Surfing, Skateboarding, Music, Photography, Travel, Culture and general antics of the youth on the run.

I’ll never surf the wave pool Even if Kelly Slater invites me, no strings attached, I will very politely decline. Here’s why:

I have the worst taste in music because of surfing. And yeah, I suppose music is entirely subjective, but I spent my formative years listening to a melodic and generic emo version of punk rock that is now married to my obsession with surfing. And I don’t blame Taylor Steele. I thank him. It has been my life’s pleasure turning all the enthusiasm it created into my own wonderful surfin’ life.

Good friend and (definitely not a surf journalist) Chas Smith just penned a bit of the magic I’m talking about on his website Beach Grit today. And I wanted to reiterate his point a bit, and celebrate the part where he references the “surfing life” William Finnegan created in Barbarian Days and stand shoulder to shoulder with him on it, and explain what I feel everyone seems to be missing from this wave pool stuff (aside from the country club vibes, which are very real too). It’s the fact that we’re assuming the act of surfing is all we’re after. Standing on a wave, alone, riding it. When really, the real chase, the way we create our unique surf life is all in the foreplay. As a surfer, we spend our lives rolling the ball up the hill with Sisyphus stoked as hell that it will fall back down and we get to do it all again because between the bottom and the top is where all the surf magic is created. Otherwise, you’re just standing at the top. Riding a wave. And that’s fine and what we’re after, but that will lead to a misunderstanding of the art of the surf life. That’s what makes us the weirdos we are. Weirdos who knew what MCD, SMP and ASP stood for (RIP). Who earnestly debate whether to use grip or not on the front of a new board. Or understand the technicality and beauty of Justin Poston’s backhand turn. Insane, ridiculous psychotic details that make an otherwise mundane surf check magical. Otherwise, we’re just there, on a wave, riding, the same one everyone is on.

I’ve seen all of you saying that this wave pool is just the same as a skate park and that street skating still exists so I should chill and stop complaining. And I have my beanie off and waving in salute to the technology that goes into this wave and into my phone and into the airplanes I sit on, but I have to tell you I can still find a beautiful existence without them. My life will not improve riding a man-made wave.

A wave pool is probably really “fun.” And what they’ve created is oh so impressive, but you’re still just bottling up what shouldn’t and cannot be bottled. We have a good thing. Surfin’. A thing that uses the planet, for fun, and for making a surfing life. And we’re just trying to fuck it to death. We’re skipping dinner. Flirting. Nervous texting. Hugs. Drinks. Everything that makes living life an art.

So, I sit here today, shoulder to shoulder with Chas, planning a surf trip with him to Who Cares Where to celebrate all the ridiculous things that bring us joy along the way. Including going to the airport. Lugging a board bag. Paying a high sum of money to transport it. And to probably get skunked as all hell. But there will be surfing! And there will also be a lot of good living. Surf living! And I’ll promise you right now that I have no desire to surf the wave and will politely decline should that offer ever come down the pipe. I love Kelly Slater and I think he’s done more for surfing than could ever be asked of him. But I love what you did to “Superman” by Unwritten Law in Good Times more than anything you can or will create with a wave pool.

And right now, since it’s small where I am, and I already surfed, I’ll blast this ridiculous song that I know all the words to and I will think of Shane Dorian surfing small waves in France and wherever else from his part in Good Times. And you can call me nostalgic, but also call me happy. As a clam. —Travis 

what youth dylan rieder mark oblow

Today (and always) we think of Dylan One year on

It’s been one year since we lost Dylan Rieder. But there hasn’t been a single minute in a single day his influence hasn’t been all over us. In everything. From the way we walk. To the way we skate and surf. To how we treat each other. Every single thing. He’s made us better, I…

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How’d this happen? Issue 0019 is somehow a thing coming soon and we really need to surf again

