The Sunday Joint

SUNDAY JOINT, 2-7-2021: SURF MOVIE HOAXES WE HAVE LOVED

Hey All, Last’s week’s riff on Bob Purvey and his big beautiful Ugly stick, with all those sweet candy-colored “Follow Me” visuals, sent me back to this 2014 post in which I blew your minds with the never-before-told origin story of Nazaré as a surfing break. “Next stop, Nazaré!” the voice-over says, and there we are in Portugal, 1968, kids and goats on the high street, swarthy Portuguese fisherm...

SUNDAY JOINT, 1-31-2021: MICK DOOLEY, BOB “THE UGLY” PURVEY, ORIGINAL GRUMPY SURFER SAM REID

Hey All, I am impressed and baffled by people like Mick Dooley, Aussie “functional school” virtuoso and ’64 Bells Beach winner, who don’t begin surfing until young adulthood. As a kid, Dooley was a boarding school detainee and high-achieving tennis player (nearly 80 today, Mick will smile and self-efface, then destroy you in doubles), and claims he’d never so much as been to the beach before a fr...

SUNDAY JOINT, 1-24-2021: JOCK SUTHERLAND, AND A SHORT RANT ON LEGENDS

Hey All, Astride my high horse and wearing my finest gold-threaded sash of pedantry, I suggest perforce that the word “legend” is not only much overused among our people, but used incorrectly, or at least lazily, as well. I have been called a “legend” for example. Repeatedly, on Instagram. “Legend” followed by praise hands, just like Gerry Lopez or JJ Moon, forsooth! That said, I’m all for spendi...

SUNDAY JOINT, 1-17-2021: ALOHA AND THANK YOU BEN AIPA

Hey All, Ben Aipa, boardmaker and power surfer for the ages, died last week from a long list of ailments including diabetes, heart issues, and dementia. He was 78. Derek Rielly and I emailed back and forth about Ben yesterday, and the first thing I wrote was: “Ben didn’t start surfing until he was 21 or 22. Every time I think of him, that’s what comes to mind first. I don’t know of any big-name s...

SUNDAY JOINT, 1-10-2021: BOBBY BROWN; MASSIVE BURN-FEST AT ’64 WORLD TITLES

Hey All, The Kevin Brennan Joint two weeks ago connects us almost magnetically to Cronulla’s Bobby Brown, as they are the Lennon and McCartney of Aussie surfing tragedy. That gorgeous 1967 aquamarine Brennan-Brown-Tallows sequence in Hot Generation is a high point for both surfers—as well as the beginning of the end. Brennan found drugs and never recovered. Brown took a beer glass to the neck dur...

SUNDAY JOINT, 1-3-2021: BECKY BENSON, NANCY NELSON, AND OTHER GIRLS WHO CAN'T (HA!) SURF

Hey All, I’m very much looking forward to the new women’s pro surfing doc Girls Can’t Surf, which drops in March and, judging by this excellent trailer, will not pull any punches. (“They were all such dumb-ass chauvinistic pigs,” Wendy Botha says, after a couple of pork-scented quotes from Gary Elkerton and Damien Hardman.) That said, I’m staying limber for some light finger-wagging at the movie’...

SUNDAY JOINT, 12-27-2020: AUSSIE TEEN-TERROR AND SURFING SAVANT KEVIN BRENNAN

Hey All, Kevin Brennan is the jagged diamond that at some point drops into every historian’s lotion-soft hands as he or she tills the fields of mid-1960s surfing. But unless you’re a pension-age Bondi local familiar with the Hep Pit and can tell Bluey Mayes from Red Ted, you likely know just three things about Brennan. First, he was called The Head, thanks to a large and well-rounded upper append...

SUNDAY JOINT, 12-20-2020: HO SHOW, KELLY SLATER, RIGHT SAID FRED

Hey All, This flaccid right deltoid of mine won’t be feeling the sweet vaccine poke until April or May, so I’m looking for anything to lighten the mood—and this new clip of Mason Ho and Kelly Slater dancing all over Velzyland was my joyful early-Christmas present. Where to start? V-land itself, of course, is a high-performance dream wave, especially those roll-in-to-double-up takeoffs. Then you’v...

SUNDAY JOINT, 12-13-2020: A SURFING WEEK LIKE NO OTHER

Hey All, Surfing went full Bill Cartwright last week. Mavericks on Tuesday was whatever you want to call it, I’ll accept anything from 25- to 75-feet, and fissioning onto that bone orchard of a reef like Bikini Atoll on loop—and that was the least dramatic event of the week. That same day, Josh Moniz kept pace and more with the growing west-northwest swell to win the Pipeline Invitational (skip t...

SUNDAY JOINT, 12-6-2020: PAM BURRIDGE IS SURFING’S MOTHER SUPERIOR

Hey All, “Surfing’s Mount Rushmore” blipped on social media two weeks ago, with all the usual suspects nominated and debated. I swung in late with a vote for Gidge, but made a big show over complaining about the lack of criteria. “Surfing’s Mount Rushmore” is too vague. Duke Kahanamoku is a given, but the other three spots are wide open. Should Hobie and the rest of the industrialists be consider...