Well it is official, YOUR LOCAL has reached it's 50th posting! So to celebrate in a cliche way I have decided to do a greatest moments in surfing post! Theses are my top 10 greatest surfing moments between 1950 and today:
1953- Woody Brown, Buzzy Trent and George Downing, make the drop on a massive (for the time) 15ft+ wall at Makaha and make the cover of the newspapers in california and around the world. This one photo, this one wave began the migration of surfers world wide to the North Shore and set in motion so many of the greatest surfing events to come! This photo changed the face of surfing forever!
1959- Gidget hit the screens! This has been a sore spot on the surfing map since it happened, we have heard californian surfers of the the 50's talk about how gidget exploded surfing into the main stream, we have heard the complaints about how the line ups went from fun with mates to complete mayhem, but lets put a positive spin on this one. How many of us, who live to surf, would have been exposed to surfing if our parents and grandparents hadn't jumped the Gidget bandwagon and gone surf mad back in the 50's? there is a good chance we would have almost never heard about it and it surfing may have stayed forever a niche sport! Probably not though, just a concept, surfing is that awesome that the word would have gotten out in some other way I am sure!
1969- Greg Noll Rides mega Makaha! This was one of the defining stories in surfing, 1 man, massive surf and the guts to go it alone and charge it! When everyone else was evacuating Greg Noll was waiting for his set!
1969-1973- Mr Pipeline, Jerry Lopez, helps redefine surfing, now it is all about the barrel! Jerry was the style master, he made riding perfect hollow Pipelne look like taking a lazy sunday stroll, fluid and yet bold, Jerry took the world of surfing to it's favorite place; The green room. In 1971 Jerry began riding one of the most iconic boards in surf history; the lightning bolt, a design which is still seen to this day!
1979- Mark Richards, MR, The Wounded Gull, secures his surfing legacy with his 4th back to back world title. MR was unstoppable, his twin fin fish perfected and his style and speed un matched, every time this guy hit the water was a great moment in surfing!
1980-81- Simon Anderson changed the way were surfed,was heckled, doubted and laughed at when he unveiled his latest board design, the Thruster! At the time no-one could conceive the board working, the 3 fin set up was just weird and had no chance of working! So like with every ground breaking and innovative invention, Simon found himself needing to prove that his design would not only work, but work well and in any conditions. He rode his thruster at bells beach in 1981, with 15ft+ waves almost all the other surfers were just bouncing down the face, while only Anderson was ripping out sick open faced carves with seeming ease! Still nothing is proven in surfing till it is proven on the north shore. Simon rode his revolutionary thruster in the 1981 Pipe Masters, at the time no one thought that 3 little fins would hold you through your bottom turn, in a wave as heavy as Pipe, but Simon was confident in his craft and came through to win the crown that year. After this redefining moment, the thruster became the only board to ride!
1990- Tom Curren emerges from out of no where and starts a campaign for another world title. Curren is possibly the most iconic figure in surfing history. At a time when surfing was dominated but Australian surfers, Curren emerged with a perfect combination of style, flow and raw power that saw him almost unbeatable in any heat!He brought surfing back to california and is listed as a role model for many of the worlds best surfers today. The perpetual recluse, Curren disappeared after winning his second world title for a few years and then returned to accomplish what no one thought was possible. In 1990 Curren entered the world title race un-seeded which meant he would have to surf his way through all the trails at each stop on the world tour. The concept of anyone, even the iconic Tom Curren doing this and actually winning the title was laughable! However that is exactly what Tom did in 1990. A feat which can never be repeated as the following year saw the birth of the WQS and the end of the trails to the title!
1991- Tom Caroll Snaps under the lip at makin' Pipe during the Pipe Masters, which he goes on to win. There is not much to say about this except WTF! that was and still is one of the most radicle turns ever in surf history! but don't take my word for it, watch the video below!
1992- Kelly Slater takes his first world title! In what was to become one of the most bankable things in surfing, Kelly Slater has gone on to win 8 world titles to date and his still charging hard, winning the first 2 events of this years WCT giving himself a great lead in his campaign for title number 9. I don't need to write much here, even people who don't surf know who Kelly is! Kelly and many of his peers began a style of surfing that tore away from the traditional power surfing of the decade before, riding super small, super thin and light thrusters these guys took it above the lip and created a fast explosive style of surfing that has so far lasted the test of time!
2000- Laird Hamilton, one of the fathers of tow in surfing takes a break from riding 60ft giant waves at P'eahi in Maui, to show us all just how far surfing can go! You have all seen it, you all know it! Lairds epic wave at Teahupoo in 2000' so I will shut up now and just let you watch the video!
Well there we go folks, Some of the best moments in surfing history! There have been so many great moments it is flat out impossible to sit here and put them all in one post! So if you have a moment in surfing that stands out for you, why not leave a comment and share it with us!
Thanks for reading my 50th post in YOUR LOCAL