Surfing has been part of American culture for over fifty years, which is an amazing feat for a sport that by its very nature is only for those in coastal regions. Some could argue that extreme sports culture evolved from surfer culture. After all, most of the “board” sports such as skateboarding and snowboarding evolved from surfing when people wanted to find ways to surf on land. Along with surfing itself, surf culture clothing and surf apparel have also always been popular even with those who almost never go to the beach.
The popularity of this style of clothing and surf apparel is not unlike the popularity of other kinds of sportswear. Clothing such as baseball caps, sneakers and even jerseys have been worn as casual clothing by non-athletes for years, so it stands to reason that boardshorts and other surfing-inspired apparel are worn by non-surfers on and off the beach in the summer.
It can be tough to determine exactly what qualifies as surf culture clothing aside from the most obvious surf apparel. Some people might include typical summer wear such as sandals or brightly-colored t-shirts in the mix, while others might only consider shorts and wetsuits as proper surfer apparel. For now, let’s just take a look at some of the more common types of this apparel.
Boardshorts are shorts made from lightweight, quick-drying material such as polyester or nylon. As one could guess, they were originally designed as swimwear and became popular with surfers. They tend to be longer than other shorts, and they often have a baggy appearance. They originally became popular as surf culture clothing, but they’ve moved beyond being just surf apparel and are now worn as typical summer wear.
Wetsuits have become closely associated with professional surfers. These are thin, lightweight, skintight bodysuits that provide insulation and buoyancy as well as some protection from abrasion. They were first developed in the 1950s, and although they didn’t immediately catch on the more modern suits have become a major part of surf culture clothing.
Other Surf Culture Clothing
Surf culture clothing and surf apparel might also refer to any clothing inspired by surf culture. Surfing has always been associated with a fun, laid-back attitude, which can be seen in brand-name clothes that have been closely associated with surfing and other water sports. Bright colors and baggy shorts have always been a part of the surfer style, as have bikinis and other beach wear. Even outfits based on wetsuit designs have become popular. Like most sportswear, these fit perfectly into the casual style of dress that is so popular in the United States. The culture is part of the reason why shorts are so popular during the summer, even in places that are nowhere near a beach. There has always been something fun and innocent in surf culture, and even those who have never been on a board in their lives can see it. Surf culture and the clothing associated with it have been popular for years, and it isn’t going away anytime soon.