Apr 14


A term often used to describe someone who isn’t an accomplished surfer and/or does not yet fully understand surf etiquette. ‘Kooks’ are recognised by the faux pas they commit out in the surf.

Let’s call it for what it is, it’s a derogatory term used by tools to demean people. I can’t help but feel that most people who resort to this kind of stuff have some deep-seeded insecurity they’re trying to conceal and by putting down others, they are trying to deflect attention away from their own shortcomings. Sure, the said person may rip, which in their own eyes justifies them labelling other lesser surfers ‘kooks’ but what are they hiding? Perhaps they went surfing regularly at the expense of going to school and are not the most intelligent human beings or perhaps one too many bongs affected their cognitive abilities. Maybe in the interest of being ‘hard core’ they never managed to hold down a decent job, or perhaps don’t even have one. To that end, should people yell at them whilst they’re standing in the dole queue, “Go home, you bloody kook. We’re sick of paying your way because you’re an imbecile” or bark at them when waiting at a roadworks, “Hold the STOP sign straight you bloody kook!”

Think of any other sport/leisure activity/pastime and consider how they treat newcomers. More often than not there is encouragement and respect for those giving it a go, even reflection on what it was like to start out at a particular discipline. With surfing, however, there unfortunately appears to be a significant number who wish to deride people who are learning to surf. Don’t get me wrong, beginners attempting to surf in critical take-off zones need to be directed elsewhere but not admonished, abused and even ridiculed for it. They possibly don’t know any better, so politely help them out and steer them in the right direction. Don’t be a knob and threaten them for their ignorance.

Interestingly, some people are so enamoured with the word kook and so incredibly hip they have even incorporated the term into the name of their brand. Think of the equivalent, imagine if someone brought out a line of surf lifesaving rescue boards called Deceased Nippers or Aussie Rules footballs called Dear Departed Auskickers. Maybe I am reading it all wrong and simply don’t understand this comical expression because I am not part of that inner circle of naturally gifted and incredibly talented surfers.

Personally, I prefer to dispense with this never-ending quest to be cool in pursuit of simply enjoying my time out in the surf, by myself or with others. What I will say though is that if you’re insecure about something, get to work on improving that aspect of your life. In the long run you will feel far better about yourself than by humiliating someone else. And let’s face it, that beginner is only going to get better but if you’re stupid, things aren’t going to improve unless you start educating yourself. Anyhow, that’s just my thoughts on the matter and why I hate this derogatory term but what would I know, I am only a kook.