Today we celebrate International Surfing Day, and it’s time to answer that ever-burning question you’ve surely been asking yourself:
“What kind of surfer am I?”
Because just like there are countless types of fish in the sea, there are also countless types of surfers—well, also in the sea, now that we think of it.
We decided to put together a little quiz for you to find out just what kind of surfer you are, in the spirit of self-discovery. Be honest, and remember, this is just for fun, but you may discover something about yourself too!
Depending on your answer, a different set of points will be awarded. Points are listed beside your chosen answer, keep a running tally of your “score” as you go, and the different Surfer Profiles will be listed at the bottom.
When your purchase your surf gear, which is most important to you:
- Style — you have the spring line when it’s still winter, yo. Having as much surf swag as you is hard, but someone’s gotta do it. (0)
- Impact — you buy with social and environmental well-being in mind, meaning you choose the companies who strive to do their business responsibly. (3)
- Functionality — all you really care about is that what you buy does what it’s supposed to do, and does it well. Price and style be damned. (2)
- Price — you’re on a budget, hey we’ve all been there. You frequent sale racks, Craigslist, and second-hand stores to get your hardware. (1)
You’re planning a surf trip with your friends. Which sounds most ideal?
- The kind where you roll into a tropical destination just for the swell and rent the biggest most badass car you can find. Your group stays in an all-inclusive type resort since the food and water on the outside are sketchy, and so you don’t have to spend too much time or money outside the resort other than to surf. Hey — you guys are only there for the waves. (0)
- The mellow, under-the-radar type of trip. Your group will travel light, being careful not to draw too much attention to yourselves or get into risky situations. You’re there to surf all day, ‘ery day, and will probably be in bed by 8pm. (2)
- The surf by day, party by night kind of trip. If we’re being honest, you guys are going to surf hard but one or all of you may also end up in jail. (1)
- The epic kind of trip where you guys take it all in, and not just the surfing, but also the culture, the food, the sights. Your hope is to make new friends, try new things, and support the local economy in addition to catching a ton of waves. (3)
You’re surfing, and you see a plastic bag floating 15 feet past the breakers. What do you do?
- Go get it, of course, and stuff it into your wetsuit/boardshorts/bikini. You’ve seen the poster — floating plastic bags look like jellyfish, aka turtle food! (3)
- Think about going to get it but then get distracted by a wave. (2)
- Quickly look away. You never saw it. (0)
- Don’t care. (0)
In your everyday life, what kinds of actions do you take to reduce your plastic use?
- No clue about what this has to do with a quiz about what kind of surfer you are. (0)
- Separate your waste into garbage and recycling! (1)
- Do all the things they say: bring reusable shopping bags to the store, use a refillable bottle, etc. (2)
- Use the 6 Rs (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Reinvent, Recycle), actively participate in helping minimize the plastic trash already at large in the world, encourage others to do the same by helping to educate them — you know firsthand that most plastic trash ends up back in the ocean, where it does immeasurable damage. (3)
A kid who is clearly learning gets in your way out in the lineup, causing you to back out of what would have been a sick wave. You…
- Get internally frustrated but don’t say or do anything. (1)
- Throw a fit, yell, and call him a kook, (maybe drop a threat or two for good measure). (0)
- Don’t do anything in the moment, but afterwards on the beach, take him aside and explain that maybe he should practice on the inside. (2)
- Same as c) but in addition, offer to take him under your wing and show him the ropes. Hey, you remember what it was like to learn. (3)
What do you look forward to most about surfing?
- The meditative aspect of surfing, just becoming one with the ocean, forgetting about everything for awhile, and enjoying your surroundings (and the waves, of course). (3)
- The adrenaline of catching waves and having a chance to improve your skills. (3)
- The feeling of domination over the ocean, of mastering something that few people have a chance to do. (0)
- The competition, the ability to catch waves better than the other guys (and girls) out there. And because you look cool and it will help you get a girl/boyfriend. (0)
You accept the invitation of a local group to join their beach cleanup on a Saturday morning, but the day of, you see that a solid swell has come in overnight. What do you do?
- Forget the beach cleanup and go surf — the garbage will still be there next time, the waves may not. (0)
- Let the organizer know that you may not be able to make it, then sneak off to another beach so you don’t have to feel bad watching the others work. (1)
- Bring your board to the beach cleanup and work really fast so you can get some waves in after. (3)
- Feel bummed about missing the waves but go to the beach cleanup regardless; it’s your playground after all, and you feel that supporting local efforts to maintain a healthy beach is perhaps more valuable than catching waves. (3)
The Awakened Surfer (16-21)
Wow. Just… wow. You clearly love surfing, but your love goes beyond the act of riding waves; you truly understand what it means to be a surfer. Surfing is a vessel through which some of life’s best can be experienced, and you’ve probably experienced a lot. You have been given an extraordinary opportunity, one that you’re fully aware is a rare and beautiful thing. You are benevolent as they come — what’s different about you is that you want to make sure that others get to feel that as well. You have gone out of your way to take care of our planet, knowing that the marine ecosystem is delicate and affected by literally everything else we do on our earth, and knowing that if it fails, surfing doesn’t stand a chance (and neither does humanity). You’ve also shared your skills and knowledge with others, probably hoping that they have the opportunity to experience some of the complex emotions you’ve felt while surfing. Keep doing what you are doing, you are the future of the sport.
The Conventional Surfer (6-15)
You’re a surfer, and it’s safe to say that you do your part for the ocean and for the sport. With frequency, you make eco-conscious decisions, and probably get involved in some community events that promote surfing and the ocean. But have you consciously connected all the dots? Let us take this moment to remind you, if you’re going to do something, you might as well do it right. Surfing is a privilege, something that gives us humans so much joy, exhilaration, tranquility, and teaches us so many important lessons. So we should do whatever we can to promote it: by being good to the planet (and especially the ocean, without whom we would be lost); by encouraging and supporting others — especially the youth — to get into surfing, improve at it, and let it help them make better life decisions.
The Penurious Surfer (0-5)
It seems as though you may have lost your way a bit, here. Do you even remember why you started surfing? Yes, it’s true that being a surfer will probably make you look “cool” in the eyes of others. Yes, it’s true that you’re probably a busy person with a work and family life, and you may not feel that you have the time to dedicate back to it. But think about those moments of complete and utter peace, where you find yourself sitting on your surfboard out in the ocean, having just caught a great wave and knowing that it’s only moments before you catch another one, enjoying the sun as it casts a glow on the clouds in the horizon, and watching as a V-formation of pelicans fly overhead. While those moments may get pushed to the back of your mind when you get back into normal life, if you’ve ever really surfed, then you have felt them, and you have been aware of how much the simple act of “surfing” has given you. Now, all that remains is to ask yourself: what do you do to give back?