I just so happen to be, currently, at the southernmost point of the charming Baja peninsula basking in perfect temperature air and water. The swell is, unfortunately, absent but the scent of plumeria floats on a warm breeze and it is impossible to be sad.
Much time to let the mind wander. To reflect and plumb the much ignored depths of motivations.
David Lee Scales called for our weekly chat in the midst of my plumbing and we had a fine discussion about many surf-adjacent topics until arriving at the end of the show where he brought up the issue of Speedos.
Barrel or nah?
Famed surf photographer Ryan Miller has made the look his own, in our surf world, so much so that I forgot my own attachment until David Lee Scales brought up and my earliest style inspiration flooded back in.
The year was 1984 and I was fresh back from Papua New Guinea where my father had taught for two years. The United States felt large, unfamiliar, but the Olympics were weeks away and I could not wait to watch. My grandmother and grandfather lived near Los Angeles and shared stories of the wonderful preparations etc. and then the world was there and then my eyes, up in cold Oregon, were glued.
There was one man that shined above all others.
I loved everything about his grace, his physical poetry, his mastery and vowed to be just like him, practicing diving when we went to visit my grandmother and grandfather.
Buying a Speedo.
I wore it to the beach when I surfed with my cousins in Carlsbad, wore it at home, wore it going to Oregon’s lakes, wore it on Oregon’s cold shores.
I was Greg Louganis and was with him, even more, four years later when he bonked his head yet still stunned the world.
My Speedos eventually became lost, like my memory, but speaking about it yesterday made me want to revisit. Not as irony or funny but a legitimate, functional fashion move.
What do you think about that?
Scales and I also discussed cancelled Rio and the World Surf League’s asinine position on basically everything.