39 Ways You Know You’re a Surfer When…

39 signs you’re obsessed with the waves.


Hawai‘i not only invented surfing (you’re welcome, rest of the world) but folks in the Islands actually make many lifestyle choices based on this obsession with the waves.


We checked in with the surfers we know (yes, we waited to ask when the waves were junk and it was kona weather) to come up with a list of clues to identify the surfers among us.


  1. You talk with your hands when talking to another surfer (mimicking board motion).

  2. You always check the surf when you’re in buildings that have a view of the ocean (bad for meetings).

  3. You have a wet towel and surf wear drying on your vehicle’s side mirror.

  4. The word “stoked” is in your vocabulary.

  5. You’re more afraid of shallow waters than deep.

  6. You use up all your sick leave. Always.

  7. You laugh at sharks.

  8. You understand haole rot.

  9. You have Selsun Blue in your medicine cabinet.

  10. You’ve had a piece of coral or wana stuck somewhere in your body.

  11. You have friends you’ve never seen in real clothes.

  12. You spend more time in less clothing with your friends than your husband.

  13. Leash tan.

  14. You can never make an early-morning meeting.

  15. You have your dermatologist on speed dial.

  16. The first app you check in the morning is Surfline. Or Surf News Network. Or the tide chart.

  17. Nobody blinks when a torrent of salt water spontaneously gushes from your nose.

  18. Your car is always full of sand.

  19. You have surf wax all over the roof of your car.

  20. You have a lock box on your car.

  21. You plan your vacations based around surf spots.

  22. You’ve seen every surf movie on Netflix.

  23. You’ve lost more rash guards than you can count.

  24. All your swimwear choices are based on how they work for surfing.

  25. Your Instagram is dominated by wave porn.

  26. Your shoulders are broader than your non-surfing partner.

  27. You only date surfers. Preferably ones with an opposite board stance, so you can catch the same wave in different directions.

  28. You buy a car based on whether it will fit the longest board in your quiver.

  29. You don’t bother locking your car when you’re surfing.

  30. You’re always thinking about the next board you’re going to buy.

  31. You have opinions about the quality of beach showers at different breaks.

  32. You don’t need to pay for an hombre.

  33. You’ve mastered the art of changing in public.

  34. You have derogatory terms for each of those other ocean board sports.

  35. You always know which way the wind is blowing.

  36. The ceiling height of your elevator is a primary concern when choosing a new apartment. And whether or not the apartment has built-in surf racks.

  37. You’re stoked for Super Bowl, Thanksgiving and Christmas, but only because the break will be empty. Surferbowl Sunday!

  38. You know the best place in town to buy ding repair supplies, and have repaired more dings than you can count.

  39. You have a love-hate relationship with the Wavestorm.


Do you agree, disagree or have any to add? Let us know in the comments!