Steve Olson Surf Skate Style


When did you first hear of SurfSkate style?

The first time I heard SurfSkate style, I don’t know if it was so much of a term. It was just sidewalk surfing, for a lot of us that surfed and skated. That’s surf skating right there. We saw sidewalk surfing in the ‘60s, along with the hula-hoop, but it was all about style, like walking the nose and looking good doing the drop knees and so on and so forth. For SurfSkate style, a lot of dudes that skated back in the mid ‘70s were surfers, so it was just happening. Some dudes had more of a surf style and other dudes just had a skate style. Everyone was surfing on their skateboards.

Do you recall the first surf movie that you saw that had skateboarding in it?

I think it was Five Summer Stories. We saw Jay Adams, Ty Page, Gregg Weaver and those guys in some. All of them had their own different styles.

What does SurfSkate style mean to you?

To me, SurfSkate style looks like someone who is flowing and emulating surfing on their skateboard. Then both surfing and skating influenced one another, so you had all of that. There are guys that don’t surf, but they skate and they have a surf style, like that kid, Kevin Taylor, from Pennsylvania. I don’t think he surfs, but he certainly looks like he has a surf style. There are some other guys that have never surfed. Then you have guys that surf and skate and they have their style. I think it’s just a natural happening. My kid has a little bit of a surf style and he doesn’t surf.

Who has the best SurfSkate style?

There are so many that have SurfSkate style. There are so many that surf and skate. Christian Fletcher skateboards and surfs the way he surfs and skateboards. Nathan Fletcher does the same thing. I’m sure that Herbie Fletcher did the same thing within that family. Scott Oster, J-Boy, TA, Peralta, Muir – all of them surf and skate the same way. Ty Page surfs the way he skateboards. Stevie  Monahan, Gregg Weaver and Dave Hackett, everyone surfs and skates the same way, the ones that surf and skate. There are so many. Kevin Reed from up north, and little Curren Caples surfs and skates and has style. Sean Malto even has a little bit of a surf style. Greyson Fletcher obviously has great surfskate style too.

Who do you see taking skateboarding into surfing now?

What they’re doing with the aerials, they’re all doing some type of a SurfSkate type of deal for sure. There are slashes that look like disasters, where they’re popping their fins out the back or digging their nose. Floaters are like rock n roll slides. It goes on and on. Surfers now are progressing surfing at a crazy speed.

How do you think that surfing has influenced skateboarding and how has skateboarding influenced surfing?

With aerials now and with skating taking from surfing at the beginning and now surfing taking from skating, they both feed each other. It’s the same with snowboarding. It’s all inclusive. Surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding are all connected. With surfing, the way that they do off the lips now and smash the lip, it’s the same way that you go up and smash the lip on a skateboard. Skateboarding came from surfing for a lot of people and now skateboarding is giving back to surfing. It’s totally cool. It’s evolutionary and revolutionary. It’s like Kelly Slater doing that rotation. That was wicked. Other dudes have pulled that too. Jordy Smith is doing insane stuff. There are countless dudes out there that are aerialists, so it’s totally chill.

Is SurfSkate style important today?

Well, it depends on who you’re asking. If you ask me, I’d much rather watch someone that does surf and skate primarily. If you don’t have style, it’s okay. It’s just a different choice, and it’s their problem, not mine. I’d rather watch someone with cool style than lame style. I don’t know if everyone cares about it, but I do.

Style king, steve Olson, surfs and skates like a mad man! He will fly to Australia and grind the Bondi pool with the crew and take a slasher to the deep end. Photo © Dean Tirkot


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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