The Splash 112 | On the Peripherals of Surf Culture | Part One – Moustaches

I am the third wheel on this website when it comes to surfing. I do not surf, I do not want to surf and the ocean scares the shit out of me. As soon as that darkness is below me and the bottom is a long way away, I freak. I used to bodyboard in Cornwall in my teens and I nearly drowned and have reoccurring nightmares of a spring tide sweeping me out so these are the roots of my adulthood fear.

Having said all that, I have constantly been on the peripherals of the surf culture. This brings up many questions and confusions. Why so territorial? Where does all that anger come from? Van dwellers? Beanie hats that serve no purpose? White men with dreads?

Today I question; moustaches?

Often paired with a flat white, an acoustic guitar and bare feet. The moustache has been a mainstay in surf culture since the sixties. There are a few other connotations the moustache brings to mind; (wrong) homosexual stereotypes, Ned Flanders and my Dad in the nineties. All admirable connotations, but not ones that surfers fit into.

A surfer with a moustache
Image from 945 Live

Boardmasters went big musically at Watergate Bay around the mid 2000s but my timing may be off – it’s late and I want to rant about moustaches, alright? I noticed a certain Donavon Frankenreiter being hero-worshipped but all I could do was stare into his moustache. The long hair and moustache combo was perplexing. It was ugly and dreamy all at once.

Fast-forward to 2022 and I’m on the bloody Goldie in Aus, and there’s tashes, staches and mo’s coming at me from all angles. Bros everywhere throwing out shakas with the select-a-combo of a moustache, useless top of the head beanie and/or long blonde hair. In surfer bingo you’d shout house if you can throw in the dreadlocked white man.

Is it the fault of Movember? We all grew mo’s for bro’s back in 2020. The worst month of my life. When you have male pattern baldness, growing a moustache is a really good way of going from naught to pedo in thirty days, for me it was just the five. But we can’t blame Movember, they’ve raised millions. We must blame someone else.

Some people look glorious with a moustache; Ron Pearlman, Lemmy, Poirot, Charles Bronson, Ron Swanson, Dr Phil and of course Triple H. But for every Triple H there’s a Hitler, and that dude did nothing for the reputation of moustaches. He was pretty bad PR for Nazis too.

I digress… surfers – is it that Californian vibe/vibes/vibing? Is it to fit in or to stand out? How do you decide what kind of moustache to go for?

I’m just going to put this out there; a moustache rarely elevates a man. And below is irrefutable proof that it did absolutely nothing for me.

Surfers of the world, please, explain yourselves!!