“Just How Much Does Music Change the Way We View Surfing?” by Juan Hernandez via The Inertia

“Just How Much Does Music Change the Way We View Surfing?” by Juan Hernandez via The Inertia
The Inertia

That headline was a rhetorical question. Of course music impacts our viewing of surf videos. A lot. In fact, music doesn’t just have an effect on how we view surfing, a guy like Quentin Tarantino would argue music completely controls how we feel about anything watched on film. And he’s pretty good at making films. Music is an integral piece in the storytelling experience and surf flicks are no exception.

Cue Brad Jacobson, a videographer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles’ South Bay who doesn’t make your typical daily or weekly surf-porn vlog. He watches more footage each day than most of us can fathom after hours on end of watching our lineup habits and behavior through the lens of a camera. It leads him to ask questions like “Do average surfers have the most fun?” or “What’s up with all the weird faces we make while surfing?” They’re refreshing quips on things many of us notice in the everyday lineup but probably don’t actually talk about.

Yes, that classic steel guitar leaves us yearning for the old days. Everything about surfing in the 1990s had a very specific and familiar sound. You can almost feel the paper-thin, 6’6″ thruster under your feet while picturing Kelly Slater with hair. Clown-car music and a wipeout reel? Makes sense. Ska? LET’S GO!

Jacobson runs through an entire library of sounds here and looks for which types of waves and performance works for each. While we all know surfing is best (or at least most often) paired with certain genres, you probably haven’t taken the time to watch the same two or three clips paired with six different genres, back to back. It’s a fun watch: Country, Hip-Hop, Electronic Music, Ska, and even Jacobson’s favorite, Jazz, all played over the same few waves.

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