Naked surfing: have you ever ridden waves au naturel? | Photo: Shutterstock

Surfers have always found reasons to take their clothes off and hit the waves as they came to the world - entirely naked.

In ancient Polynesia, before Europeans and Americans colonized dozens of islands and Pacific Ocean territories, people rode waves in the nude.

However, times have changed, and clothes have become a fundamental part of our societies.

So, why should someone go surfing naked? Is it a trend, a movement, or a symbolic protest against the establishment and modern standards?

Believe it or not, there are many reasons why surfers opt for stripping down and paddling out in the nude.

They've done it for the environment, for example, to protest or defend marine life, the oceans, the right to surf on a forbidden beach, or any other eco-friendly cause.

There is also a segment of surfers who do it to make it to the cover of a magazine, for fun, or just to show off their toned bodies and increase their self-confidence.

Professional Naked Surfers

Pro surfer Coco Ho rode a few waves naked for ESPN's Body Issue. Eleven-time world champion Kelly Slater and eight-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore were also photographed au naturel for the famous sports magazine.

But we can also opt to do it because we're curious about the experience and want to get our body in full contact with the elements and the sun.

In 1974, flamboyant California surfer Mike Purpus was shot naked for Playgirl. Angie Reno, a Malibu legend, also did it for the controversial mag.

One year later, Laura Blears surfed naked for Playboy, and in 1976, Wayne "Rabbit" Bartholomew and Paul Neilsen paddled out in the nude at Ocean Shores in New South Wales.

In Australia, there was even a Sydney club for surfing nudists - In The Nude, later renamed Even Nuder.

In 1994, 28 surfers competed in the Ungawa Nude Classic at Southside Beach, Victoria.

Two years later, the Bondi Nude Night Surfing Expression Session attracted more than 2,000 spectators to the Australian beach.

More recently, Mason Ho made history by surfing a heat in Australia wearing boardshorts... on his head. What happened?

"As soon as I jumped in the water, my shorts filled up with water. So I put them on top of my head and ended up surfing the whole heat naked," explained "Naked Mase."

Legal Nude (Surfing) Beaches

Naturists, or nudists, are part of a worldwide movement that advocates the right to strip their clothes off and live life in harmony with nature.

But where can you go surfing naked without having problems with the authorities?

At nude beaches, only. Otherwise, you'll be breaking the law and shocking and disrespecting non-naturists, including children.

Surfing without neoprene wetsuits, boardshorts, and bikinis is not as rare as you'd think. Every once in a while, you can see pale bare skin dropping into a wave at a secluded beach.

Today, the practice of naked surfing is a reality on several popular summer beaches, including:

  • Black's Beach (San Diego, CA);
  • Privates Beach (Santa Cruz, CA);
  • Trail Six (San Onofre State Beach, CA);
  • Gunnison Beach (Sandy Hook, NJ);
  • La Graviere (Hossegor, France);
  • Zurriola (San Sebastian, Spain);
  • Los Patos (Tenerife, Canary Islands);
  • Maslin Beach (Adelaide, Australia);
  • Sandy Bay (Cape Town, South Africa);
  • Little Beach (Maui, Hawaii);
  • Playa Zipolite (Oaxaca, Mexico);
  • Praia das Adegas (Odeceixe, Portugal);

Pros and Cons

The pros of nude surfing are:

  1. It increases your self-confidence;
  2. It helps you learn to accept your body;
  3. It lets you ride waves in full-body contact with Mother Nature;
  4. It enables you to get rid of restrictive swimwear and wetsuits;
  5. No tan lines;

The cons of surfing naked include:

  1. Wax sticking to private parts;
  2. The genitals constantly smacked against the surfboard;

Are you surfing nudie? Remember the fundamental rules of nude beaches:

  1. Avoid staring at other naked surfers or bathers;
  2. Never take photos or shoot videos of others without permission;
  3. Bring a towel to sit on while using public seating;
  4. Remember to cover up whenever you leave;

Have you decided to go surfing in your most natural state?

Go for it on a legal nude beach only. It's the most liberating of feelings and a natural expression of freedom.

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