Have you been surfing, lately? Have you noticed something different? Something not altogether new, but different, nonetheless?
Have you seen the kids? Those dreaded Millennials. Those hipsters. Have you seen what they are riding? Have you seen how they (knee) paddle their longer boards into our hallowed North Florida lineups, trimming, seeking high lines, cross-stepping across their relics of surf antiquity and turning small days at high performance havens like The Pier into something more akin to First Point Malibu?
Retro. Alternative. Call it what you will, but a nostalgic and style-centric ethos, which has been consuming the fringes of surfdom for something like two decades seems to have at last tugged on the strings of our fringiest of fringe-y surf towns. Locally, an idiosyncratic group of young, hot-dogging stylists like Trenton Phillips, Reid Mikalsen, Chris Tincher and others have been bucking Simon Anderson’s conventional fin cluster to ride modern versions of the single-skegged crafts popularized during the Total Involvement Era — namely wide, heavy logs longer than 9 feet.
While some will call it trendy, anyone who takes a daily peak at the Atlantic Ocean in this region — where “Surfline” descriptions of “flat” and “1 to 2 feet” are as ubiquitous as reggae at a beach bar — will have a hard time arguing against the practicality of a longboards in Northeast Florida. On the majority of days (truth be told) if you don’t got one, you ain’t surfing.
So, come, won’t you? Expand your mind. Embrace this new-old approach to wave sliding with a short clip by local lensmen Nick Gunter, featuring some of the region’s most devout single-fin enthusiasts, including Phillips, Mikalsen, Tincher, Luke Kothera and Alex Wilson, doing some hot-logging during a recent cold front.