You can’t really put a finger on Parker Coffin’s surfing. While his cover-happy brother Conner is usually equated with power and rail, Parker’s right-foot-forward style is polished but at the same time uniquely erratic. Like the collected works of Steely Dan. Park’s forehand wraps are precise and destructive, yet his backhand rotations are inverted and tweaked. What provokes his jazzy improv? Home. Specifically, Golden State greats. Below, Parker elaborates on the five biggest influences to his surfing. When you’re done, listen to “Peg.” —Beau Flemister
Conner Coffin: Growing up with an older sibling that’s a couple steps ahead of you your whole life, it’s pretty much how you gauge what’s going on and how to do it. I was always a couple steps behind him and would just look up to whatever he was doing. Like, when it comes to our careers, we’re pretty much just trying to do the same thing, so it’s nice to have someone there to help you out. As a person, too, he’s pretty un-fazeable. Like no matter how much I try to get under his skin, he won’t break. He’s just above it, which is amazing.
Bobby Martinez: I’ve always looked up to this guy. When I was younger and he was really launching his career, like, qualifying for the ‘CT and then winning events, that was someone to me that was close to home and a goofyfoot who made it. So, even though we came from different backgrounds, I kinda felt like we had a couple things in common, and I looked up to that. It was just inspiring to see someone who came from the same area and surfed the same waves as I did, grow up to become so successful. Even with the trials and tribulations with losing his sponsor and getting injured, I feel like he’s such a good human through and through.
The Gudauskas Brothers: Any or all of these brothers; I just like the way they carry themselves and how they treat people. I just really admire their positive mindset and outlook on life. I went to J-Bay with Tanner last year and the waves were pumping and I thought that I was stoked, but just looking at Tanner — you could see his shit-eating grin from a mile away. [laughs] And with those guys, their stoke is so infectious. You can’t help but be happy being around them. I honestly believe that Tanner’s good vibes brought better waves to the trip, even. I definitely look up to people who look at life like them.
Tom Curren: Besides, for a long time being the best surfer in the world, I love how he is such an individual. Like, even though he was so high-profile, he was true to himself and didn’t give a shit. And even today, I’ll see him come out and surf on some reeeeeally shitty days and he’ll paddle out on some really shitty-looking board with duct-tape on it, broken in half with different size fins and he’ll be in his own element. Like, it’ll be onshore and he’ll paddle out and get drained on his very first wave; he’s so in-tuned and I love that.
Griffin Colapinto: I’ve known Griffin since he was super young and I’ve watched him improve so fast over the years. Like, to go from an unsponsored goofy little kid to one of the best kids in the world right now, that’s classic. He’s almost like my little brother and his surfing even pushes mine because I wanna keep progressing like he has been. I’d say one of the most recent Griffin stories I have was the last time we were out at Lance’s Right and it was pretty big and gnarly. And then all of the sudden the biggest set wave rolled through and he was in the very worst spot to catch it and we looked at each other and I said, “Griffin!” But not “Go Griffin.” Regardless, I think he thought I said “go” and he whipped it right under the lip on the hugest wave of the day, and pulled into this straight closeout. I was actually worried for him [laughs]. He was fine but he broke his board and then proceeded to break six more boards every day afterward. It was also hilarious watching him pee his pants from laughing so hard in Portugal. We’ve traveled too much together. [laughs]