“Simon Anderson and his Mighty Thruster” was last week’s History of Surfing post, and was followed by a pair of Anderson interviews, one from 1981, the other from 2006. Simon’s EOS video got a makeover as well. The first few shots are from the early ’70s, and I honestly don’t know how that ugly duckling teenager managed to transform himself into the incredibly graceful Thruster-riding swan of the ’80s. Anderson’s presence on a wave gets all up in my soul because my own surfing, while two or three levels below his, was cut from the same cloth. Very deliberate. Slow and fast at the same time—although I’m not sure how to explain what that means. Slow in the sense that his act was so stripped down. I love how Simon just stands there, back foot planted like a kettlebell on the tail, loaded and ready, between moves. No twitch. No half-turns. Content to wait on the moment. Simon was patient, I guess is what I’m trying to say. Nobody surfs like that anymore, or at least nobody at the top of the ratings. Or no, Steph Gilmore sometimes does.
Speaking of ratings, congrats to Gabriel Medina and Filipe Toledo, the deserving winner and runner-up at the Surf Ranch Pro this afternoon, but damn, that whole show has again launched me into a mild existential crisis. Maybe wavepool events, and wavepools in general, will veer off into a cul-de-sac, like tow surfing. For me, that would be a best-case scenario. Because if pools are really the future of progressive surfing, or even the future of competitive surfing, then drop me off here in front of the general store. I’ll bang my cane and call bullshit to an audience of fellow surf-geezers, all of whom will nod in agreement or drowsiness, but, I think, agreement.
[Simon surf photo by Craig Fineman]