“Long Road to Bells Beach” was last week’s History of Surfing chapter, and a lot of you were impressed by that magnificent 1965 shot of Bob McTavish knifing down a Bells Bowl monster. No leash. Nothing between Bob and the raw Victorian elements but a moldy short john. John Witzig took the photo, and someday I have to ask him how the ride played out. I like to think Bob tamed that beast, rode up the berm, mounted the cliff, and was given a warm cuppa and a place by the fire for his effort. (That’s not Bob, below, but it is the same day. Photo: Barrie Sutherland.)
I had a great time putting together this clip of Glen Winton. My view on Glen’s surfing is all over the place. There are moments where he syncs up beautifully, and even better moments when he goes all free-jazz and experimental. On the other hand (and you won’t see these bits in his clip) he often looks as graceful as Elaine Benes going rogue on the office party dance floor. A true original. Sam George wrote a fantastic Glen Winton profile in 1987, read it here.
Matt George, Sam’s louche little brother, checked in with this photo and short article on Tom Curren’s soul-killing 1985 experience at Allentown. I thought that was it as far as Tom’s wavepool dalliance went, but it turns out that he not only rode Kelly’s pool last year but did so with trademark style and flow.
The 1970s Aussie experience continues this week with a closer look at Michael Peterson and Terry Fitzgerald. I leave you with this sequence, pulled from Free Ride, of MP and Fitz’ pas de deux at Bells in 1975. Terry did everything but cleave the nose of MP’s board trying to keep him off the wave, but Michael snuck in behind and they ended up doing a very nice job sharing.
Thanks everybody, and see you next week!