Is Tom Curren the most exquisite, the most supremely stylish being ever to ride a surfboard? The surfer most likely to induce in the discerning surf fan a state of aesthetic bliss, and/or a semi?
Probably, yes. He’d top most people’s lists, anyway, and he’s surely not far from the top of many “best ever” lists either. The mildest way of putting it would be this: Curren could surf better than anyone who could surf more stylishly, and more stylishly than anyone who could surf better.
And here’s another question to which the answer is almost certainly yes: is Curren plus pink fluoro wetsuit plus J-Bay the best combo in surfing history?
“When young Bruce bewitched the surfing masses in the late ‘90s, he was possessed of a wiry and virile magnetism almost impossible to resist. The chiselled features and sunken eyes of a fallen angel helped…”
When young Bruce bewitched the surfing masses in the late ‘90s, he was possessed of a wiry and virile magnetism almost impossible to resist. The chiselled features and sunken eyes of a fallen angel helped; so did the casual swagger and abundant natural ability. Other qualities included an easy, limp-wristed fluidity and a first-rate hair-flick.
At his peak, he only had to get to his feet on a wave and he made it look like the coolest thing in the world. His section in Volcom’s Magna Plasm is a case in point. He sits on a wall, dangling his feet; he fries an egg; he inspects a surfboard. And then there is a right-hand barrel peeling across the screen, and the guitar solo commences, and Bruce makes his exit/entrance in time with the spit, flicking his hair insolently — and it’s sheer perfection.