Michael Early Surf Skate Style



When did you first hear of SurfSkate style?

I first heard of surfskate style in July 1975. I was reading a copy of Surfer and Skateboarder magazine in West Michigan and realized there was surf happening on the Great Lakes, right outside my door!

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

Surfskate style means power, grace, style and flow, stripped down to the raw essentials eliminating any un-useful action or wasting energy – therefore- all that’s left is the thrill of defying gravity, and pure fun. Best Surf Skate Style Surfers: Miki Dora, Christian Fletcher, Larry Bertlemann, Richard Kenvin, Ryan Burch, Kelly Slater, Tony Alva and Jay Adams. Best Surf Skate Style Skaters: Tony Alva, Brad Bowman, Doug de Montmorency, the Haut team, Steve Olson, Duane Peters, Wentzle Ruml IV and Tim Marting… These are just a few of many, many surfers and skaters on my list.

How has surfing influenced skateboarding, and skateboarding influenced surfing?

Surfing and skating are “blood brothers” really. Over the years, with product advancement and riders’ imagination and ability, they have affected and advanced each other – even bleeding off into other sports, i.e., snowboarding, skiing, SUPs, etc.

Is SurfSkate style important today?

It’s extremely important. Each continues to push the limits and each other as a driving force of style and power, while allowing for the complex and “bio” tricks. Whatever you can imagine, you can bring to reality… I remember first seeing the photos of TA doing frontside airs. It was mind blowing! We immediately set out to duplicate what we saw. Two skate sessions later, it was done. We could fly! Thanks, Tony. Although it was being done by others, Tony was the first to be photographed and published and therefore deserves to be credited with the move.

Michael Early backside carve grinds with speed and style. Photo © MRZ


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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