The tattoo is a phenomenon that goes through the ages, generations and cultures.
Surfing is no exception. Rebel side, it symbolizes a free being as wild as the wind and the waves.
Initially tattoos were confined to tribal Polynesian, Maori, Hawaiian and other Pacific islanders, where the mythology "tā moko" draws its origin in the underworld and gives a unique DNA, a fingerprint.
Ironic as Western people took it over in order to assert their strength and courage in the face of the ocean. But very few have choosen to make tattoos on their faces, which symbolize for Oceania people the elegance and strength of their identity. Sign that the art of tattooing is not a simple mode for these populations, placing this act beyond the pain that causes facial tattoo.
In the 60s and 70s, it was in bad taste amongst surfers. Tattooing was reserved for sailors, surfers found it vulgar and unrelated to their non-violent and cool approach of the ocean. It came on the surf scene in the 90s with Artchbold brothers, through the hardcore skate scene which finally throw ink in water of California beaches.
Today, the tattooed surfer entered the customs and even some Pros hardly work the marketing side of their image through Tattoos.
Pretty girls like tanned handsome surfers with their tattoos, moving their muscles into action when they tear the waves. And surfers don't disdain when their girlfriends wear pretty tattoos, giving a sexy and rebellious look, which fits pretty well with their passion for the ocean.
There are three categories in the photos below :
- The "Affective" : Those who wear tattoos related to the ocean, surfing and the world of sports. Mixture of pride and fear of not being permanent symbiosis with water and waves.
The "Local" : Islanders, without fluff or mode. A real identity in the surf and in life.
- The "Demonstrative" : Surfers, skateboarders and other crazy ocean and bitumen lovers who wear those dream decals. Artistic exibitionnists, wearing their living paintings above the waves and make them reflect beyond oceans.
Here are those 3 fashion shows in a colorful and sexy Portfolio ...
Serial "The Locals"...
Serial : The "Demonstrative"...
Fresh Reef Tatoo...
Working for several years in tourism in France and abroad, Jean-Hervé Cristol (aka Jean Révé) also has a large number of kilometer mark traveling around Planet Surf in search of endless summer waves.
In 2004 he created Destination Surf, the first agency specialized in Surf Travel , then Endless Summer a blog with tips, info and travel stories, in order to enjoy and share this rewarding experience with all surf travelers. → Learn more