If there is one thing I love more than a fat-man shredder it is an old-man shredder.
Just today, Stab released footage from a Restaurants super session featuring not one but TWO legends of our sport (and commentary team) surfing much better than I. Barton Lynch, 53, and Martin Potter, 51, were tearing the left-hander to shreds. Tubes, pocket jams, even fin drifts could be seen and all of it with style and grace.
Even if it pokes at my insecurities, I fucking love it when an old guy rips a wave to pieces. Not only is it badass, but it give me hope for a future of eternal shredding.
Later in the day, I stumbled upon the video below. It features Indonesia’s giant lefthander, Kandui, on its best day of the season. Portuguese prince Nic Von Rupp threads a few, some randoms get their clocks cleaned, but then… oh dear, just watch!
And did you see him? The bald and bearded man deep inside a four-section tube? That’s Aussie surf star Mick Campbell!
Let’s reminisce with thanks to the Encyclopedia of Surfing:
Fiery, well-freckled from New South Wales, Australia; world-ranked #2 in 1998. Campbell was born (1974) and raised in Port Macquaire, began surfing at age nine, placed fifth in the 1993 Pro Junior contest, and in 1997 was the world pro circuit’s rookie of the year. Campbell and good friend Danny Wills were the most physically fit surfers of the late ’90s, as both were trained by Sydney rugby drillmaster Rob Rowland-Smith; Campbell used fitness, consistency and determination, rather than inborn surfing genius, to, as surf journalist Derek Hynd put it, “rip every pro off the ladder, one by one.”
Campbell led the world tour ratings going into the 1998 Pipeline Masters, the final contest of the season, but faltered badly in the second round, scoring a total of 1.9 points and allowing reigning world champion Kelly Slater to pass him for the title. Slater’s margin of victory over Campbell—a mere 38 points after an entire season’s worth of competition—remains the smallest on record.
You can read the rest of his entry here (including a fight scene with the late, great AI!) for a minimal fee of three dollars. Three dollars! Don’t be a tight ass.
Considering he’s younger than Slater, I suppose I can’t really call Mick old. But since I haven’t seen anything from the man in almost a decade, the fact that he remains the best surfer at a premier wave on a premier swell was a genuine surprise.
Mick’s low-but-not-squatty stance, his read on the wave, his minute body movements — you can’t teach that, and apparently you can’t forget it either. I hope one day to get a barrel like his last, but I wouldn’t bet any significant sum on it. Mick Campbell is still a legend.
Which got me thinking, readers, who’s your favorite old-ish man shredder (40 and up)? Do they stoke you?