As many things in live, I believe that your surfing becomes a product of your environment. Kind of the same way like your personality is a product of the place you grew up at, your friends and family, the places you’ve travelled to, and so on. I am not out the put a bunch of labels on people but you can definitely tell something about someone by their longboard style.
Ben Skinner for example has a very progressive longboard style. I mean he’s a big guy who doesn’t even look like a longboarder when he’s out of his wetsuit. If you told me he replaced Sébastien Chabal in the French national rugby team, I would have believed you as well. But a longboarder he is with no doubt. When I briefly lived in Cornwall, I even had the pleasure seeing him surf a couple of times and I even got the chance to meet him. Although I don’t like to admit it, I have to say that I have a little bit of a man-crush on him.
However, if you were to look at Corey ‘kookapinto‘ Colapinto you would find a classic longboard style with a hint of performance and a dash of his own. This kid grew up in California and has mastered the style of gracefully swooping through the crowds. No doubt some of his catapulting cutbacks resemble JJF.
And of course I don’t want to forget about the women’s side of longboarding. There are a lot of things that I really love about surfing, but smooth and graceful longboarding is definitely at the top of that list. Last season we witnessed Rachael Tilly becoming the youngest World Champion ever, and she did it on a longboard. It’s hard to say who specifically inspired her longboard style but she has one nevertheless.
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