When it comes to defining surfing in macro terms, there are two main camps: sport, and lifestyle. Few would be brave enough to go out on a limb and argue that surfing is in fact neither, but instead an art form.
With a title like Art is Timeless, and scenes of surfer Andy Criere wandering the Louvre wide-eyed the comparison in the video above is clear. The prose reinforces the point. “Art is blue,” says a narrator. “That passion flowing among the waves. Equilibrium. Harmony. A break from the routine. You, on your own. Nature’s fury maintains its infinite beauty. A feeling that is manifested in aesthetic and attractive forms. A continuous pursuit for beauty. Contemplation, the pleasure of a spirit that penetrates in Nature. A way to transmit emotion; a language. A way of life. Everything goes, changes and remains. Art is timeless.”
That suggestion, that surfing is a form of art, is worthy of consideration, if only for its novelty. Art is “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power,” according to Oxford Dictionary. And how could one argue that moments in surfing from Kelly’s 540 (or 720, depending who you ask) to Gerry Lopez tube riding at Pipeline are not “expressions or applications of human creative skill and imagination?”