The Sunday Joint

SUNDAY JOINT, 7-14-2024: STAY TUNED, WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK!

Hey All, Tom Curren and I spoke by phone in early 1996, five years after his third and final world title. He’d been traveling hither and yon that whole time, as headliner for the Rip Curl Search campaign. Perfect waves, no more chasing scores and rating points. Everybody assumed Curren was now finally living his purest surfing life—myself included. Does traveling better fit your idea of what a p...

SUNDAY JOINT, 7-7-2024: THE RESIDENT PRESIDENT

Hey All, Richard Nixon was never far removed from the surfing conversation, in one way or another, during his presidency. Mostly because if you were of fighting age, as the vast majority of surfers were in the 1960s and ’70s, Nixon was viewed as the person responsible for the draft and America’s grinding and ongoing involvement in the Vietnam War. Unless you were 4-F, or in college, or already pl...

SUNDAY JOINT, 6-30-2024: BUILDING A BETTER WORLD, ONE PRIMO AT A TIME

Hey All, First apology goes to Captain Mike Cunningham, the unidentified Manhattan Pier kneeboarder from last week's Sunday Joint. Mike was the best bodysurfer in the state during the 1970s and '80s, possibly in all of Mainland America, possibly the world, but he had the bad luck of being the same age and having a near-identical name as Mark Cunningham, who of course lived in Hawaii and famously ...

SUNDAY JOINT, 6-23-2024: DO THE WRIGHT THING

Hey All, I'm 64 years old, and hope to ride many more waves before getting my celestial flip-flops—here's me, pretty much, week before last in Southern Costa Rica; of course I want to keep this show rolling—but my surfing life now is mostly spent thinking about the past, and one of the best parts of that past is recalling the families I was lucky enough to embed with over the years. The McFarland...

SUNDAY JOINT, 6-16-2024: THE GREAT UNSEEN – JIM CARTLAND AND PAULINE MENCZER

Hey All, None of you called me out for this, but the recent Rick Rasmussen post kind of gets caught in its own trap. The point was made that most surfers (me, for sure) have a high tolerance for what I not-so-delicately referred to as "our biggest fuck-ups," because our own "transgressions in the name of surfing are trivial by comparison but not consequence-free"—meaning we cut a lot of slack to ...

SUNDAY JOINT, 6-10-2024: HIP CHECK

Hey All, Surfing is no longer hip, but lack of hipness doesn’t matter. This is the apple-sized conclusion, placed 100 yards downfield, that my arrow of logic was going to smartly pierce at the end of this Joint. But nay. Every time I draw the bowstring my hand wavers. The word “hip” is so wrung out, for starters. What about “cool,” then? Is cool okay? Isn’t cool the same as hip? They are not the ...

SUNDAY JOINT, 6-2-2024: ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL CATASTROPHE

Hey All, Had the late Rick Rasmussen been 5' 5" and weak-chinned with a Stanley Tucci hairline, he'd be little more than a tragic surf-world footnote. But that very much was not the case. Rick charged out of Westhampton, NY, like a forgotten Marvel Universe character, like Long Island Thor, chiseled and grinning, charisma levels set to 11, blond hair waving off his teenaged shoulders as he won th...

SUNDAY JOINT, 5-26-2024: BEARING WITNESS WITH OWL CHAPMAN, DICK BREWER, AND ESPECIALLY MICKY MUNOZ

Hey All, You can read about Dick Brewer and his incomparable divaness, or marvel at his gleaming Elves of Eregion Skil 100 planer, or call up yet again the famous image of the man in perfect Om-channeling full lotus. We do not lack in Brewer iconography. But there is no taking full measure of the man, no understanding the guru in toto, until you sit at Brewer's feet and hear the velvet-smooth bas...

SUNDAY JOINT, 5-19-2024: "LOOK AT ME AND SAY 'I LOVE YOU,' OR 'LET'S FIGHT IT OUT TO THE END.'"

Hey All, You'd need to be a lot deeper in the competitive surfing weeds than I am these days to have seen, live, the bungled hit job Erica Maximo of Portugal laid on Australian Willow Hardy during a four-surfer repercharge heat at the recent ISA World Junior Championships in El Salvador. The set-up is a little complicated, but basically time was running down and Hardy needed a low score to advanc...

SUNDAY JOINT, 5-12-2024: "IN AN OCEAN FULL OF FISH, BE A MERMAID" - JUST NOT AT BONDI BEACH

Hey All, Arne Wong emailed after last week's highly animated (haha) Sunday Joint, to say that Glenn Shot is the original surfer-animator, meaning the first animator who actually surfed, not the first person to animate surfing, and that the foundational clip in the genre is Glen's 1969 head-spinner Eternal Sea—which, incredibly, is the least-druggy part of Natural Art, the trippiest surf film ever...