Tom Curren's Mile of Style

Tom Curren. Photo: John Callahan
Tom Curren. Photo: Tom Servais
Joey Buran, Pipeline, 1985
1982 NSSA National Team
Tom Curren, 1989 Op Pro

Aussie flamboyance was the rule for the generation of pros who came of age in the 1980s. Gary Elkerton told an interviewer that his American counterparts were “a bunch of softcocks.” Seventeen-year-old Mark Occhilupo, in his first Surfer portrait, grinned like a jack-o-lantern while caressing a bottle of champagne tucked into his jacket. Sydney surf journalist John Witzig fondly remembered young Tom Carroll reacting to his first Surfabout heat-draw by “jumping three feet into the air, roaring...