surfboard motorcycle

Motorcycles in the surf culture

How on earth have these entirely different activities – motorcycling and surfing, become a big part of today’s surf culture?

Take Deux Ex Machina for example – a popular surf counterculture brand that specializes in moto/surf/snow and bicycles. Every true surfer knows about Deux Ex Machina. There’s also the Wheels and Waves that’s held in Spain every year, Robbie Maddisson even surfed a wave on a motorcycle! Bikies and surfers were teaming up on illegal drug trade in the 70s.

Surfing is somewhat similar to snowboarding, which on the other hand is nothing like riding a bike. Surfing is a silent sport while motorcycling is the complete opposite. Although, the boards and wheels still go a long way together. By the end of the day, among all the different types of thrill-seeking activities, there’s nothing better than owning a surfboard AND a motorcycle. Is it be about the yin-yang that compliments the each side?

Let’s find out what are the common traits that gets surfers stoked about motorcycles!

scooter rack on a scooter
Scooters are inseparable in Indonesia’s surf life. A location that’s renowned of being the mecca for surfers.


Sense of freedom

First and foremost – an obvious similarity that connects surfing and motorcycling is definitely the sense of freedom.

There’s something so simple about riding a wave and cruising down the highway. Maybe it’s because there’s nothing there that’s in excess? Each and every corner about the surfboard and motorcycle is designed for a very specific reason. Sense of freedom is the number thing to come in mind to most people.



Surfing and motorcycles require the ride to zone in, without it it can become considerably extreme.

Whether you ride on curvy backroads or surf a clean wave – there’s always that element of risk. Although, each and every ride makes it more addicting, even knowing the fact that you are putting yourself in danger. You also have to be focused all the time where you can’t simply take out your eyes off the upcoming line.


Takes years to master the craft

Everyone can catch a wave or ride a motorcycle – but it takes a true fanatic to become a skilled rider. There’s a long and bumpy road in becoming an advanced expert. Each year on the board/bike adds up to the real experience. You don’t need to ride 200mp/h or surf a 100-foot wave to master the craft – it’s more about maximizing what’s out there. Maximizing in this case means getting the most fun that’s out there.

To get better at the sport – you’ll also need to fail to get better at risk management.


You don’t want to ding it!

For this very reason – surfing and motorcycling aren’t for everyone. Both surfboards and motorcycles need a careful pair of hands and an knowledgeable operator. Aesthetic plays an important role for surfers and motorcyclists. Surfboards and motorcycles are previous to their owner.

surfboard motorcycle


Some days are better than others

It’s not only the conditions that make some days more memorable than others – both surfing and motorcycling are best performed when weather has aligned. While motorcycling is not as fun on windy days, it’s not the case when strong offshore winds at your local surf spot. Surfing, unlike motorcycling, is also way more fun on a rainy day. When it’s hot and flat on the ocean – there are ideal conditions for motorcycling.

Depending on where you live – usually the best season for surfing is during the winter, and summer for motorcycling.


You need to be fanatical

Not everyone’s willing replace their car, wake up before sunrise, or simply jumping in a wetsuit that’s still wet. All that with an aching body from the previous day.

Surfing and motorcycling are definitely hobbies that are not for everyone. While most don’t understand why some putt themselves in danger and increase the risk for accidents – that’s not the case with an average surfer or motorcyclist. Matter of fact – extreme sports are not about gambling or playing with luck, but rather precise calculation on the upcoming events.¬†Extreme sports is defined by doing things in places an average person would be in risk. For surfers/motorcyclists – they enjoy the thrill.


Open elements

Surfers are halfway submerged in another element during the entire session, motorcyclists on the other hands feel the breeze, the sun, the drizzle. It is hard to compare which provides more freedom – surfing a perfectly clean wave or riding a motorcycle on a nice sunny day. Either way, both recreations help you feel free to another degree.


They’re not cheap

It’s a myth that surfing is cheap, or that motorcycles offer a cheaper alternative to cars. Yes, motorcycles have better mileage, but they also need care, riding gear, lots of time, money, parts and all that. A new surfboard costs around $800, add a leash, traction pad, cover bag and the fuel/food to get to the ocean and back. They’re not cheap – but worth every penny!


One is never enough

As simple as that. When there’s around 10 different types of motorcycles and 16 types of surfboards – one is never enough. Variety is the spice of life for both surfers and motorcyclists.


Moto & surf

Surfers and motorcyclists seem to be a completely different bunch, but motorcycling has definitely become an inseparable part of the surf culture. In warm parts of the world – motorcycles can be used to transport boards to the beach, and commute in dense cities. All in all, if we know something to conclude – it’s that motorcycles are very welcomed in the surf culture, while motorcyclest aren’t as fascinated about surfers.

Being in your element doing things you love helps to zone out from everyday routine.


Watch Torres Martyn

Surf & ride New Zealand on a motorcycle:

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I created Nulltuul to share my experience, research and analysis with other surf enthusiasts out there. If I'm not surfing on my travels - I like to photograph waves, surfers, and the surf lifestyle in general.

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