THE SURFING SUBCULTURE OF THE 1970’S BY JEFF DIVINE (39 PHOTOS)

If you asked a group of Americans to describe an Australian surfer, you’d be hard pressed to find an accurate description. Mostly likely you would hear the same thing over and over again: long hair, shell necklace, cargo shorts, reckless, and going nowhere fast. It would have never occurred to most Americans that there could be different types of surfers, or more specifically, different subcultures of surfers.

The Soul Surfers came to the scene when surfing was predominantly competitive and often involved gambling, but Soul Surfers rode waves simply because “it was good for the soul.” Avoiding materialism, mass consumption, and competition, they thrived off of creativity, self-expression, and the hunt for the perfect wave. Surfing was seen not as a means to an end, but an end in itself. Riding the waves was a transcendental experience that took the surfer away from the overwhelming structures and norms of a society back on shore.

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