"The vibe" and "the glide": surfing through the voices of longboarders

Gordon Waitt, Ryan Frazer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This article reads transcripts of interviews conducted with longboarders to advance a fresh understanding of localism. Conventionally, historians and sociologists have framed localism around the practices, motives and experiences of surfers who ride shortboards. This approach tends to silence the voice of other groups of surfers, including longboarders. Drawing on ideas from cultural geography, this article explores the motivations and experiences of longboarders who are largely marginalised within shortboard surfing culture. In this study we are interested in the bodily affects of longboarding, which gives meaning to individual lived experiences of riding waves. Bodily affects are understood as performative emotions that enable people to know and shape relationships with other human body-selves, as well as non-human entities. Bodily affects are expressed through narratives of ''the vibe'' and ''the glide'', and the emotions include shame, fear and joy. While some longboarders confirmed the exclusionary and often violent behaviours associated with localism, there were also participants advocating for a more sociable approach to riding waves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-343
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Australian Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • surfing
  • affect
  • emotion
  • territorialism
  • the beach
  • virtue


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