Backdoor 1991. Photo: Servais

As 1991 came to a close Tom Curren showed up at the Haleiwa Beach Park with a yellow-railed 7’3” shaped by Maurice Cole. A clean outline with nary a sticker to be seen on it, Curren’s lack of logos immediately caught the media’s attention. It was quickly concocted that he was sticking it to the man yet again. After all, just the year prior he had reemerged from obscurity and surfed his way from the trials to a third world title. This was surely just another case of him making a statement. unless it wasn’t. unless he just forgot his stickers back at his Sunset house (he even forgot his board and had to send Cole back to get it). Either way, it’s part of the legend and lore that is Tom Curren. His stylized movements and lack of conformity have captured surfing’s collective attention for the better part of
30 years now, and whether it’s the three world titles, the logo- less pintail or searching in Indo on a 5’7” Tommy Peterson- shaped Fireball Fish he continue to inspire. A dedicated musician, he first learned to play the drums as a kid in Santa Barbara, “tapping along to The Who and the Rolling Stones.” Soon he was competent on keys and guitar, too. Three studio albums later, when he’s not traveling for surf he’s traveling
for music. Living in Santa Barbara today, he’s enjoying the blessings of fatherhood. “It’s amazing to see the world through the eyes of your children,” he says. “It gives you a whole new perspective on everything that’s come before.” – JH


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