Randy Katen Surf Skate Style



When did you first hear of SurfSkate style?

For me, surfskate style references back to the early magazines and Larry Bertlemann taking surf moves from the waves to banks. Wallos is a good example of early surfskate style. That’s a great question because I know lots of skateboarders and the ones who surf totally skateboard differently than skateboarders who do not surf.

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

For me, it means low profile style, aggressive hit the lip, slash it, knees bent, arms forward, complete flowing, no wrestling any movements or your board. You’re completely one with the board. Steve Olson, Kevin Reed, Keith Meeks, Aaron Astorga, Tony Alva, Jay Adams, Jim Muir have the best surfskate style.

How has surfing influenced skateboarding, and skateboarding influenced surfing?

Skateboarding occurred because of the fact that surfers couldn’t surf in the afternoons when the waves blew out, so they would transfer from the water to the concrete, which at the time was hills in alleyways. It gave them that feeling of carving and flowing and to be able to get down and tuck and show style just like you were out on the wave. On the other hand, there’s been a lot of skateboarders who started off skateboarding then went to surfing and, because of having the terrain that skateboarding presents with pools, ramps, ditches and hills, the ones who did pick up surfing usually were more aggressive and became better faster.

Is SurfSkate style important today?

Very much so. It’s almost the essence that skateboarding was built on, even though snowboarding came along, even though dirtboarding and sandboarding came along, and even though all these alternatives to skateboarding showed up over time. Surfing was its essence, and still is. Even longboarders who cruise along the esplanade near the beach are capturing a moment of surfing, even though they may never grind a pool.

N-Men’s Randy Katen find it and grind it! Photo © Gregory Earl


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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