I've always liked Gerry Lopez. Sure he was made into a kind of God in Big Wednesday, where I first heard about him, but there is no denying his style and grace in difficult waves. And what's more, after seeing him at G-Land in Endless Summer 2, he also showed he had a good sense of humour and was a great bloke as well. And so when I saw this book come out, I ordered it and found it reveals yet another great side to Gerry Lopez, an intelligent writer, and a thoughtful, rounded person with a great perspective on surfing and life. What a true legend.
Lopez was there when Bali and Java was just beginning to take off in the 70s and 80s, being amongst the first to surf the world-class waves there. He talks about places I've surfed and can relate to-like never, ever allowing yourself to get caught inside at inside G Land's Speedies reef on a big day, or just how far you can go back in the tube at Uluwatu on a big day. Everyone knows he was amongst the standouts on the North Shore for years in the 70s, but he was also amongst the first to see Jaws before tow-ins. There is stories here on Chile, the Mentawais, Hawaii, Australia etc, and good historical stuff from the 60s and 70s-including his best ever day at Pipeline-a west swell with a 26 second period.
He has surfed all over the world for decades, and this book contains some of his best memories and stories from those travels. He doesn't care much for the sometimes pretentious surf magazines, sponserships and inflated egos that can sometimes pervade surf culture today, he'd rather be out in remote Indo, Hawaii or Oregon with just his board and the ocean.
Need I say more? This book is superb surf writing, one of my favourites. Now I only want to see my other favourite surf legend and unpretentious traveller-Tom Curren- write a book as well.