You might be more familiar with the term “poser”, which is used in other sports such as skateboarding. It basically means “someone who pretends to be someone whose not” and/or “someone who tries to fit in but with exaggeration” (courtesy of the urban dictionary).
We’re here to help people understand the definition of a kook and how to lower the chances of looking like one. To do so, you can start by learning basic surf ethics, choosing the right surf spots and using the right surf equipment. Make sure to check out our article “5 things to know when you start surfing” for more information!
So… What is a kook?
Surfers have their own word for posers. They are called “kooks”. We don’t know exactly why they use a different word, but one reason might be that a kook can be worse then a poser. While the poser at the skate park is only making a fool of himself trying to pretend he knows how to skate, he is often not interfering with anybody else’s fun.
Just because you’re a beginner surfer doesn’t mean you are a kook. Surfers can be kooks at different skill levels because they have an exaggerated idea of their skill level. An intermediate surfer who surfs an expert spot on a huge day with the wrong equipment will be rapidly recognized as a kook in the water.
Surfing is different. Surfers have to share the ocean and waves. So the kook can interfere with other surfer’s fun because he doesn’t know anything about surf ethics or doesn’t have the right surf level for the specific surf spot. He can make the surf session dangerous for him and people around him. So here it is, our own home made “kook” definition: A surfer who has an exaggerated perception of his/her surf skills. His/her lack of surf knowledge, especially concerning surf ethics, usually interferes with other surfer’s fun in the water.