“Return of the Longboard” was last week’s History of Surfing chapter. I didn’t think much about longboarding one way or the other during the ’70s and ’80s, as I shortboarded myself into a stupor. Now and again, of a warm summer afternoon, we’d borrow longboards, paddle into the afternoon dribblers, and proceed to arch and cross-step and pearl our way to a good time. And I sat on the beach during the 1981 Dewey Weber Longboard contest at Manhattan Pier, swooning over David Nuuhiwa’s still-magnificent trim skill. My God, what a surfer. Most mostly I cursed all longboarders (silently, of course) while groveling for leftovers at First Point or Lowers. We’re all starving for waves, and that has to be somebody’s fault, so we blame whoever is handy. Before SUPers it was longboarders. And the wheel turns.
The rest of the week I spent making videos of Col Smith (Sydney), and Col Smith (Newcastle), and then making a whole bunch of short videos for a blog post showing how the mostly-unheralded Col Smith (Sydney) invented the vertical backside off-the-lip. in the late ’60s. “Smith is tall and spindly,” one of the surf mags said in 1969, “his blonde hair is never tidy and he wears the same shorts all the time. But who the hell gives a damn anyway. His feet are size 24 or something ridiculous. He pulls off vertical re-entries which snap the mind.”
Thanks, everyone, and see you next week!
[Photos: Jeff Divine, Tom Servais]