A moment of triumph for Todd Holland and the beards of the world
Behind his back, people were calling him 'The Colonel'. As in Colonel Sanders. As in Kentucky Fried Chicken. It’s hard to imagine now, but that’s how much abhorrence—how much hatred—was directed at Todd Holland’s beard. I even heard people say they wanted to rip it directly off his face, or cut it off while he was sleeping.
Delving into the dark depths of Hollywood's worst mainstream surf movie
I’m not sure why it’s not public knowledge, or what kind of cover-up has taken place since, but I’m here to report that Surfer, Dude might be the worst mainstream surf movie ever released. A true turd in the toilet bowl that is Hollywood surf cinema.
Jeff Clark ups the ante at Mavericks
Not long after Jeff Clark let the cat out of the bag, a beautiful Indian summer day came to Central California. The buoy heights had gone down, and no one was really thinking about Mavericks. The swell interval was still healthy and the tide was dropping though, so Jeff knew it was worth a look. So we grabbed the Zodiac, and motored out of the harbor and waited.
A look at Clark Little's penchant for shore break abuse
So please understand that when I refer to Clark Little as a complete knucklehead, I do so with high praise indeed. As many people know, shallow water and shore pound present the biggest threat to a surfer’s health, and no one on Earth puts their spinal column at more consistent risk than the daring Mr. Little. As this photo will attest, even before he was a celebrated shore break lens man, Clark was a knucklehead extraordinaire.
A salute to the strength and courage of quadriplegic surfer Jesse Billauer
In a collective way, we’re used to seeing Jesse Billauer now. We’ve seen him ride many waves over the years, but before we take his surfing for granted, let’s all pause for a minute. Let’s close our eyes and really think about this. Try to imagine the leap of faith—the unbridled courage—it must take to not only drop into, but ride a solid wave as a paraplegic.
Peter Mendia runs from the law at a Taiwanese reefbreak
Apparently when a typhoon gets anywhere near the coast and the surf comes up, they “close” the ocean in Taiwan. Everybody has to get out. It’s against the law to be in the water. But that’s right where the boys wanted to be, and that’s where they were going to stay. They had just found a firing, untouched lefthand reefbreak and they weren’t about to leave a virgin lineup that was just starting to turn on. Plus, what was the guy going to do? Swim out and arrest them?
Paying tribute to one of the unsung surf legends of the '70s
Gerry Lopez, Wayne Lynch, Barry Kanaiaupuni, Rabbit Bartholomew, Buttons Kaluhiokalani, Shaun Tomson, Larry Bertleman, Mark Richards…there’s definitely not a shortage of '70s surf legends. If you ask me, however, one name from that era is too often overlooked: Max. As in Max the surf dog.
A Vanuatu local and his unconventional craft
Vanuatu is a small nation that sits in the Pacific triangulated by Fiji, the Solomons, and New Caledonia. It’s most famous for an unusual ritual: Men diving head-first from rickety 90-foot towers with only vines attached to their legs. Which made it less surprising when this Vanuatu local emerged from a beachfront construction site with just a wood slat under his arm.
One photograph sheds light on gender differences
This reaction reminded me how demonstrative an image can be. That I could relate the differences between the sexes without having to write a book. That, in fact, I could reveal the whole Men-are-from-Mars thing with a simple image. That when it comes to showing what one gender considers as discord and estrangement and another recognizes as complete peace and harmony, I could do it in one shot.
An inspiring photograph of an unknown surfing soldier
Although it’s something you can see in person on most mornings at Oceanside Harbor, it’s something you wouldn’t normally see in print. It’s not a radical air shot of some pro—it’s a surf image I find infinitely more inspiring: An image of self-sufficiency and hardcore dedication. A visual testament to a surfer who, despite a significant handicap, goes out and rips without help. Who surfs and then, without fanfare, an entourage, or a tailing media crew, shimmies himself back up to his gear, and hobbles back to his car. A photograph of an unknown soldier without a leg who, day after day, leaves his crutches—and his earthbound limitations—at the water’s edge.