One of my favorite bits of early pro tour surf lore came up in “Follow the Money,” last week’s History of Surfing installment: the fact that world champ Mark Richards was burning rubber all over Newcastle during the early ’80s in a new black-on-silver Porsche 911, looking for all the world like the richest young spark in Australia—when in fact he was still more or less broke and living rent-free with Mom and Dad in the room he grew up in. Like Bowie and the Spiders staying at the Plaza Hotel when they didn’t actually have a pot to piss in. Look the part. Fake it to make it. Which of course doesn’t work for everybody—in fact it works, I’m guessing, about 0.05% of the time—but it worked for Bowie, and it worked for MR, and thank God for people who not only trust their own talent enough to push all their chips to the middle of the table, but to push someone else’s chips in there as well.
You know who the actual richest surfer in the world was in the early ’80s? Me either, but I would not be surprised if that person held a membership at Club Waikiki, in Lima, whose marble-covered floors have for 70-something years now been trod upon by the cream of Peruvian society. Read more about Club Waikiki here. And if you want Mike Doyle’s more sordid take on the place, click here.
And finally, because the wife and boy were gone this weekend and I needed a project to cheer me up, here’s an updated Chubby Mitchell clip.
Thanks everybody, and see you next week.
[Photos: LeRoy Grannis, Dan Merkel]