Surf culture: catchphrases are like chips | Photo: Leroy Grannis

The history of surfing is full of memories, surfers, moments, travels, and unforgettable waves. In each decade since the birth of surfing, trends, developments, and new frontiers have been developed. How do these translate to catchphrases?

It's always hard to express how we feel when we ride a wave. Fortunately, there are catchphrases born in surf culture that capture some of the essence of surfing.

Call them mottos, sentences, stereotypes, quotes, phrases, clichés, or guiding principles. Some words, when put together, stay in our salted brains forever.

But which one's your favorite surf catchphrase?

Someone once said, "Only a surfer knows the feeling." Then we heard, "No waves, no glory," and, "Drugs? No thanks, I'm a surfer."

For some, "Life's a beach," for others, "Life's a wave." The important thing to have in mind is that you have to "Go big or go home," so "Let your surfing do the talking."

One popular notion holds that "Work is for people that don't surf." We might agree.

It also pays to remember that "If it swells, ride it." On crowded surfing days, "If in doubt, paddle out." That might be the only wave available.

On big days, "Eddie would go," and he would certainly keep saying, "Just one more."

"I surf because..." I believe, "Surfing is life; the rest is details." Surfing has several rules, too. When "Surf's up," you'll simply "Drop in, pull in, kick out."

Once you're "Shooting the curl," don't forget: "A bad day surfing is better than a good day working."

That means, "The best surfer out in the water is the one having the most fun."

In "Apocalypse Now," Colonel Kilgore says, "Charlie, don't surf," but never mind.

Just "Hang ten, dude," and scream out loud: "So stoked! Gnarly!"

Finally, a true classic: "You should have been here yesterday."

Also, take a look at the best surfing quotes of all time.

Top Stories

The most successful competitive surfer of all time, Kelly Slater, rode what may have been the last heat of his 24-year professional career.

We can't choose our height, and 80 percent of it is genetic. But if you're into surfing, taller and shorter surfers feel noticeable differences in getting acquainted with boards, paddling for, and riding a wave.

Ryan Crosby is the new chief executive officer (CEO) of the World Surf League (WSL).

Nothing fuels more controversy in and outside the water than awarding scores for waves ridden in competitive surfing.