Need Downsizing Inspiration? Watch This Movie About 1950’s Rebellious Surfers

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Suddenly they were there. A bunch of radical young people who said, “screw the money, I’m going surfing”. The onset of the pioneer surfing movement of the 1950’s ushered the first group who deliberately chose to do what they love in lieu of earning money and the pursuit of a career.

“The ride itself is such a bitchin deal, so rewarding. It becomes so important to you that it becomes the object around which you plan the rest of you life. And everyone else is planning their life around money and the acquisition of money.” -Steve Pezman, editor Surfer’s Journal

You could say that, in a sense, the rebellious surfers of the 1950’s are the trailblazers of contemporary innovative lifestyles. They were a new race. They created an iconic image that still persistst now that, about 70 years later, downsizing, yearning for a more simple life in touch with nature, and doing what you love becomes in vogue again.

By living in the moment and in harmony with nature and breaking loose from societal norms they somehow paved way for modern day cubicle escapists and rat race refugees.

You don’t have to necessarily be a surfer to appreciate the story about these early day lifestyle rebels. Surfing as a sports culture is unique as it has become a lifestyle, a philosophy of life even.

If you accept all the doctrines of society, you’ll never be a surfer.” Nat Young from Surfing and the Meaning of Life.

After I first saw this movie I knew that’s how I wanted to live.

The dream lifestyle, the feeling of individuality and freedom portrayed here has stuck with me ever since. Living close to the beach. Getting up early, doing some martial arts. Going surfing. Doing some work. Going surfing again. Relaxing, hanging out with friends. You know, the whole boards, buddies, broads, and booze routine but then a somewhat toned down version to compensate for my age.

“I came to the realization a couple of years back that, aside from the essentials, all I needed money for was to buy surfboards and be able to travel. I figured that if I made more than sixty grand a year I was working too hard. I don’t need that much money. So I spend ten thousand a year on surf trips, four thousand on surfboards, and the rest goes to rent, food, gas. That’s about it. I’m not putting any away” -Mark Renneker, Surfer Magazine, 1992

If you are thinking about living a simpler life this rad movie may help you warm up your spirit. I sure as hell know it did mine.





“Something will pan out. It’s a magic economy — yes! — all up and down the coast from Los Angeles to Baja California kids can go to one of these beach towns and live the complete surfing life. They take off from home and get to the beach, and if they need a place to stay, well, somebody rents a garage for twenty bucks a month and everybody moves in, girls and boys.” –Tom Wolfe, The Pump House Gang, 1966

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