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1.8.16

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Glamming Up The Joint

Ranking the top surfer + celebrity romances of all time

On the basis of tantalizing but less-than-conclusive evidence, Chas Smith wondered aloud recently if New York surfer Balaram Stack was perchance romantically linked with former supermodel Christie Brinkley, and declared that, if it were true, the Stack-Brinkley unit would be “the best surfer + model/actress/singer connection of all time.” Oh, Charlie. Your wordplay is zing

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1.7.16

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Stylemasters For The Ages

The quiet brilliance of filmmakers Greg Weaver and Spyder Wills

Greg Noll said he could not imagine a “shittier way to earn a living” than making surf movies, what with the handbill-hanging, booking the local Elks Club, selling tickings, and flogging up and down Pacific Coast Highway to do one-night stands for high-schoolers jacked on Miller High Life and Peach Schnapps. And unless your name

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1.2.16

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Larry Gordon: 1939-2016

Remembering the famed San Diego boardmaker

San Diego boardmaker and entrepreneur Larry Gordon, who died on January 1st from Parkinson’s-related illness at age 76, was one of those people you appreciate more and more with age. Quiet, steady, low-key, dependable. Never showed up at work with a flask snuggled in his back pocket. Never had the IRS breathing down his neck.

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12.21.15

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Wavepools: Chlorine and Tears

Wavepools in our new, post-Kelly Slater Wave Co. era

It’s confusing when something abruptly goes from funny to serious. Richard Pryor did this trick all the time in his standup act; you’re zinging along with some gutter-mouthed riff on relationship hassles or the asshole neighbor next door, then Pryor changes direction and you’re dealing with something else entirely—divorce or racial injustice—and basically feeling dizzy

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12.15.15

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World Title Showdown!

The hope and the heartbreak

This post is mostly for myself, in hopes that I don’t get too excited over this week’s World Title showdown, which in all likelihood will come up well short of expectations. I am of course thrilled there is a showdown of any kind in the offing. Way too often the deal is done days, weeks,

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12.8.15

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The Post-gay World of Matt Branson

Branson smashed surfing’s wall of homophobia like a wrecking ball

In the Surf Journalism Hall of Fame of my imagination there is a special room, gilt-trimmed and hallowed, for Stab magazine’s 2007 “King of Queens” feature on Matt Branson. Pedestals for everybody involved with this amazing piece of work: Stab editor Derek Rielly for chasing and massaging the story (no other media outlet at the

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11.24.15

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Roger Erickson: Hell and Back

Derek Hynd profiles the gladiator of Waimea

New Year’s Resolution, 2016: Stop making lists. Like this one. Or this. And especially this! Silly little look-at-me clickbait trifles. But to give up listing will take grit and discipline and resolve. I know this because, for the past week, since making the the Roger Erickson clip you see above, I’ve felt compelled — nay,

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11.20.15

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The First Eddie…At Sunset?

Original Eddie was just the lemon next to the pie

Eddie Aikau made his mark at Sunset Beach before Waimea, so maybe there’s a kind of poetic justice in that the first and totally unremembered Eddie Aikau Invitational, sponsored by Quiksilver, was held at Sunset. The waves were okay, not great. Northwest swell, dropping throughout the day, some funky tradewind bump in the afternoon. In the final, local boy Denton Miyamura took out

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11.18.15

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RIP David Eggers: 1970-2015

Teenaged surf star who flew too close to the sun

David Eggers died on Monday, at age 45, probably of a heart attack. In 1986, Eggers was a white-hot 16-year-old World Tour rookie destined for a mantelpiece-full of World Title trophies. Eighteen months later, he was off the tour, living with his folks, cradling a freebase pipe, and tearing up the streets of La Jolla. “Yesterday was gone,” Eggers later said,

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11.12.15

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Jerry Bujakowski of India

It must be the shoes

Forty-something years ago, after dinner, sitting around waiting for Laugh In and puberty to begin, I paged through a back issue of SURFER and landed on Drew Kampion’s gimlet-eyed coverage of the 1968 World Surfing Championships. I didn’t know it was gimlet-eyed at the moment, of course. I was nine. I looked at the surf

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