Do Weed And Surfing Go Together?

We staged an experiment at a STAB Magazine party in Los Angeles.

I’m standing in a packed room on the corner of the Venice Beach Boardwalk and Rose Ave in Los Angeles, California. I have a half pound of weed spread out in front of me along with all the rollup supplies you could want. One of the biggest surf video projects of the year, STAB's Electric Acid Surfboard Test featuring Coco & Mason Ho, is playing on the wall in front of me. I just spent the day rolling close to a hundred joints, also spread out on the table. The bartender is passing us buckets full of hard seltzers.

Everyone who comes up to the table is in a state of excited disbelief and has to ask me twice before helping themselves to a preview of some top shelf Indica coming soon from Burb. No one said, “no,” when I offered them a baggie, and plenty came back for more throughout the event. I’m feeling the love from the community.

In my personal life, weed and surfing have always gone hand-in-hand, same as weed and skateboarding, snowboarding, writing, reading, listening to music, eating, chilling, working, exploring… the list goes on. Sometimes I hesitate to express the depth of my love for THC because it seems corny and pigeonholes me as “the pot girl,” (which, to be fair, I am, but I’m also more than that). I often get a similar eye roll or confused response when I talk about how I have made all my life decisions since college in an effort to prioritize surfing.

But the deeper I get into the cannabis and surfing worlds the more I can get away from the internalized stigma and understand that they’re not just silly habits. There is something inherently transformative about these experiences from which whole cultures have been influenced.

The tricky part is to figure out how to position a brand in a way that represents that connection authentically. Especially in a space that is overflowing with culture vultures and other types of opportunists who see the dollar signs, but don’t have the true love of the culture that connects us–I’m talking about both the surf and cannabis industries.

The respect for this core cultural connection and aversion to corporate bullshit is one of the reasons why STAB was eager to work with us when I pitched the event sponsorship idea. Weed and surfing absolutely go together, but it is not as shallow as, “I like to get stoned and shred.” Sure, that is very fun, and I along with plenty of other high profile and unknown surfers alike love to do it.

But there is also something else: the knowledge that authentic countercultures are few and far between at this point and there is something special about them that needs to be preserved. Cannabis has contributed to the growth of many creative cultures, and there is no reason that should stop within the legal market.

Burb was welcomed with open arms and we rubbed elbows with Hawaiian royalty like Coco Ho, surf industry leaders, and about two hundred stoked surf fans. Almost everyone left with “that good-good(ie)” bag and a smile, maybe from the energy of the event, maybe from the buzz off that top shelf gas.

I can’t give enough thanks to the STAB team for the warm welcome into the surf industry - this is only the beginning.

By: Esther Hershkovits
Esther is a writer and creative strategist from New York City.