SUNDAY JOINT, 1-13-2019: FIGHT CLUB ORLANDO, J RIDDLE IN “COSMIC CHILDREN”

Hey All,

It was a short work week for me, as I flew back to Orlando to catch the Chas Smith-Ashton Goggans rematch at Surf Expo. Does the thought of two fashion-forward middle-aged men throwing down like a pair of schoolyard third-graders in a convention center before a crowd of semi-famous surf industry folk with a nice afternoon beer buzz sound entertaining? Then click here. And here. And check out the full Surf Splendor post-fight podcast breakdown here.

I’m not a fighting man myself and don’t condone violence in any shape or form. In fact, “Wimpy” was my childhood nickname, and while I’ve long claimed it was given in friendly homage to the burger-loving character from Popeye, the lies stop here. But the Smith-Goggans set-to (or “The Imbroglio in Orlando,” as the Fancy dubbed it), while not, as some suggested, a put-on, never for a moment did it look as if it were going to lead to anything worse than a damaged pair of vintage Ray-Bans. The ridiculousness of the fight, in a way, felt as “surf” as anything else at the trade show.

Before heading east I made a new J Riddle clip. I always like revisiting Riddle’s parts in Cosmic Children. In 1969 and ’70 I think you could argue that J was the most progressive small-wave rider in America. The hull gang will light me up saying it, but Riddle did the right thing by going long and narrow with his equipment. He handled that 7′ 10″ Natural Progression spear the way Connie Hawkins handled a basketball, and his swooping, rotating moves at First Point and various Ranch spots are a benchmark for the period. And of course J stunt-doubled for Jan-Michael Vincent in Big Wednesday. Who else possibly could have? I mean, look at these disfigured bastards, like two ugly peas in a pod!

Thanks for reading, and see you next week.

Matt

[J Riddle surf shot by Hal Jepsen]