Renaissance Coming: Exhibit E

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This five-part series examines the cultural tremors shedding light on surfing’s future.

Exhibit E: The Kids Are All-Freakin’-Right


Luke Davis, one of the most promising sprouts in surfing’s new crop. Steez in the water, steez out.


“I think now everyone is more accepting. The whole new generation are probably like it was back in the ’70s. It’s just that we were in a weird period in the ’90s and 2000s.” —Dion Aigus


Take a trip to a pro junior event or, better yet, an airshow, for a snapshot of the future of not only surfing performance but where the culture’s heading. Kids with shredded jeans, sponsor’s shirts that have been hacked into with knives and scissors, 16- and 18-year-olds with tattoos, slogans — both political and meaningless — written on boards. These are the style motifs of surfing’s youth. It’s a long way from the cargo-pant-wearing, baseball-capped ASP World Tour profile pics, that’s for sure. Ford Archbold is one of the more visible surfers from this generation.

“It’s like what surfing started as,” says Ford. “Bum kids who were rebellious and were like, ‘Fuck having a job. I just wanna do drugs and surf.’ We don’t do drugs, but that’s what it started as. Then it was lost when commercialism came in and ruined everything. Now it’s starting to come back a little.” —Jed Smith


Exhibit A through Exhibit D in the Renaissance Coming series: