SUNDAY JOINT, 5-6-2018: SANTOSHA, “FOLLOW ME,” TAK KAWAHARA, SURF RANCH

Hey All,

“Road to Santosha” opens a new chapter in History of Surfing. Early on I mention a 1968 surf jaunt to India made by Claude Codgen, Mary Lou McGinnis, and Bob Purvey. The trip was filmed for a Hollywood-made surf movie that nobody saw called Follow Me, and I took the opportunity to slice and dice the footage into this garage-rocking little clip. Since Follow Me was already loaded into Final Cut, I rewound to the opening sequence and was delighted with what I found. Corvettes and speed boats and a Beatles-like sprint across the LAX tarmac—now that’s how to launch a surf trip!

Five years in, and I’m still converting the print version of Encyclopedia of Surfing to the website. Shame on me. Lateness aside, it was a pleasure to finally bring Tak Kawahara’s page to digital life. Often called “The Father of Japanese Surfing,” Tak is in fact third-generation American and went to high school with Kemp Aaberg and Gidget, not to mention James Brolin and Jan and Dean. During Tak’s many visits to Japan in the 1960s, he almost singlehandedly created Japan’s domestic surf industry —and also discovered a lot of great breaks in and around Chiba. Excellent surfer, first-rater shaper, and plenty of style sense.

Next week in History we go dirtbagging with Kevin Naughton and Craig Peterson, the most likable travel duo since Crosby and Hope. On the flip side of that coin, I’d love to get your take on the Founder’s Cup event this weekend at Surf Ranch. Maybe I’m low blood sugar today, or my star cycle is in heavy retrograde, but I found the whole thing heartbreaking as well repetitive and dull. I know, I know. This has been coming for years. Perfect man-made surf was inevitable. But the 10-second tuberide is now boring, and isn’t that depressing? It doesn’t matter if you never ride the place, a 10-second tube is now basically a long piece of trim work, nothing more or less. Another nick in the death-by-a-thousand-cuts for a salty old soul.

I’m off with the family next Saturday for a Costa Rican vacation. Back the following week.

Matt