SURF SKATE STYLE WITH RAY FLORES. INTERVIEW BY JUICE MAGAZINE. PHOTO COURTESY OF RAY FLORES.
When did you first hear of SurfSkate style?
We used to talk about it back in junior high school in 1965. We were on the Hobie skateboard team and we used to talk a lot about style.
What does SurfSkate style mean to you and who has the best surf skate style?
SurfSkate style means so many different things because there are so many categories of style. There is radical style, smooth style, natural style and technical style too. Other guys have to work on their style. Sometimes, even ugly style can be beautiful. Some guys have ugly style, but they can do impossible and incredible things, so their style becomes useful. Style is a personal thing. It relates to your everyday life too. It’s not just about riding your skateboard or surfing. Your style carries over into the rest of your life. You have to take all of those things into consideration when you’re judging a person’s overall style. It’s not just out in the water and on a skateboard. It’s a lifestyle. To me, style is everything. There are very few people in and out of the water with natural style. I think Alva is one of those guys. I think Jay was one of those guys too, but they have two completely different kinds of styles. Alva’s style is more relaxed and cool. Jay’s style was more explosive and energetic. Other guys have incredibly smooth style like Gerry Lopez. Then you have guys that have ugly style riding huge waves, and you can’t deny that kind of style is useful for what they’re riding.
How has surfing influenced skateboarding, and skateboarding influenced surfing?
Skateboarding is surfing’s little brother. Skateboarding and surfing are the sports that have the most style in the world. With surfing, you’re combining a life and death situation with a casual dance on a wave on top of a small object. Surfing is the grandfather of all style sports. Skateboarding took surfing to another level. Skateboarding is the grandfather of all extreme sports. They weren’t doing airs on surfboards before they were doing air on skateboards. They weren’t doing lip slides on surfboards before they were doing lip slides on skateboards. They weren’t doing 360s in the air and landing them on surfboards before they were doing them on skateboards. All those things they do now on surfboards were first done on skateboards. It escalated and translated and then transferred into surfing. Skateboarding influenced surfing, just like a little brother will discover a great band and show it to his big brother and then the big brother will like it too. That’s how skateboarding and surfing are. It’s like a little brother and a big brother. The little brother can always show the big brother a few good things.
Is SurfSkate style important today?
It’s always important because that’s what keeps it evolving. The relaxed style keeps the relaxed form of surfing and skateboarding evolving. The extreme style keeps it evolving. The longboard style in skateboarding and surfing keeps getting more extreme. Longboards are getting pushed to higher speeds and bigger mountains and longer slides. Each category of surfing and skateboarding, whether it’s long boards or short boards or progressive boards with newer shapes, all keep evolving. Style is what makes them evolve.
JUICE MAGAZINE SURF SKATE STYLE STORY:
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.