What is a kook? What should you do to avoid being called a kook? Here's a to-don't list for those who want to look cool.
Surf culture can be merciless. And someone who pretends to be a surfer will certainly be called a kook. Surf kooks are everywhere - carrying surfboards inside the mall, exercising muscles on the boardwalk, and driving the highway with the board through the side of a car.
However, kookiness has nothing to do with learning how to surf. A novice surfer doesn't necessarily need to live through the kook phase. You're "allowed" to make mistakes and wipeout. That's life; no worries.
But if a weekend warrior who knows how to ride a wave paddles out wearing a Fedora hat, he will be named kook of the day. If a pro surfer claims a last-minute wave when he needs a score from the judging panel, he will be called a kook.
So, what is a kook? A kook is a pre-beginner surfer, an aspiring wave rider, a nerd, or someone who tries - and fails - to mimic the surfing lifestyle. Kooks are careless, odd, exotic, and ridiculous. They disrespect the nobility of surfing.
You can usually spot a surf poser by the clothes and apparel he/she wears, the bold behavior on the beach, and rude attitude towards other fellow surfers, or the way a wannabe surfer enters the water.
Learn how not to be a kook in surfing. Take a look at the most comprehensive list of kook actions and behaviors, and make sure you avoid them at all costs:
Paddling with nose of the board points to the sky; Displaying multiple surf stickers on the surfboard; Dropping in on someone with a smile; Using booties during summer; Forgetting to wax the surfboard; Riding a wave until fins are buried in the sand; Performing strange and innovative pre-surf warm up exercises; Carrying a shortboard on the head; Asking someone to take your photo with a flat ocean in the back; Wearing helmets in a one-foot summer day; Wearing boardshorts under and over a wetsuit; Rehearsing pro surfing maneuvers on the beach; Adopting an extremely low stance in the whitewater; Showcasing original traction pad placements; Wearing a life jacket; Paddling for a closeout wave; Pearling the surfboard in one-foot surf; Waxing up the nose of the board; Wearing goggles; Forgetting fins; Paddling with chin touching the board; Not using a leash in a crowded lineup; Ditching the surfboard; Ignoring channels and charging through breaking whitewater; Letting go of the board in front of whitewater; Wearing a leash all the way back to the car park; Attempting to throw an aerial in the whitewash; Pumping energetically for speed on the flats; Paddling with both arms simultaneously; Calling fins "skegs"; Nosediving and letting the board hit someone; Catching whitewater rollers;