Style is found in calmness, joy, the fine details of body language, spontaneity, aggression (sometimes), and flow. It’s a most pleasurable show when these ingredients all come together. I love to watch Tom Curren, Kelia Moniz, Rob Machado, Joel Parkinson, Mason Ho, Alex Knost, Dave Rastovich, and Dane Reynolds. They’re all true performance artists, and it’s magic when they ride a wave.
The most stylish people are born with the ability to not overthink, and to operate on feeling. When it comes to style, intuition is powerful, but I think style can be worked on—to a degree. Things like hand placement, posture, and where lines are drawn on a wave face can all be improved. But when feeling takes precedence over thought, the style that results is your own unique approach.
I try to make slight changes in my stance so that I can have better structure—and therefore more strength—when trying high-performance maneuvers. But that’s why I love watching someone like Craig Anderson; he’s not sacrificing any elegance to land huge airs. I think that’s a very fine line to walk. Not many people can do that.
I love when assertion collides with femininity and becomes grace. Insert good waves and everyone wins.