The tortured conscience of an equal rights supporting SURFER editor
I posted the “Surf Bunny” page last week, then tied myself in knots for days over what you’re about to read. First off…I’m the killjoy who kept SURFER from doing bikini issues in the mid- and late ’80s. Surfing launched their “Swimsuit Preview” in ’83 (biting Sports Illustrated’s style), tickled the groins of their young
Confessions of an OG Hot 100 member
For all I know, the selection criteria for SURFER Magazine’s 1982 Hot 100 was an amalgam of surf talent, completed junior college units, and rote memorization of NBA stats, in which case, by God, I was in the Hot 10 of the Hot 100. Based on surf talent alone? Ah, well, not so hot. Mark
Jack McCoy's righteous bastard
Above, a humble remix of the amazing 1995 Billabong Challenge, held at Gnaraloo in Western Australia, and filmed by Jack McCoy, Alby Falzon, and Yuri Farrant, twenty years ago now. Two thoughts below to go with it: Had Tom Carroll participated, he would have won. Tom Carroll, Tom Curren, and Martin Potter were invited to the event, and all three declined. Potter,
Play the race card and you answer to Duke Kahanamoku
Ala Moana parking lot, summer of 1984. Back when Buttons could pull off anything, including this mid-afternoon photo, shot by Warren Bolster, which head-fakes toward the worst kind of racism, but is really just another riff in the nonstop improv comedy that was Buttons’ life at the time. Yes? Am I more or less on
The smartest kind of crazy
I love Brock Little’s quote about ’90s Pipe charger Shawn Briley. “Crazy people in general are stupid. Briley is relatively intelligent and yet he knows what he’s getting into, which in a way is even crazier.” I love it for that knife-flicking use of “relatively.” And I love it because it is the perfect description
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
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.
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
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
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