It's hard to hide your personality out in the water. The same guy that cuts you off on the freeway, or ignores your blinker to merge left or right will be hopping in the lineup, or looking like he is going left and then go right at the last second. All the rules governing surfing are unwritten, and they are enforced only by the participants. Surfing is an aggressive sport, being courteous used to pay off, times have changed.
Long ago when the surf would go flat for days on end, we needed a supplement. Remember the old steel skates? The ones that came with a key and clamped to your tennis shoes. Well somebody took them apart and nailed them to a two by four, thus the skate board. All you needed was a street in the neighborhood with some down hill grade. They did not turn at all, so you would just bonzi, It was fun. The skate board has really evolved.
Surfing use to be all about style. You would drop in, make a huge bottom turn, step up and go into a roll-a-coaster, then step back and do a drop knee cut back, whip it around and stall, let the wave set up in front of you then run to the nose and stand there perched like a statue.
Your feet where never more than shoulder width apart or a little more, arms at your sides, straight or slightly bent, fingers straight, together and wrist slightly arched. When you did a maneuver, bottom turn, or a cut back you would raise your arms to chest high. Still straight or slightly bent, hands, fingers, wrist as mentioned before. When you ran to the nose, you might raise your arms over your head, hands side by side, fingers pointing straight up and arch your back. Now I could insert a lot of great names here but I won't, I will leave that to your imagination.
In the old days, surfers were always regarded as misfits or rebels, all they wanted to do is surf. If you had a car, maybe a 49 Dodge, it was broke down and did not run. It would be parked in some field, luckily near the beach and you lived in it. If you where really lucky and had a job, like rough plaining blanks at night for shapers, like somebody I use to know. You had money for food.
Today, surfing has become big business. There are big name sponsors involved and a hole lot of money. Although long boards are as popular as ever, on the circuit short boards are the big draw.
As boards got shorter, styles changed along with the looks of young surfers of today. Nothing wrong with change as long as you are still courteous in the water, and don't say things like sorry man I didn't see you.
A lot of the not so old, older guys with long board backgrounds, who also short board have great style. The young short boarder of today has fused skate boarding into their style, doing though maneuvers that score really big points. It is what surfing has evolved into.
Personally, to this day. Gerry Lopez rips.