Stacy Peralta Surf Skate Style



When did you first hear of SurfSkate style?

I heard about it before it was even a term or word association because all of us who grew up skateboarding in Santa Monica/Venice were surfers who skateboarded. We began skateboarding after the brief boom in the ‘60s and all we had to look at for inspiration was surfing. Surfing was everything to us, and when we skated we were imagining ourselves surfing. It was all about surfing back then. There were very few if any actual skateboarding moves or tricks back at that time. I’m talking about the late ‘60s all the way up to the mid ‘70s so, as skateboarders, we modeled ourselves on the world’s best surfers and how they moved going up and down a wave. Style, flow, power, aggression and correct body posturing was everything we were aiming towards.

What does SurfSkate style mean to you?

It means less is more – it means the essence of skateboarding. It means gliding on a skateboard down a street or sidewalk doing virtually no moves whatsoever and looking absolutely relaxed and looking beautiful because you’re flowing with speed and grace and style without any intention of doing something technical.

Who has the best SurfSkate style?

I’m biased, of course, but we, the Z-Boys, not only had the best surfskate style but we defined it. It was the essence of who we were as skateboarders. It was everything to us and it was who we were.

How has surfing influenced skateboarding and skating influenced surfing?

In the beginning, skateboarding was a complete and total offshoot/creation of surfing. In the very early years, skateboarding was done primarily by surfers as a way to feel they were surfing when the waves were down. Skateboarding eventually severed its ties with surfing in the late ‘80s with the emergence of serious vertical skating and then, with the birth of street skating shortly thereafter. That is when skateboarding truly found its own voice, tone and mandate. Skateboarding not only ended up influencing surfing, it influenced snowboarding, BMX, skiing and so many other sports via all of the incredible maneuvers that were invented in skateboarding during the ‘80s. Skateboarders, during the ‘80s, literally invented a brand new language of action maneuvers in vertical skating, freestyle skating and street skating that are now common maneuvers in all of these sports; the flat-land ollie and the vertical ollie, the frontside and backside air, all of the various aerial grabs, the 540, the 720, the 900, the rail slides, the shuvit, ollie flips, etc. The list goes on and on. The moves invented by Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen and all of the rest of the great skaters of the ‘80s laid down a foundation of tricks and techniques that are now used in all of these sports and what’s so remarkable is that so many of them were invented in skateboarding during a 10 year window.

Is SurfSkate style important today?

It’s a lost art and a very important one. Why? Because it’s the essence of skateboarding. There are thousands of skaters all over the planet who can do incredible maneuvers in the street and on vertical but how many of them can just get on a board and roll down a sidewalk and look beautiful?

This shot of Peralta captures Stacy’s classic surfskate style in the streets. Photo © CR Stecyk III


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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