7.23.14

EOS

David Nuuhiwa, Surf-Artist

The Highest Grade of Smoothness

“Riding waves is an art, not a sport.” God help us. You could float a battalion of zeppelins with the hot air generated by surfers waxing poetic about “the art.” Open any surf magazine from 1970, and the surfing-as-art fatuousness actually wafts off the pages in small clouds. Then again, David Nuuhiwa. We all enjoy […]

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7.22.14

EOS

Darrick Doerner: Too Cool

The big-wave iceman, cool to a fault

To this day, my 83-year-old mother makes fun of the way I used to worship Darrick Doerner. Lifts her eyebrows, arranges her wrinkled old dowager puss to approximate that of a know-it-all teenager, talks in a drawly early-’70s surf patois, imitating me imitating Darrick, and it is horrible. Horrible. Because it is so true. Darrick lived a block or two north of […]

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7.16.14

EOS

Shaun Tomson Talks J-Bay

"The choices just overwhelm people"

Looks like the surf isn’t going to cooperate for a while during the J-Bay Open waiting period, which is a shame. At least the first couple rounds had their moments. To get my Jeffreys fix the other day, I called Shaun Tomson—a starting player on anybody’s best-ever J-Bay All Star team—to talk about this amazing […]

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7.11.14

EOS

Sonny Miller Tribute

Cheers to the life of Sonny Miller

Sonny Miller raised the level whenever he walked into a room. All levels. The volume, for starters; Sonny had a big voice. The energy, the buzz, the metabolism of whatever space Sonny was occupying—it all went up a notch or two. It felt great. The way Sonny did it, somehow, it wasn’t really about him. Lots of […]

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7.7.14

EOS

Fred Van Dyke Interview

Addicted to surfing, Van Dyke nevertheless walked away

Surfing made Fred Van Dyke‘s life. And, as he says with a shrug and a remorseful chuckle, surfing ruined his life. Of the many things I love and admire about Van Dyke, his ability to live comfortably with his own contradictions is near the top of the list, next to his relentless honesty, and a […]

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7.3.14

EOS

Tom Curren Interview

Tom Curren's classic 1996 rant against the surf industry

Tom Curren, everyone’s favorite surfer, turns 50 years old today. I’m deeply invested in Tom Curren’s greatness as a surfer. So deeply invested that I’ve sometimes wondered, over the past 30-plus years, if his awkward turns on the public stage are maybe a kind of long-running performance art piece designed to shame the rest of us at the way […]

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6.27.14

EOS

Mike Hynson: Rebel Rebel

Endless Summer star turns 72

Mike Hynson was the second-most polarizing 1960s surfer, behind Mickey Dora. Those who would kneel before Hynson and kiss the ring on his well-manicured hand were roughly equal in number to those who would’ve liked to see his privileged little ass get kicked from Windansea to Big Rock and back. Hynson’s mid-decade peak in popularity was a few years before my time, […]

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6.19.14

EOS

Wipeouts

We all have 'em

“If you can’t have a spectacular ride, have a spectacular wipeout. It’s good for the sport.” I don’t know exactly when Martin Potter uncorked that pithy little bon mot. Having suffered through what seems like many lifetimes’ worth of Potter’s humorless ASP commentary, I wonder in fact if he actually said it at all. But never mind. The point stands. Wipeouts are […]

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6.12.14

EOS

Sunny Garcia Interview

Sunny takes a stroll down memory lane

Sunny Garcia and I hadn’t talked for something like 20 years. In the late ’80s we’d been friendly. Worked on a SURFER profile together when he was a skinny 17-year-old; I caddied for him in a contest or two at Sunset; we’d have dinner when he was in town for the Op Pro. Then I did one […]

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6.5.14

EOS

Peter Townend Interview

"You gotta put on a show"

“Professional surfing is 80 percent skill,” Peter Townend said in 1977. “The other 20 percent is entertainment.” You may not agree. You may think that hair gel, jumpsuits, pink boards, preening interviews, and a slavering desire to go Hollywood don’t really have a place in a worthwhile surfing ontology, and thus shouldn’t be valued at the professional level. Or not […]

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