Into the Vortex

Jock Sutherland was the first great shortboard tuberider, and at Pipeline he set up each ride like a marksman taking aim. Blink and he was gone. Blink again and he was shooting out of the tube, in the exact same crouch, twenty yards down the beach.

Longboarding was ridiculous in big, hollow surf. It could be done, but it wasn’t pretty. Butch Van Artsdalen rode Pipeline the way you’d imagine Buddy Rich would play drums with a pair of small tree branches. The shortboard changed that. Tuberiding—like noseriding a few years earlier—became the “sport within the sport,” and Pipeline went from being a “Roman gladiator pit” (as Bruce Brown put it i...

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