Skateboarding: riding the concrete waves | Photo: Mehring/Red Bull

They are both boardsports, and they both share the need for balance. So, what do surfing and skateboarding have in common?

Surfing and skateboarding both have decks, boards or planks. And they are fun to ride. One could be seen as a means of transportation; the other was also a Hawaiian past time.

They share many tricks, and maneuvers, but they also breathe the same cultural values and lifestyle. If you surf and skate, you live the same dream.

Both surfing and skateboarding are on the outside individualistic sports. In the ride, you are totally free - the designer, the architect of your own path. The frontier of your own wild west.

Physically, they're both a standing sport. Unlike skiing, where our feet are side by side and toes facing north, surf and skate turn the torso 90 degrees and head your shoulder first.

The perfect position for duck and roll. Which is what most surf and skate have in common: wipeouts. If you're going to be a skateboarder or a surfer be prepared to get beaten up.

Be prepared to get roughed. Surfers and skaters require a certain type of girlfriend or boyfriend - someone who cares but lets them live freely. Some are so tough; they hide their scars and bruises and prefer not to admit their faults, their failures, and wipeouts. Others glorify the risk.

Glorify the campfire, story telling tales of mass conquer and minor defeat. Maybe a free spirit move or maybe a reason to get out there and tame the demon. The wild horse of the Pacific or the King of concrete slab.

More about surfing. The clothes you wear. The shoes you choose. The lack of shoes. The games you play. The people you meet. The fun you have. The stoke you can't control. The freedom you feel. The choices you make. The love you find. The pages you turn. And the friends you make are all like skateboarding.

Surfing: many times, inspired by skateboarding | Photo: Snow/Red Bull

The clothes you wear are all different when compared to other sports enthusiasts. They are all uncontemporary, or unconventional. Well, nowadays what's the difference? Sub-culture has become pop culture, and underground has become above ground. People, culture, and shredding are on the forefront of society. Skateboarding and surfing are million dollar industries.

But there are more similarities - the speed you can harness when you step onto a skate deck or a surfboard. You are no longer restricted by the speed of your own two feet. You are free to cruise and enjoy a faster living pace. A faster movement from one point to another.

Both surfing and skateboarding - unlike stick and ball sports - can be done alone. If no one is around or available, you can still surf the waves or skate the parks, ramps, and bowls. However, the stoke is equally gratifying with friends around.

You share moments and compare styles. You congratulate winners and boo losers. You also create order. The last guy to surf should be the first guy in the back of the line. Except if he is a local and has been waiting all summer for the winter swell.

And you're a newbie or new guy with a fresh face but little respect. No offense, but you have to earn your spot in the lineup. Everyone wants a good wave. The most waves. And the most stoke.

But like skateboarding, and the half-pipe at your local park, you have to wait your turn. Both surfing and skateboarding help you draw your line and carve your path in the history and book of your own life. Go skateboard. Go surf. Enjoy life.


Words by Colin Kirk