Through the lens of a skater, they are hideous.
(Editor’s note: This story, by the Lisbon-based writer Sam Einstein, interests me because it demonstrates the perennial war between surfers who can skate, and those who don’t. Sam skates. Sam surfs. And while the tweaked slob straight airs of Noa Deane and Dane Reynolds render me breathless, Sam thinks they’re hideous. He reasons his case below.)
Airs. One day they are cool, the next they’re not. One contest everyone’s jealously sandbagging Brazilians for doing too many airs while getting a Pottz-sized hard on for (insert lighter skinned surfer)’s rail game.
The next, everyone praises Slater for aerially emasculating Jack Freestone.
“Too many reverses.”
“Not enough power surfing.”
“We need more progression.”
There was always something rather homoerotic about passionately preferring a big, strong man’s powerful, yet beautiful, aggressive, yet stylish, spray-sending rail game. I don’t know where I was going with that.
But airs and style do mix. Growing up skating vert, doing airs was the whole point. Rotations were easily distinguishable (Slater’s air was a 720 dammit) and there were clear style no-nos in regards to grabs. Things are not so simple in surfing, to the bewilderment of any other board sport patron.
Since surfing has bitten skating’s style since the early air days of the 80’s, let’s peer through its lens and examine 2015/16’s en vogue move: the tweaked slob straight air. From Dane Reynolds to Noa Deane and every ‘aerialist’ in between, this move has been making the rounds ensuring useable clips. Through the lens of a skater, they are hideous.
While I am relishing the fact that no-grab straight airs are kinda cool again (it’s all I got), the fact that between the legs stinkbug grabs are the shit in surfing is beyond me.
Call to action: grab over your front knee!
While I am undoubtedly coming across as a keyboard warrior, I am writing this as a Public Service Announcement. A proper, tuck-knee slob grab (or tuck-knee front side grab for that matter) will not only look infinitely better, but will separate you from the stinkbuggy herd.
Be the stylish slob you were born to be!