The Sunday Joint

SUNDAY JOINT, 3-19-2023: I’M DRESSING YOU WITH MY EYES

Hey All, It was the clothes, not the wave-riding, that caught everyone’s attention in Gidget. Or it was both. But mostly the clothes, I think, and the Gidget producers obviously had a lot of fun, without being mean about it, making fashion distinctions between Gidget’s parents (cardigan sweater and tie for Dad; long skirt and shellacked hair for Mom) and the surfers on the beach. Yes, the trunks ...

SUNDAY JOINT, 3-12-2023: MISSTAKES, I’VE MADE A FEW

Hey All, I have pulled a few historiographical boners in my day, more than a few, but the results by and large have been humbling instead of mortifying. I wrote that former Top 16 pro Wes Laine was from West Virginia, for example, instead of Virginia Beach, which mistake-wise is a long way from signing off on a King James Bible run with “Thou shall commit adultery” jumping off the page like Magic...

SUNDAY JOINT, 3-5-2023: SKIN IN THE GAME

Hey All, I finally watched the original 2012 Magic Mike, which has a too-soft ending but is otherwise a 90-minute sticky-fingered joyride of a film. The banter is excellent, loose and southern-dipped, but my favorite bit is an acting-within-acting scene where Channing Tatum, in cop mode, walks into a sorority party with flashlight at high port and brusquely tells a roomful of coeds who don’t yet ...

SUNDAY JOINT, 2-26-2023: TORAH! TORAH! TORAH! NEW DOCUMENTARY TAKES AIM AT SURF HISTORY

Hey All, I am three-quarters Jewish and 100% non-practicing. I act the Jew now and then by mentioning my brother played volleyball in the Maccabiah Games, and that Irv Zeiger, our family’s beloved showboating uncle, cofounded the Mulholland Tennis Club because Jews were barred from other Los Angeles-area clubs. But I never attended synagogue or fasted for Yom Kippur or celebrated Hannukah. No ba...

SUNDAY JOINT, 2-19-2023: FROM OCEANSIDE TO NIRVANA WITH BRAD GERLACH

Hey All, Pro surfing’s #1 feel-good moment of 1985 was Tom Curren winning his first world title—never mind that the achievement led to a pig’s breakfast of a tribute section in Amazing Surf Stories where the silken visuals of Tom’s wave-riding are laid without mercy or care atop a two-bit Casio-made anthem titled “Top Cat,” with Curren lauded as “pride of the USA” by a singer with a British accen...

SUNDAY JOINT, 2-12-2023: SURF HOAXES WE HAVE LOVED

Hey All, I was an okay skier for a few years there, back when André the Giant was throwing heels into the front row and cooling down après-wrestle with a hundred beers and playing rhyming games with Mandy Patinkin in the third-best comedy ever made, but I was not good enough or stoked enough to ski into middle adulthood, and I went without schuss for 25 years and didn’t miss it a bit. I picked it...

SUNDAY JOINT, 2-5-2023: OVER HERE IN THE CHILDREN’S SECTION

Hey All, A few additions to last week’s Sunday Joint on Pat Curren, who died two weeks ago today. From Joe Curren’s Instagram: “We said goodbye to my dad on Sunday, January 22nd, in North County San Diego. His family, including all of his kids, and most of his grandkids were at his side when he passed. We are all going to miss him.” Unverified, but from a source close to the family, Pat was repor...

SUNDAY JOINT, 1-29-2023: PAT CURREN AND THE OUTER LIMITS OF COOL

Hey All, Big-wave surfer and boardmaker Pat Curren died last Sunday at age 90. Here it is a week later, no decent obit has yet surfaced, and I’ve got six phone calls out trying to find out the simplest of facts, like where he died, Idaho or Utah or California or somewhere else, but no luck there either, so the Pat Curren mystique continues unto death. He always kept us at a distance. The quiet ch...

SUNDAY JOINT, 1-22-2023: SEEING RED AND LOVING IT

Hey All, I’m halfway through Demon Copperhead, which has me walking around the neighborhood in a contemplative reverie trying to imagine the sheer depth of Barbara Kingsolver’s magic writing bag to be able to take a story this relentlessly grim—poor kid growing up in 1990s Appalachia with its royal flush of pathologies including drugs, abuse, prison, neglect; there is no human cruelty that does n...

SUNDAY JOINT, 1-15-2023: IF YOU SURFED BACKDOOR BEFORE IT WAS “BACKDOOR” HAVE YOU ACTUALLY SURFED BACKDOOR?

Hey All, I won't bet my AARP card on it but I think Florida’s own gonzo-hunk surfer-writer Bruce Valluzzi was the person who gave Backdoor its name, at the end of a 1968 article for Petersen’s Surfing magazine: When the mortals awoke the next morning, they found a right breaking where the mighty Banzai Pipeline had been. The tubes sweep down from the north and die violently, their crystal blue t...