I’m going to let you in to a little surf magazine secret: we don’t like hoods, boots and gloves.
Sure they are a hypothermia avoiding essential living in the latitude we do in our winter months, and help keep the surf companies buoyant, but like all of you we’d rather not surf in them.
They are in incumbrance, an awkwardness, a pain in the derriere. Hoods, built in or otherwise, no matter how comfy and tech, limit your senses. Even the best fitted gloves and boots remove that vital direct skin to resin contact betwixt you and your sled. They are surfing versions of condoms. Something you can’t do without but it’s far, far more pleasurable to not use.
Aside from the surfing aspect we don’t like them as mag folk simply because they look odd in photos. There. We said it. Hoods and gloves make people look silly. No one can pull off a hood without getting a squashed face. Even Brad Pitt would like a marshmallow faced buffoon in a 6mm. Angelina Jolie would be reduced to a pair of lips sticking out of her wetsuit face hole.
Gloves just add that air of ‘biohazard’ to the proceedings. Wetsuit boots are okay in photos. They’re passable. But the rest. Ppppffffttt.
We, of course, have a brilliant solution. A solution so obvious it’s kind of baffling that no one has done it already: flesh toned accessories.
Yes. You read that right. We can get round our aesthetic problem with unsightly gloves by the wetsuit companies making a range of realistic skin toned coloured wetty gloves. They can range from proper British ‘Casper the Ghost’ white, Northern European skin, through every other conceivable tone. Sure you’d notice the surfers overly large, somewhat cartoony hands but it’s still better than the current standard black gloves.
The hood/twat cap conundrum is equally easily solved. Flesh toned hoods for bald people like Kelly Slater. The same but with built in wigs for those lucky sorts that actually have hair. It’s an endorsementfest waiting to happen. You could get a Taj style mop, John John locks or Kolohe’s stylish crew cut. Wilko’s do would obviously be a popular choice. The options are endless. Celeb endorsements are welcome. Keith from the Prodigy spikes. A Van Damme style mullet. It would be hairlarious (sorry).
So there you go. Surf industry. We gift this idea to you. Run with it. Make it happen. And yes we would like some Van Damme mullet hoods for next winter size large and some English Oak flesh tone gloves and boots thanks. You’re welcome.
Words and photo (of Chris Clarke at home) by Sharpy