Going against the current: An interview with Oscar Langburne.

What do you get when you put together a love for eighties punk rock, an effortlessly fluid style of surfing and an equal measure of kindness and a humble disposition? Oscar Langburne, a 17-year-old free-surfer from Australia who isn’t interested in chasing World titles, QS rankings or insane airs, but pure surf stoke instead.

Its not hard to see why Oscar is already represented by brands such as Hayden Shapes and RVCA; Oscar stands out. From his signature boards covered in graphics of his favourite musicians or his outspokenness about issues such as racism, he doesn’t hold back.

Oscar took the time to answer a few questions, hope you enjoy the interview.

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How did you first get into surfing? How old were you when you started? Does your family surf as well? 

Probably about 8, same as most kids I guess. I just started getting pushed onto waves. Dad used to surf a bit and we were close to the beach. I actually stopped for a year or so because waves always seemed so big, haha. I really only started getting into when I was about 12.

What was your first major surf trip experience like? Where did you go? 

Probably like most Australians, I went to Bali/Indonesia. I loved it and have gone back a lot. I like the food, warm water and the waves are so consistent.

Craziest thing that’s happened while travelling or in another country? 

Probably some of the crazy car rides. In Sumatra I had a driver who seemed pretty mad driving on the wrong side of the road thinking it was funny. Went on for 5 hours in the dark.

What’s your favourite local surf spot and why? And what’s your favourite surf spot outside Australia and why? 

Just the local beach-break because it’s pretty consistent and saves driving around. Have to be some obvious ones in Indonesia like Desert Point and Uluwatu, plus a few spots in South Sumatra. 

You’ve met some pretty amazing people through surfing. What are three qualities you admire/value the most in other people? 

Certainly not how good they surf. Some of the nicest people don’t surf and sporting ability doesn’t mean anything in what I admire. I like people that are humble, aren’t selfish and think of others… and don’t judge others on money, colour and stuff like that. Either someone is nice or they aren’t, those things should not matter.

You recently released the clip ‘Heads Will Roll’, how did that come about? What’s the meaning behind the title? 

All my clips are named after songs, that’s just a YEH YEH YEHs song I like and I like the sound of the name. 

Any upcoming edits we should keep an eye out for?

I’m doing a right hand point clip, all backside surfing but haven’t even started because I only just started surfing again due to 3 months out with a broken leg.

Out of all the clips you’ve done, which one do you think best represents who you are and your style of surfing? 

Probably Dancing Barefoot, ’cause it shows a little of everything. 

Which surf spots/countries would you like to visit one day? You should totally consider South Africa if you’ve never been. 

J-Bay for sure is on the list plus I would love to go to Morocco.

How do you manage to juggle things like school with your busy schedule?  

I finished school early last year so it’s mainly surfing, reading, drawing and trying to improve myself as a person. 

What was the inspiration behind your idea to create anti-racist t-shirts? 

Started with the racist rubbish in America and then I just started reading about it more. One of my favourite bands is The Specials, who were multi racial and sang a lot about it. For the first shirt I took some words from the song ‘Racist Friend’: IF YOU HAVE A RACIST FRIEND, NOW IS THE TIME FOR OUR FRIENDSHIP TO END. I’m actually sending the shirt to the singer which is pretty amazing. 

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I’ve been trying to think of something to do with racism awareness and got help with this…….. The Specials have so many sick anti racist songs so I’m screening white t-shirts with lyrics from the song RACIST FRIEND and will send out 20 or so to people proud to wear the lyrics that it’s time for this bullshit to end. ———————————- If you have a racist friend Now is the time for your friendship to end ———————————— Put a black square ⬛️ in this and will message 10 girls and 10 guys anywhere in world for size and address in few days. I’ll put up the names in a story or something If anyone want to share it that’s rad. If anyone wants to be a negative prick go for it

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View this post on Instagram

@rvca founder @pmtenore believed that the message of these tees could go further // They are now available as a limited run for purchase at RVCA.com, with all proceeds benefitting @innercityarts in the US and @aimementoring in Australia // Link in bio to get yours // #RVCA #RVCAsurf #balanceofopposites #innercityarts #AIMEMentoring I’ve had a fair few people wanting to buy these shirts for the message, and I’ve been doing them for free at home because I didn't know what to say and the more I read about it the more strongly I feel about what's going on now and in the past.. I sent them to anyone……. kids, friends and of course surfers, skaters, musicians and others with the platform and voice. It’s never been about anything except sharing the message to stand against inequality. If it helps in some small way, with the platform to now raise a little money for a couple of positive charities, that can only be a good thing. Massive thanks to cenny coast legends @grantmolony and @russmolony for pointing me in the right direction of a really positive charity in Australia. Lastly anyone I said I would send a free one, if last few don't arrive soon please message me

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What’s your opinion on how to deal with racist friends/family/people in general? 

Well obviously you’d hope that common sense would make people know that it’s just wrong and fucking awful to treat anyone differently but some people are just so ignorant or stuck in their ways. I have no time for people like that.

Has there ever been any backlash against how vocal you are about issues like racism, online? How do you deal with negative comments? 

There is always some smart arse writing something negative, I ignore it all unless it really needs a come back. It just highlights their own issues to troll a kid to try and make a negative remark when they have no idea about me. Some people can’t help themselves and if anything I post annoys them then good, I want them to show their true feelings.

You’ve got a pretty killer taste in music! What are your top 5 favourite albums? 

Oh wow, it really changes day to day so I’ll list a few: 

The Specials’ first album

The Clash – London Calling

Joy Division – Closer

Amy Winehouse – Back to Black

New Order – Low-Life

When you aren’t in the water, how do you like to spend your time?

Reading and drawing. 

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Downtime drawing

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You’re with some pretty amazing sponsors. How did you end up joining RVCA? 

I was with another company and RVCA approached me after seeing a clip I think. 

Twin fin or single fin?

I like both and it depends on the wave type, but overall twin ’cause it’s a good mix of single and thruster. 

Left or right-hand point break?

I’ll say right because that’s what I’m looking forward to chasing soon. 

Sunset surf or morning session?

Probably morning, sort of depends on wind really. 

Finish the sentence, life without surfing would be:

Wouldn’t be what it is…but could be worse. 

In your opinion, what’s the most special thing about surfing?

Just the feeling of freedom, unless it’s super crowded and bad attitudes then I sort of drift away from the crowds, haha. 

Any advice for first-time surfers? 

Everyone starts out, stick with it. Don’t worry about how good you or other people are, just enjoy it for what you get from it. 

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