2.25.15

EOS

Nat Young and the ’74 Surfabout

Pro surfing comes into its own

I am optimistic about professional surfing. Yes, my wobbly Twitter feed often says otherwise. When a tight world title race gets routed through feckless European beachbreaks, for instance. Or when Joe Turpel’s adenoidal phrasemaking worms into my prescription-fortified pyramid of calm. But the new men’s world champion is under 30 and Brazilian and polarizing and […]

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2.18.15

EOS

The 1970 Expression Session

When good karma goes bad

The Expression Session, first held on the North Shore in 1970, then again in ’71 and ’73, seemed like a great idea. Perfect name, for starters, filled with soulful iambic bounce and zing. “Expression Session.” Breath those syllables in. Mmmmmm. Thai bud and purple Waxmate, am I right? This was a non-contest contest. An anti-contest. […]

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2.12.15

EOS

Rolling Stone Loves Surfing

How does it feel?

Rolling Stone‘s first issue came out 48 years ago this week. SURFER cartoonist Rick Griffin didn’t do the logo for that particular issue, but a year later he produced the classic RS logo you see above. (Tina Turner at her nasty-howling best. Mmm, yes. Sweat, sex, and bourbon.) Rolling Stone in turn, along with 10,000 […]

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2.5.15

EOS

Truth and Lies At Cape St. Francis

The lie is handmaiden to the truth

The Cape St. Francis sequence in Endless Summer is surf moviemaking’s perfect sphere. Our Pythagorean ideal. Nothing to be added. Nothing subtracted. I knew this right down to my not-yet-descended testes when I watched Endless Summer in a Santa Monica movie theater in 1967. I know it today, having run the footage through Final Cut […]

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1.29.15

EOS

The Pyschology of Puerto Escondido

That's Spanish for "20-foot shorebreak"

If my nerve would just double or triple in size, like the Grinch’s heart when “Welcome Christmas” chimes up from Whoville, I would so love Puerto Escondido. I devoted 20 years to what we call the “shorebreak” at Ocean Beach, San Francisco (as distinct from the much better known outside sandbars), and Puerto is the […]

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1.23.15

EOS

The Five Best Interviews in Surf

The Oldies are the Goodies

I came across a list of the five best interviews in surf last week, then reacted on the E.O.S. blog. I salute the choices. But a second perspective might not go amiss. Another viewpoint. And while this isn’t a competition…except, you know what, fuck that, of course it’s a competition. Presenting the real Five Best […]

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1.12.15

EOS

Medina and Techno-Samba

You're welcome

Gabriel Medina had limbic-melting Norwegian black metal pumping through those headphones as he walked down the beach at Pipe to take that shiny world title crown. Nah, not really. Maybe. Who knows? Could’ve been Leonard Cohen. Could’ve been Sun Tzu’s Art of War on Audible. Medina’s pre-heat sound of choice, like Medina himself, is a […]

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1.6.15

EOS

Windansea Surf Club

The ecstasy and the depravity

In the mid 1960s, Chuck Hasley and Thor Svenson fought a titanic battle for the soul of Windansea Surf Club, and Svenson came out on top. That’s my take. Who knows, I could be way out on a limb. Impossible to know for sure, at any rate. Hasley’s been dead 10 years, and Svenson—who knows. […]

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12.21.14

The Culture

R.I.P. Mike Tabeling: 1949-2014

An East Coast legend passes

Mike Tabeling told me last week that he was hoping to make it to Christmas. I didn’t know the man well, but my sense is that this is one of the very few instances in which he came up short. A rich life, full of waves, laughter, adventure, love. I’ll leave it to those who […]

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12.17.14

EOS

Joey Buran: Pipeline Slayer

California's first Pipe Masters champ

Joey Buran’s World Tour career was bookended by two Pipeline Masters contests. The first was in 1978, and if you were a teenaged American surfer at the time—even better, if you had at least a passive acquaintance with Joey, as I did—it was a shocker. This raggedy-haired 17-year-old high school dropout stoner beat Rory Russell […]

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