Are you a Souther?

The life of a souther can be very difficult at times. Photo: Van Swae

Rob Gilley

Recently cut from the Surfer photography staff, Rob Gilley is now applying a surprising new talent for embittered, sardonic prose to the
blogosphere.


It’s not often that one word can change your life.
But I have to admit that’s the case with the term, “Souther.” I was introduced to the word over 10 years ago, and I can safely say that it has had a profound effect on my behavior ever since.

Loosely defined, a Souther is an extremely shallow-minded surfer that usually lives south of Ventura, California. I say “usually” because a Souther can live anywhere. In fact, I know plenty of Southers that happen to live in Santa Cruz.

In turn, there are plenty of surfers that live below Ventura that are not Southers. For example, Skip Frye from San Diego is the polar opposite of a Souther.

So what exactly is a Souther? It’s a good question, but I’ll bet you know what I’m talking about. That buddy of yours with a great quiver but never really surfs. The friend that has a rad four-wheel drive truck but never goes to Baja. The guy who doesn’t like to camp at the beach for fear of getting sandy. The acquaintance with the whitened teeth that loves trade shows and calls everybody, “bro.”

You get the picture.

So why is it important to know what a Souther is? Aha! Because it is my contention that everybody has a little bit of Souther in them. Modern society and its trappings encourage Souther-ness to surface. Even if you live in a cave in the Pacific Northwest, I bet you have had a Souther episode.

So unless you like to be shallow and soulless, the important thing is to fight off Souther tendencies like the plague. Recognize potential Souther situations and avoid Souther behavior before it takes hold of you.

I implore you: DO NOT embrace your inner Souther.

So how do you recognize if you’ve slipped over to the dark side? Take the test below and find out.

The Great Souther Test

1. Do you have trouble sleeping before trade shows?
2. Do you hate camping?
3. Do you have shiny, white teeth?
4. Have you ever dyed your hair or frosted your tips?
5. Do you think that the ultimate two-vehicle quiver would be a Beemer and a Hummer?
6. Do you get tummy aches?
7. Have you used any of the following terms in the last week: Tavi, Cali, or Newps?
8. Do you wish to God that somebody would start a World Wave Pool Tour?
9. Do you have a rad 4WD truck or SUV, but have never really put it into 4WD?
10. Do you think that Grinch-ing is the raddest thing since tow-ats?
11. In the last year have you said to a friend, “Dude, have you seen my new clips?”
12. Have you referred to shooting with a surf photographer as, “getting some work done”?
13. Do you have trouble seeing why people get mad when you drive right behind them in the fast lane and flash your brights?
14. Is “sick” the only thing you say more than “bro”?

Answered 12 or more “yes”: Full Souther
Answered more than four “yes”: Part-time Souther
Answered more than two “yes”: Souther tendencies
Answered zero “yes”: You Live in Oregon