3rd January 2020

What’s your favourite surf emoji?

Most of us like to add a surf emoji now and then if we’re messaging mates from the beach (or indeed about The Wave). But have you noticed how different companies have very different ideas of what surfers actually look like? These are our best and worst, what are yours?

Abby Richardson
Wavemaker - Media Team


The current Apple surf emojis are pretty good: reasonably realistic poses, nice boards, and a surfer who looks quite gender neutral. It’s good to see Apple getting its stuff together, for its surfers haven’t always been quite so appealing. Early versions of iOS had someone who appeared to walking across the board, possibly in wellies.


Where Apple’s surfers look as if they’re having a good time rather than being too competitive, Facebook’s are extremely focused and, in the dude’s case wearing some seriously strong hair product. They’re not people you’d want to accidentally bang into, which is a bit strange given they live on a social media platform, but there you go.


Have you ever wondered what emojis would have looked like if mobile phones had been invented in 1974? The designer of Google’s surfer has. Likes a shortboard as well.


Not one of the greats is it? Angles a bit wrong, different wetsuits for men and women, and, oh yes, a complete lack of facial features. People new to surfing should be assured that even very big waves can’t wipe off your eyes, nose and mouth.


You’ll have to make up your own mind on this one. Is it the modern art masterpiece of surf emojis, or just a bit rubbish? We’ve come round to it a bit, but may have been thinking about it too long.


This is good. Nice wave, good colours, decent position that looks as if the surfer might about to do something spectacular. The standard to which all surf emoji artists should aspire, in our opinion.


Give the Samsung designer some credit for experimenting here. While most companies use surfing’s image as a sport for fun, adventurous people, he or she decided to try something different, and gave us a surfer who looks alarmed and slightly worried. Perhaps they’ve just realised they’re about to collide with the Facebook couple.


She might be standing at a slightly weird angle and have an odd wetsuit, but we like Joypixel. She looks like she might not be great at surfing, but would have a go and have a laugh, which is what counts. You can find her (and two friends) in Joypixel’s special emoji keyboard, add-on-able to the Chrome browser.

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