Bold and brave.
Rétrospectif has been part of surfing’s various offerings since Joel Tudor sprang on the scene riding old longboards the way Miki Dora intended for them to be ridden. Before then, high-performance longboarding was a thing, with thick-thigh’d men bottom turning, bashing the lip, floating 9 foot fluorescent slabs of foam. Tudor, though, nimbly danced to the nose, twirled, drop-knee turned and, thus, a movement was born.
Now we have leashless longboards crowding lineups from Malibu to Byron, non-fluorescent, captained by shaggy hair’d boys in trim Birdwell trunks. Thick flat fishes, fins glassed on, piloted by sun-kissed girls wearing short-johns, gliders, single-fins, etc.
It could be argued that retro is more common than à la dernière mode but up to a certain point. Surfers are pack animals, preferring to operate within defined spaces. Tudor and his ilk established a certain era as ok of imitating but no surfer has yet gone “full retro” until now.
Mila Kunis, very famous actress and wife of Ashton Kutcher was recently spotted on a Santa Barbara beach wearing a scuba diving wetsuit, riding a paipo board. For those unaware, the paipo was ridden by ancient Hawaiians as a sort of proto-bodyboard. One has not been seen in public since and scuba wetsuits were worn by cold water surfers before Jack O’Neill fixed the wrong bits in the early 1950s.
Someone going “full retro” has been whispered about for years, though most throwback surfers are extremely scared and wondered if a return is ever possible? If he or she would be forever trapped in archaic times with no way back, stuck in the deep past even if the deep past becomes uncool with everyone back to thrusters etc.
Kunis, though, a bold pioneer. Shaking it off and not caring.
The new Joel Tudor.