Watch: The O'Riginals with Billy Bain
Time was when freesurfers had to take a few Posca pens on a surf trip to prove they were an artist. Paid handsomely by the surf companies they sure didn't have to work as one.
Now, a few years after the Great Squeeze, the freesurfer is offically dead. He or she actually is working as an artist, or as a gardener, or digging holes, whatever. And the thing is, their stories have become more interesting, 'cos while they may get the odd cheque for being an ambassador, they've now gotta deal with the same tensions and contradictions, the same tough decisions, that the rest of us have to confront.
You may surf good, but you gotta live like common people.
That's the premise of O'Neill's latest series, The O'Riginals, and it kicks off with one-time state champ, Billy Bain. Groomed for stardom - he's the son of ex-CTer Rob Bain - the path to the future wasn't so obvious to young Billy, who followed the song of another siren.
Still surfs good but.