What is a kook? What should you do to avoid being called a kook? Here's a to-don't list for those who want to look cool.
Surf culture can be merciless. And someone who pretends to be a surfer will certainly be called a kook.
Surf kooks are everywhere - carrying surfboards inside the mall, exercising muscles on the boardwalk, and driving the highway with the board through the side of a car.
However, kookiness has nothing to do with learning how to surf. A novice surfer doesn't necessarily need to live through the kook phase.
You're "allowed" to make mistakes and wipe out. That's life; no worries.
But if a weekend warrior who knows how to ride a wave paddles out wearing a Fedora hat, he will be named kook of the day.
If a pro surfer claims a last-minute wave when he needs a score from the judging panel, he will be called a kook.
So, what is a kook? A kook is a pre-beginner surfer, an aspiring wave rider, a nerd, or someone who tries - and fails - to mimic the surfing lifestyle. Kooks are careless, odd, exotic, and ridiculous.
They disrespect the nobility of surfing.
You can usually spot a surf poser by the clothes and apparel he/she wears, the bold behavior on the beach, the rude attitude towards other fellow surfers, or the way a wannabe surfer enters the water.
Learn how not to be a kook in surfing.
Take a look at the most comprehensive list of kook actions and behaviors, and make sure you avoid them at all costs:
- Paddling with the nose of the board pointing to the sky;
- Displaying multiple surf stickers on the surfboard;
- Dropping in on someone with a smile;
- Using booties during summer;
- Forgetting to wax the surfboard;
- Riding a wave until fins are buried in the sand;
- Performing strange and innovative pre-surf warm-up exercises;
- Carrying a shortboard on the head;
- Asking someone to take your photo with a flat ocean in the back;
- Wearing helmets on a one-foot summer day;
- Wearing boardshorts under and over a wetsuit;
- Rehearsing pro surfing maneuvers on the beach;
- Adopting an extremely low stance in the whitewater;
- Showcasing original traction pad placements;
- Wearing a life jacket;
- Paddling for a closeout wave;
- Pearling the surfboard in one-foot surf;
- Waxing up the nose of the board;
- Wearing goggles;
- Forgetting fins;
- Paddling with chin touching the board;
- Not using a leash in a crowded lineup;
- Ditching the surfboard;
- Ignoring channels and charging through breaking whitewater;
- Letting go of the board in front of whitewater;
- Wearing a leash all the way back to the car park;
- Attempting to throw an aerial in the whitewash;
- Pumping energetically for speed on the flats;
- Paddling with both arms simultaneously;
- Calling fins "skegs";
- Nosediving and letting the board hit someone;
- Catching whitewater rollers;
And if you're really committed to not being a classic surfer dude, then get "The Kook's Guide to Surfing," a delicious instruction manual for surfers and non-surfers alike, and watch the timeless short surf film "Kook Paradise."