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(Text by Hardcloud) Youth culture is constantly evolving and the trends that go with it seem to be as diverse as the youth themselves. The pursuit of individuality and ability to break free from parents appeals to most young people at some stage and having a platform on which to explore and express their identities is a vital part of young adulthood. Throughout the shifting trends of youth fashion, a recurring theme has been the desire for young people to distance themselves from their parents` world of stiff collared shirts and plain fabrics. It is perhaps not surprising that the surf look, with its bold prints, loose fitting clothes and laidback vibe, has been so enduring within youth culture and fashion for so long.
Boardsports and popular fashion are two worlds that have long been intertwined, with surf and snow brands seeking to align themselves with current trends and fashion designers constantly finding inspiration in the bold colours and laidback vibe of the boarding community. Long shorts, loose palm tree print shirts and funky flip flops have often been spotted on the catwalk shows of major brands, such as Gucci, D&G and Chanel. Boardsports fashion has unsurprisingly had a major impact on popular culture by transcending the surfing community and extending board culture to the general public.
The influence of boardsports fashion on popular culture has been both rapid and extensive. Nowadays, anyone that relates to the `work to live`, carefree values that are so deeply ingrained in boardsports fashion, whether they actually participate in boardsports or not, can express themselves through the clothes they wear, music they listen to and even the movies they watch.
All fashions change quickly and of course trends, by definition, come and go with the seasons. Yet with board fashions, there are certain pieces that enjoy enduring appeal. Boardshorts, for example, have been an integral part of surfing culture since the sixties when the long sandy beaches and big waves of California first popularised the sport. The attraction of these flexible garments is the way they epitomize the laidback, easygoing vibe of the surf community. They look great on dry land and can be worn by guys and girls alike and when the surf gets up they allow you the freedom to dive straight in without a second thought.
Another time-honoured favourite is the classic big-soled footwear, made famous by Vans. These comfortable yet stylish trainers are particularly popular with boardsports fans as they look great and can be kicked off easily when the mood takes you. While boardsports fashion can skilfully reflect current trends and seasonal variation, its principal appeal is in the way the clothing, like the surf community itself, refuses to answer to anyone. So for anyone that doesn`t want to take life too seriously, throw on some Volcom board shorts or a pair of Reef sandals, get down to the beach and enjoy the real meaning of life.

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