Saturday, January 27, 1973

Surf's Down

Everything's changing on the surfing scene,
I traded in my Woodie on a new machine
I haven't had a zit since I was seventeen
And I can't find the number of my teenage queen,
Now when I pick up a girl I say as nice as I can,
'Wanna tandem,' but she says, 'You dirty old man.'
Surf's down.

It's getting kind of lonely as a surfer man.
My knots are disappearing and I got no tan.
My wet suit's leaking and they laugh at my jams,
And no-one wants to talk about their high-lift cams.
So well I got a few tricks that I'd like to show,
But you can't hang ten when you've lost your little toe.
Surf's down.

     Hey there Linda babe why won't you respond,
     Don't you know me, I used to be a blonde.

Let's go stomping baby you and me.
I got some Dick Dale records and Sherry.
And then we'll check the waves down at Wind and Sea,
I'll even buy some beer and use my own ID.
I've got a lot more miles til my treads wear through,
So I guess I'll keep surfing 'cause it's all I can do.
Surf's down.

Ride, ride, ride, surfer man.



E | - | - | -
A | - | E | -
B | A | B | A


C-G | Am-D
Bm-B | D-D

There is quite some surfer slang in this song. So for anyone like me who did not grow up in 60s California (thanks to Brian Mathieson and Cara Klieger):

Dick Dale: Ground-breaking surf rock guitarist aka 'the King of the Surf Guitar'.
Hang ten: Placing ten toes over the nose of the surfboard aka 'toes on the nose'.
High-lift cam: A car part (I do not know what the surf connection is here).
Knots: Callouses just below the knee and on the tops of the foot caused by kneeling on the surfboard.
Sherry: Song written by Bob Gaudio and originally performed by The Four Seasons in 1962 - Ackles' singing imitates their melody on this word.
Tandem: Two people riding on a surfboard at the same time, usually a man and woman.
Wet suit: A neoprene rubber suit used by surfers to keep warm.
Wind and Sea: Restaurant on the Southern Californian shore (est. 1972).
Woodie: A station wagon, made in the 40s and 50s, with wood paneling on the sides.
Zit: Pimple.


  1. "My wet suit's leaking and the life rack ends."

    I'm pretty sure this line is actually "My wet suit's leaking and they laugh at my jams."

    Jams were brightly colored, baggy swimsuits popular in the 60's. This link has info about the origin of the word, and a photo:


    1. Sounds good. Thanks for catching this reference that went over my head.