Laura Thornhill Surf Skate Style



When did you first hear of SurfSkate style?

I moved from Texas to California in 1974, and got my first skateboard. I had been stealing a board from the boys next door for a year or so. It wasn’t until I moved to the Hollywood Riviera in South Bay that I got a skateboard. I moved to surfing mecca. That’s where Haggerty’s and RAT Beach was. I could see the beach from my house. I had a beautiful view and I could see all the waves. I started surfing a little bit after that. I instantly started hearing about SurfSkate style as a term early on in my skateboarding career. I would say it was 1974 when I first heard of surfskate style

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

SurfSkate style is the freedom and flow of surfing on concrete. You’re using the concrete and your weight as an expression of riding a board as though you’re in the water.  Stacy Peralta, Torger Johnson and Jay Adams had amazing SurfSkate style. Those guys were all standouts to me. For me, someone that I always emulated and still do to this day when I’m snowboarding, is Gerry Lopez. Gerry Lopez was a huge influence on me.

How has surfing influenced skateboarding, and skateboarding influenced surfing?

Today, you’ve got guys skating pools and parks and you have downhill people, and cruiser people and drifter/sliding people, but I still SurfSkate. I just do my thing.

Is SurfSkate style important today?

Absolutely. For me and the old school skaters, I think some of us look at how many names have been changed of tricks that we all pioneered, but one thing that will always stay true and stay the same is authentic SurfSkate style. Going out there and self-propelling yourself on the concrete, whether it’s with your foot and moving about with that freedom and flow of riding the concrete and/or just being on a board that you can sit there and gyrate and pump as if you were on a wave and it’s just carrying you through. I think SurfSkate style is imperative to keep things real, true and authentic.

Laura Thornhill styles through a 1-footed daffy. Photo © O’Mahoney


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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