Design Challenges: the Resurgence of Surf Style in Cabo




Surf Style is enjoying resurgence in the design world. Why, you ask? Who knows? Maybe it’s because aging baby boomers who were surfing teens in the 60s are waxing nostalgic instead of their boards. Or maybe it’s just a natural phenomenon, as it happened the first time around, now to the new wave of surfers just discovering it. For whatever reason trends tend to ebb and flow, the evolution of the surfing lifestyle has impacted everything from architecture, interior design and fashion, to music and literature, and even expressions we use. When you think of “Surf Style”, what comes to your mind? There’s a huge sub culture of surf-oriented design out there, ranging from architecture and interior decorating to clothing and accessories and even how people speak.


Surf culture and style has infused all of our lives, especially those of us who grew up in the 60s. It’s reflected in our music…surf rock, surf pop… Crazy dances such as the Stomp, the Frug, and the Watusi were all inspired by surfing. Current artists like our Todos Santos’s own Surf Punk artist, Tim Lang, are riding the new wave of surf music. Surf wear style is a casual way of dressing, with many surf-related brand names also supplying board shorts, wet suits, surfboards, leashes, as well as other hardware. Surf fashion uses fleecy fabrics, Indonesian textiles, and Ikat weaving and dyeing techniques. Films from classics like Beach Blanket Bingo, Gidget, and Endless Summer, to Big Wednesday, Point Break, Liquid Time and Blue Crush and Mavericks, have depicted the evolution of surfing culture.


There are at least five annual Surf Film Festivals throughout the world. There are twelve surfing magazines published internationally. As sociologist Marvin Scott observed, “Courage, competition, democracy, creativity, group loyalty and support, are all demonstrated in the sport and social patterns associated with surfing. The degree to which the value system at the higher levels of the surfing subculture differ from the general community’s value system, reflects surfing’s role as an instrument of deviance and social change. In the surfing subculture young men and women put their identity, their status, and occasionally their lives on the line as they demonstrate their moral character. Whether professional, gypsy, or hard-core….one cannot deny being influenced in some way by the style or the culture of the fascinating surfing lifestyle. On that note, whether you’re a moondoggie, banker, housewife, artist or politician, if you’d like to incorporate a bit of surf to your turf, here are some simple ways to ride the current wave. Having its roots in ancient Polynesia, surf style starts there. After Hawaii became a state in 1959, there was a big wave of Polynesian influence infusing everything around us.


Think Don the Beachcomber or Trader Vic’s with a little Gilligan’s Island thrown in. Adding touches of carved wood pieces made from rosewood, sandalwood and mahogany epitomize the Polynesian influence. Rattan furniture used indoors or out is a fast way to be on trend, especially if upholstered in big flowery prints. Bamboo has evolved as a fantastic resource for everything from flooring, furniture and cabinets, to fabrics. Use neutral shades of bone, brown and taupe. Grass cloth wall coverings are very trendy again and an easy way to bring in natural textures as background. Sisal has replaced carpeting in many homes, and is available in an array of styles, weaves, and colors. Throwing some Ikat woven pillows around gives an instant island feel to any room. Some fun “do it yourself” projects could be to glue some shells around a lampshade, or fill a glass ashtray with sand. Paint a few geckos on a wall. Hang some shark’s teeth from your curtain tiebacks instead of around your neck. The idea is to create whimsical touches, without getting too corny.


You don’t have to be a skateboarder, paddle boarder, or kite surfer to find delightful ways to add some surfer dash to your décor. It’s a bitchen thing to jump on board and give your turf a bit of surf, dude! Your groovy friends, your kids (or grand kids) will think you’re totally rad. *You don’t have to be a skateboarder, paddle boarder, or kite surfer to find delightful ways to add some surfer dash to your décor. It’s a bitchen thing to jump on board and give your turf a bit of surf, dude! Your groovy friends, your kids (or grand kids) will think you’re totally rad. * by Wendy Rains Architectural Designer www.buildinginbaja.com







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