The days of high-low hip-swinging culture-vulture Sunday Joints—you know what I’m talking about, Mike Doyle riding tandem with Diana Ross or the one where we parkour from Vishna to Bells Beach to David Cassidy—are about to return. Further down the page here, in fact, I’ve loaded up a little preview of what’s in store next year.
But for the moment we are still in fundraising mode.
If anything, we are more in fundraising mode than we were this time last week, because we’ve hit the last three days of the drive and, people, we are well off the pace from last year and the year before.
Part of me remains calm. There is a well-known category of philanthropist who prefers to wait until the end of a drive before pulling out the checkbook. Donor psychology 101—you can’t saddle up the white horse and save the day until the day really needs saving. Late donors earn the loudest cheers. I get it.
But another part of me—the part with the raccoon eye circles and the rictus smile and the shaky over-caffeinated fingers—is not calm at all. There has never been any fat in the EOS budget. Building this site with less money in 2024 than we had in 2023 means reduced hours at best, staff cuts at worst, and I don’t have the words, I cannot find the analogy or the comparison, to express how much I want to avoid either of those scenarios.
I will just say, to those of you on the fence about donation, or calculating how much this year’s donation should be, that your charitable dollars will go further here, in terms of buying labor and output, than anywhere else. Why? Because, at the risk of sounding shrill, the four people who make EOS—myself, Mark Augias, Brad Barrett, and Ella Boyd—are willing to do amazing work for peanuts. I am the highest-paid EOS employee, at $50K a year. I don’t offer this humbling piece of late-career information as a complaint, but rather to demonstrate that all four of us are that committed to this project. We love the job. We believe in it. EOS is not ending hunger or saving democracy, but what we do here is important in its own way.
So load us up with enough peanuts to do the work. There is no outcome here in which you, the donor, will feel that your money has been anything but well-spent. Donate here. Buy a gift sub or two here.
Two weeks ago somebody out there sent me an Instagram link to a just-posted 8mm home movie clip of the ’72 World Championships, shot by Brad Dawber. That event, of course, was and remains the red-headed stepchild of world-title-deciding surf contests, as the finals were held in conditions that make our recent Finals Day at Lowers look like surfing Shangri-La by comparison, but Dawber’s reel shows us the Day One prelim heats which were held in pretty decent overhead waves at Oceanside. This most-laughed-at event, in other words, got off to a perfectly fine start before getting kneecapped by bad waves and even worse organization. I’ll post Dawber’s clip next month, but here are a couple of screen grabs:
Meanwhile, Brad and I bounced a few emails back and forth and I learned that, among other things, he’d been a Surfing magazine photographer during the 1970s. Prior to that he was a hot OC teen surfer who just happened to buy, ride, and photograph for posterity an amazing set of transition-era surfboards. Below we see Dawber over the course of three years (age 15 to 17), starting with his last longboard and ending with a good-luck-with-that first-generation twin-fin.
Top to bottom, with comments by Dawber:
- 9' 8" Harbour Surfboards, Banana model (1968)
- 8' 4" Harbour baby gun, “’Cause you need a gun for those 1-2' Seal Beach waves.” (1968–’69)
- Harbour, green Spherical Revolver (1969)
- Greek Surfboards pintail, pink-ish (1969)
- 5' 10" Shawn Stussy twin-fin. “Either the first or second twin Shawn made. He had no idea where to put the fins so he stuck them way at the tail. Yikes! It was a challenge to ride.”
Thanks for reading, everybody, thank you for supporing EOS, and see you next week!
[Photo grid, clockwise from top left: Brad Dawber and twin-fin, 1970; white knight; Mike Doyle photo by John Severson; parkour; Bells Beach, 1964; Diana Ross. Screen-grab of Gerry Lopez and David Nuuhiwa by Brad Dawber. All photos of Dawber and his boards taken by his mom.]