Every single issue of What Youth comes with it’s own insane personality disorder. It walks and talks and fucks with us like the hot babe at the coffee shop who just can’t be bothered. We’re obsessed, but completely frustrated every minute of the day. The smallest details, the biggest details, the weather outside and the…

what youth scott chenoweth ny illustration

Let’s be together When all goes numb, the numb need to get together

I spent the end of last week careening through the perfectly lit and temperate streets of early autumn New York. I ran around with beautiful Hawaiian princess Kelia Moniz and we drank rice wine margaritas, shopped for jewelry and watched golden hour illuminate over the bustling streets as we ate oysters and sipped Stellas. There…

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We have Cluster Nostalgia Mitch Coleborn came over and fired us up for more of this

It’s no big secret that there’s still a scythe-toting grim reaper hovering over the formerly fun and care-free surfing industry. And it’s pretty easy to get caught up in that, as it does impact us all in some form or another (how we get our gear, watch our vids etc). But it isn’t as dire as…

Taylor Steele, Joe Curren, Tim Curran

I’ll never surf the wave pool Even if Kelly Slater invites me, no strings attached, I will very politely decline. Here’s why:

I have the worst taste in music because of surfing. And yeah, I suppose music is entirely subjective, but I spent my formative years listening to a melodic and generic emo version of punk rock that is now married to my obsession with surfing. And I don’t blame Taylor Steele. I thank him. It has been…

what youth kelly slater wave pool caddyshack

Country Club Surf Culture Why I want nothing to do with the WSL and Kelly Slater Wave Co.

All day today there’s been a lot of hype, speculation and excitement around the WSL’s specialty event at Kelly Slater’s wave pool. I’ve spoken to people at the wave and people who rode the wave and people who attended the event — some invited and some not invited. We’ve texted with Kelly (who I must say has…

what youth dear youth discontent travis ferre

Fan the flames of Discontent The Dream Tour is changing and it’s starting at a wave pool

I’ve made it more than apparent that I hate the word content. I hate all of it’s definitions. Content. Content. And content. Fuck ’em all. It’s a bad word. It’s a vanilla plain oatmeal crappy word that encourages status quo and general well being and I’ve never gotten along with it no matter how you’re…

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When you’re in the radar of Irma I’ve learned a lot about hurricane culture today

In Florida, everywhere you look there is a television screen bigger than the previous “biggest TV screen you’ve ever seen” and they are all shouting and displaying a massive radar depiction of Hurricane Irma — who deserves to be capitalized and probably deserves an even bigger TV. And I’d be lying if I said I…

what youth thomas campbell movie craig anderson surfing

Thomas Campbell’s Fever Dreams In a world of gimmicks, it’s nice to know there’s a new Thomas Campbell film in the works

“This isn’t going to be like any of my other films.” That was the first thing Thomas Campbell told me about this new project. He then went on to describe his vision a bit — which is always a fascinating journey, listening to an artist describe what they see in their mind over the phone….

what youth julian k

Who is Julian Klincewicz? Well, he’s an underground and prolific part of many things and the subject of an upcoming WY Artist Series

Julian Klincewicz has the kind of name you hope you don’t have to type out too often. There are letters in it that don’t spend a lot of time next to each other and sounding it out just aint gonna work. But it’s one I nail every time now. Without looking. Written and spoken. And…

Leo Romero, Brostyle

Brostyle Pacific Northwest trip We went to Seattle and back with Leo Romero, Dakota Servold, Corey Glick, Dylan Witkin and Aaron Homoki

Well over the past few years we’ve been lucky enough to get to know Leo Romero pretty well. He owns a griptape company called “Brostyle.” And the thing that makes a grip company special and different from a board company or shoe company is the fact that you aren’t necessarily in it to make money…

The guys still going in the US Open Stories behind Kanoa Igarashi, Tanner Gudauskas and Soli Bailey

The early days of the US Open are interesting. It’s a mixed plate of up and comers, some familiar faces and a bunch of dudes you probably just straight up haven’t heard of. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with who’s who in those early days, but now that things have thinned out, we looked at who’s still surfing…

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