What are kooks?  

I am writing this blog, not to make fun of any surfers, but to inform readers about the surf term, kooks, and the stereotype surrounding it. I want you all to be aware of what a kook is and how to prevent people from using that word to describe you! By learning basic surf ethics, choosing the right spots to surf and using the right equipment you should be okay.  By definition a kook is another word surfers use for “posers”. The slight offset to the word poser is that a “kook” not only making a fool out of himself or herself but is also interfering with other surfers while surfing. Being a beginner doesn’t make you a kook. Surfers can be considered kooks at pretty much every skill level. This is because in their mind they are way better than they actually are. An intermediate surfer surfing in an expert spot on a huge day with the wrong equipment might be called a kook in the water. Surfers can be very territorial.

Surfers have to share the ocean and waves. When a surfer doesn’t know the surf ethics or isn’t surfing in the right break for their level, they interfere with surfers that are following the rules and interrupting their fun. He or she can make the surf session dangerous for everyone around them. So if you’re still confused about what a kook is here is a more definitive definition. Kooks are surfers who have an exaggerated perception of his or her surf skills. His or her lack of surf knowledge, especially concerning surf ethics, usually interferes with other surfer’s fun in the water.

So…. How to prevent yourself from being called a kook?

  1. Surf as much as you can. Surfing is something you need to do repetitively to get good at. And practice does make perfect.
  2. Don’t drop in on someone. Meaning… if you see someone taking off on a wave, do not cut them off or paddle in front of them.
  3. Dress the part. If you’re wearing a bright neon wetsuit you will be noticed. If you are going to draw attention to yourself, you better have the skills to show for it.
  4. Be aware and decisive. Sometimes the lineup can be crowded and it you crash into someone on a wave there can be serious injuries.
  5. Respect the lineup. If you aren’t the best one out there, wait your turn. Also respect the locals. If you give the respect, you will get the respect in return.
  6. Don’t ditch your board. This is a big mistake some surfers don’t realize the consequences of. The injuries can be brutal.


Follow these guidelines and you’ll be on your way to respectable beginner/surfer in no time!

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