A hooded member of the Jedi Council of advanced wave-riders
Mike Stewart’s EOS page just posted, and to mark the occasion I will now attempt to triangulate Stewart’s woefully underrated surf-world awesomeness using Kelly Slater and George Greenough. Nobody else will do. Slater and Greenough. God and Buddha. On the thousand-plus-year parchment scroll of surf history, this is the kind of lofty company Mike Stewart
Throwback interview to when shapers were wizards
Dick Brewer turns 78 today. Of all the shaping gurus, Brewer sat on the tallest mountain, had the most acolytes, wore the most beatific expression, and spoke in the deepest, most spellbinding voice. He was the guru’s guru. Lopez, Abellira, Fitzgerald, Chapman, among others, studied their boardmaking craft at his knee. Virtually every notable surfer
The original surf-rock legend's Ed Sullivan debut was 51 years ago this week
Fifty-one years ago today, Oct. 6, Dick Dale played the Ed Sullivan Show. Dale looked pretty damn punk rock, with his greased-up hair, wearing a black T-shirt—every other rock act at the time, most famously The Beatles, wore suits and ties for the Sullivan show—and as soon as the camera hits him, Dale rears back
Terry Fitz + BK + John Peck = Sam Hawk
Give me the DNA know-how and a pair of med students in lab coats, and I would love to take a crack at building the perfect ’70s surfer. I would call him…Sam Hawk. Because that is the best surfer name ever. Now toss over a petri dish and a gene splicer, let’s get to it!
Just don't call him "Booby"
James Jones is a mystery. To me, to you, to the rest of surfing. Always has been. Fantastic surfer, incredibly solid on his feet, courage and style to burn, two-time Duke winner, switchfoot ace, so at home in the tube he could redecorate the place, and of course the first great Waimea tuberider. Handsome, too.
An overdue apology from surf media's past
The epigraph for Midget Farrelly’s 1965 autobiography This Surfing Life is brief. “When you’re comfortable, you’re dead.” The man was 21 years old, reigning world champ, and the toast of Australian sporting—yet he chose to introduce his book with that little nugget of gloom. Here’s what I’m getting at: The bitterness that would come to at least partly define Midget Farrelly in years to come—that was inborn.
Mick Campbell, the happiest runner-up in World Title history
Mick Campbell wouldn’t agree, but I think fate did the right thing by yanking a world title out from beneath his freckled feet. Remember? Pipe Masters, 98. Big surf. Showdown in the last event of the year: Campbell in first going into the contest, fellow Aussie and good mate Danny Wills in second, Kelly Slater third. Tightly bunched, all
Remembering Warren Bolster, one of surfing's most talented photographers
I caught Warren Bolster at a good time in his life. Maybe the best time. It was 1985, and he was halfway into a comeback that would make even the most dedicated Mark Occhilupo fan pause and say, “That is a damn fine comeback.” Warren was closing in on 40, detoxed, groomed, a bit leathery
Happy Birthday to Laird's dad and '60s surf god
A lot of rules don’t apply to people as cool as Billy Hamilton. Ain’t fair, but there you go. Self-contradiction, for example. Hamilton was so cool that he could lay down a fist-pounding-on-table anti-contest rap (“contests should not fit into surfing, and surfing should not fit into contests”), while at the same time cashing checks from big North Shore events—dude
A look back at the ultimate power-broker, Gary Elkerton
Gary Elkerton took 5th place in the 1984 World Amateur Championships, held in mostly crap surf at Huntington and Oceanside. The result didn’t matter. He was the star. By comparison, everyone else was small, pale, boring. Every time Gary set foot on the beach, the whole event simply tilted in his direction. It was the heyday of Kong, and while his best