wallows in Hawaii. Guys like Buttons and Larry Bertlemann would go there when it was flat and practice their surfing moves on these banked walls. I remember Buttons using the term surf style talking about what they were doing.

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

When we were kids, we had to go to inland places with my family, when my dad would work; places like New Mexico or South Dakota. We had a couple of skateboards and we always tried to surf on skateboards wherever we were, so surf style was what we were doing on our skateboards. We never thought of skating as the premise. It was surfing on four wheels. SurfSkate meant surfing on land. Jay had damn good SurfSkate style, as did Larry Bertlemann, Mark Liddell and Tony Alva. Gregg Weaver was a smooth SurfSkate style guy for sure. Buttons was pretty rad, even back in the day, too.

How has surfing influenced skateboarding, and skateboarding influenced surfing?

When I was a kid, everyone I knew skateboarded to mimic surfing when there were no waves or just for fun. If you went to  Bicknell everyone was surfing their skateboards down the hill. It was the same at La Costa or even the first park I skated in San Marcos. As more skaters became better surfers and better surfers began to skate more, you saw the two merge. If I have to say one thing about their influence on each other, I would say, before you could make a surfboard do the things a skateboard could, you had to break through to a level that didn’t exist in surfing. The first time I saw that happen was when Christian Fletcher started getting air on a surfboard. If you want to talk influence, you first have to mark its origin. For me, that was CF getting air.

Is SurfSkate style important today?

There is a whole new world of SurfSkate style in skateboarding. Surfers quietly go along taking from skateboarding what works for them, but skateboarders are breaking off into a whole new division with longer boards and devices like the new Carver board. That thing works! I can surf on the street like I never had. I love the feeling of replicating my surfing on a skateboard! When you skate down the street, you look like you’re surfing. It’s not like skating on a little double kicked ollie stick. It’s surfing on land! It’s something that every surfer has always wanted to do, when there are no waves, of course!

Surfer skater extraordinaire, Jonathan Paskowitz works a ditch in ’77. Photo © Doc Paskowitz


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.


Follow Us

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Translate »