Jonathan Paskowitz didn’t just survive growing up in a camper with eight siblings and surf obsessed parents, he thrived. Now, as the head of surfwear brand Lightning Bolt, he uses his lifelong immersion in surf culture to trace the evolution of surf style.
As a kid, Jonathan Paskowitz lived an itinerant family life in a trailer with his parents and 7 siblings that centered around surf. Later his family launched the first surf camp in Hawaii. As an adult he went pro, and produced a documentary filmed by Doug Pray called Surfwise, which told the story of his eccentric family. Now at the helm of the legendary surf label Lightning Bolt, Paskowitz talks about the evolution of surf style.
“My family brought a look to the beach that oddly was a mismatch of things other surfers and friends gave us. Later we saw so many surfers playing down clean crisp looks for a more “Surf Bum” chic that really was and still is a kind of a way to say ‘I really surf,–look how worn these trunks are.’ Then we all got matching trunks and surf brands became popular trying to look like weathered, hard core surf enthusiasts.”
“Today there are many more surfers influencing the whole world and many more individuals surfing in far off places, there are so many different kinds of surfing now. Bodysurfing, performance surfing, long boarding, stand up paddle surfing, kite surfing,s body-board surfing, wind surfing and all these people are surfing and so they are SURFERS. And the romance and adventure spirit goes with them. If you look at surfing from the Beach Boys to the current popularity of the sport it’s no wonder more people want to be associated with such a creative and liberating lifestyle.”