Given the surf groupies out there, I imagine many middle-aged men, hipbones lost long ago in a sea of fat, swooning in the arms of the little master.
The three-time world surfing champion Tom Roland Curren, unbeatable for most of his career and who popularised the modern fish surfboard, has unveiled his retirement masterplan, a multi-generational surf school based in France.
Curren, who turns fifty-seven this year, and his kids Lee-Anne and Nathan (from a teenage marriage to French gal Marie) and Pat and Frank, (from a marriage to Maki, from Panama) have formed Curren Surf School, operating out of the little Basque resort town Hendaye, on the Spanish border.
Tom has form in the surf coaching game, as BeachGrit’s Jen See observed at her home beach in Santa Babs.
Then, I saw it. Then I saw the most marvelous thing. I had to blink my eyes to believe it was real. For there was Tom Curren leading an Adult Learner around the lineup. The Adult Learner was perched precariously on a longboard as Curren paddled along beside him like a mother duck minding her chick.
If you’ve never seen Curren in real life, or at least not lately, he looks exactly like you’d imagine. A shock of blonde hair, grey around the edges, perpetually disheveled sits above a face cut deep with lines from the countless hours of staring at the horizon and beyond. His stocky build looks purpose-built for turning surfboards. These days, he has the slightly vague air of an artist, of someone who finds his interior life distractingly interesting, maybe more so, than the world around him.
A small wave came through with no takers. Curren cajoled his adult learner into position and urged him to paddle. Then he gave him a push. The adult learner came to his feet and did a thing that looked something like surfing. Success!
Suddenly, I was extremely jealous. I want a push, too! Where’s my Tom Curren! Tom, Tom, can I get a push? Tom, I need some help over here!
Getting a piece of Tom is real cheap, two hundred bucks an hour, add thirty if you want it videoed, and given the Curren groupies out there, I imagine many middle-aged men, hipbones lost long ago in a sea of fat, swooning in the arms of the little master.
Any questions, ask France-based James Bickerton in the comments.
And, here’s a taste of the Tom you’ll be getting, filmed last year.