The Do’s and Don’ts of Crowd Surfing

The Do’s and Don’ts of Crowd Surfing


-Wear light shoes, or take your shoes off first. You don’t want to be that dude in giant black boots clonking some short girl on the head while she’s idly having a text message fight with her boyfriend.

-Look somewhat unimpressed. When you’re floating above a sea of hands groping at your every nook and cranny, it’s important to look like it’s the kind of thing that you do every day, no big deal. A few victorious fist pumps are ok.

-Exude an aura of being generally somewhat crazy. It helps to prime this idea into the crowd by doing really drunk shit for awhile before you crowd surf. Pour a beer on your head. Insist on trading shirts with a much thinner stranger. Prove to the people about to float you around that your natural out-of-controlness is indeed peppered with substances. No one likes to crowd surf people who are crowd surfing just to crowd surf. Your crowd surfing is a part of your animus.


-Don’t expect a bunch of people who are lingering behind the mosh pit to crowd surf you. Those people are just trying to vibe out and not get their flip-flop-exposed toenails smashed by someone’s bouncing chucks. If you really have the balls to crowd surf, you’ll elbow your way up to the stage and jump off from there.

-Eventually the crowd will send you up to your final destination – the loving arms of the security guard. He will grab you with either an angry, pissed off tiredness or a smirk of “oh youth,” depending on whether or not you have tits. Show the crowd you are wild yet gracious by thanking him for saving you for trampledom.

-You may have showed up with an entire posse, but crowd surfing shouldn’t start with your own friends. No one likes the huge group of drunk suburbanites trying to get their pal to ride the crowd. Instead, do the hard work of convincing strangers that you are worthy enough to do so. Don’t use words – use the power of your dance.

Becky Lang

Photo by Jay Gabler, from Animal Collective’s set at the 2011 Pitchfork Music Festival