At some point in the mid-’90s, my Dad and I were talking about how a massive store of surf knowledge and six bits will buy you a cup of coffee (that same cup today will cost you 73 bits, plus tip), and out of the blue he said: “Why don’t you write a surfing encyclopedia?” Hahaha, etc etc, skip forward 25 years and here we are. In other words, no Michael Warshaw, no EOS. He’s been my sounding board, my consigliere, my bank. He’s listened patiently to every EOS-related idea I’ve ever had, many of them half-baked, and offered only the wisest counsel. This edition of the Sunday Joint is dedicated to my father, who turned 90 yesterday. We’re flying to L.A. today to party with him. Thanks for everything Dad, I love you, and unless the TSA and FAA have other plans, we’ll see you soon!
“A Beloved Rival,” which gets into the theatrical 1980s Foo-Bradshaw big-wave pas de deux, was this week’s History of Surfing chapter. Foo’s own article, “Occurrence at Waimea Bay,” is Exhibit A in how and why he became the most visible big-wave rider of the age. The promo chops on this guy! Here’s a long feature I did on Foo and Bradshaw for Outside in 1988, which was supposed to be the cover story but wasn’t, and yes I’m still salty.
Again and again, while re-reading all this stuff, I kept mentally apologizing to Darrick Doerner. Darrick was first among equals at Waimea, and while the big-wave guys themselves all knew it, as did the sharper media people, Foo and Bradshaw and Brock—all great showmen, all comfortable in the spotlight—took up most of the oxygen in the big-wave sphere. Nick Carroll (Surfing) and Bruce Jenkins (SURFER) helped fix things in 1990—their respective Doerner profiles ran in the same month. Here is Bruce’s piece. Darrick has always acted like he doesn’t care about all this nonsense, and maybe he doesn’t. But I’ll bet he does, and people should know just how amazing he was out there, and while I’m just shining a small light here, belatedly, it feels good. Look at this photo. It is perfect.
Thanks for reading, everybody, and see you next week!
[Doerner pic by Vince Cavataio]