If you’ve spent any time on the West Coast, you probably know that to a whole legion of devotees, surfing is more religion than sport and that its vessel, the humble surfboard, is more icon than mere recreational equipment. The board, whose signature shape has remained constant since surfing’s 1950s heyday, has come to symbolize the bohemian culture immortalized by Gidget and the Beach Boys. As long as there are waves, there will be surfers riding them, and as long as there are surfers, there will be surfboards enshrined in home decor. Here are 11 ways to express your passion for the sport in your own home.
Interior Art, original photo on Houzz
Surfer’s paradise. Southern California designer Rona Graf added some surf culture to this Laguna Beach bedroom through color choice and decor. The designer articulated every detail, from the oceanic palette to the hand-painted sunset on the surfboard, to evoke a wave-rider’s paradise, complete with a hand-carved Billabong logo in the gallery wall above the bed.
Parvez Taj, original photo on Houzz
Morning wave report. Minimalistic and streamlined, this print by environmentally conscious artist Parvez Taj eliminates the need for a gallery wall by setting a tranquil mood in one glance. The ink wash re-creates the morning haze of an early-dawn romp in the waves.
Wilco Bos: Design + Remodels, original photo on Houzz
Surfboard shower. You went, you surfed, you conquered, and now you need to rinse all that sand off before you’re allowed back in the house. A custom shower using a surfboard as a mount for the plumbing fixtures will be a refreshing sight after a long morning hanging ten. Anything custom can be pricey, but you’ll probably spend less going this route than with a fully enclosed stall.
Ale Amend Photography, original photo on Houzz
Killer coffee table. In this coastal garage conversion, a skimboard was easily transformed into the perfect surface for a post-surf lemonade.
Tim Barber Ltd Architecture, original photo on Houzz
Hang ten headboard. A surfer-ly headboard is among the easiest to style, especially for a twin bed because of its slender proportions. For a larger bed, you could always line up surfboards of varying heights. Drill through the two outermost boards and fit them with reading lights for the grooviest surf-inspired headboard this side of Doheny.
Big-wave bar. Being relatively flat, sturdy and smooth, surfboards make for a brilliant countertop. Their narrow dimensions also make them especially suitable for a bartop.
Game on. In the family room, your clever surfboard bartop may be seeing more Scrabble than Bloody Marys, given that it works just as well as a game table as a bar.
Monster mural. The natural drama of big-wave surfing lends itself well to photographic wall murals. And just like the waves, the bigger, the better!
Big Kahuna lighting. Similar to the surfboard-as-shower idea, drilling some holes and adding bulbs can transform an old shorty (or skimboard, wakeboard or kneeboard, if that’s your preference) into a custom light fixture.
Gnarly gallery wall. When we think of surfers, we might envision Beach Boy bohemians from Endless Summer waiting in rustic shacks for the next big wave. Among the vast array of characters that count surfing as a hobby, even the white-collar ones probably identify to some extent with that free-spirited pop culture image. When bead curtains and waterlogged sofas won’t quite cut it, though, displaying prized surfboards as wall art is a classed-up way to bring the passion home.
Nice bookshelf, bro. Ladder shelves are great, but aren’t they becoming a little played out? Don’t settle for what everyone else is doing; if surfing is your true love, be an original like those who paved the sport’s way and recruit an old board to display your tokens of the sea.