On This Day: Curren Wins Haleiwa
1990 was the second act of Tom Curren's career. Coming back from semi-retirement, he rejoined the ASP tour, entering trials events to progress to the main rounds. Surfing the minimum of 18 events, Curren won 7, and subsequently won a world title - his third. It was the first time anyone had won a world title from the trials.
Despite this, he'd still never won an event in Hawaii.
Back into the Top 16 for 1991, Curren surfed just 10 out of 17 events - his mind again moving onto other matters, such as better waves and different designs. In October '91, Maurice Cole made Curren two boards, a 7'3" and 7'8", both from pre-cut blanks that had been packed incorrectly, resulting in an extra 3/4 inch rocker in the nose and tail.
Forced to improvise, Cole drew a deep vee through the front half of the board that faded out to a flat panel through the tail. He called it 'reverse vee'. Tom tested the 7'8" in big waves at Bayonne, vouching for the unusual design.
They then boxed the boards up and sent them to Hawaii...where they were promptly misplaced by customs.
They found the boards the day before the first contest of the Triple Crown - the Wyland Galleries Pro - with Curren riding at first the 7'3" then stepping up to the 7'8" for the quarters (which involved Maurice fetching it in a foot-to-the-floor dash from Haleiwa to the Kui Lima and back), and then again onto the 7'3" for the finals.
A few days later, Tom Servais spotted Curren slipping out at Pipe on the 7'8" reverse vee - still without stickers - and took what many have considered the greatest surf photo ever taken.
(Note: The attached video says it's the 1990 Wyland Galleries Pro, however that's a mistake by the videomaker)
The boards are almost comically long.
The artist Wyland was the stand out to me in this
from Wyland to Harvey norman. there's progress for ya
In case you're wondering about the photo. (I was and I had to look it up).
We have an idea about trying to see if there are any "modern" surfers who could do that cutback , on a 7 8 x 18 3/8 x 2 1/2......on a 3-4'wave??
I think JJF maybe?
This Bloke could
If you check out the photo of Tom....he actually has engaged the rail to 3" from the nose....so he has over 7 ' of rail buried....the only other surfer on tour right now who does this is JJF....but he's riding 6 1's!
Epic stuff. Iconic board...iconic turn.
nah he doesn't use his rails like Tom!
Spuddups, seen Curren's board, looked like a hell of a gun to me. Cant believe how loose it is. Amazing board to see in reallife.
did you see the original?
It's a hell of a board no doubt. It just looks long by modern standards. I can't remember what the reasoning was behind such long boards at the time. It's just what people rode. My short board was a 6'3", and then as soon as it was over about five foot I rode a 6'10. Now I'm riding a 6'0" in 6ft. Maybe just a mindset thing.
I actually reckon Tom Carroll was the most impressive in that comp by the way.
And when you look at it, makes you understand just how powerful waves like that must be. Yeh theyre so different to now. but i still like how they surf. Wyland's message decent too.
I remember seeing the board Yes. Super pin tail. Stickerless. Person told me that was it unless its a replica Brutus? All i thought was wow, then i thought of those waves and the knowledge that went into making a board that would hold but be loose and drivey.
I remember something about a shipment of warped blanks MC received in France which may or may not have led to the reverse vee. Were these boards part the shipment? Am I right about this Brutus? Care to enlighten us?
the boards I shaped Tom for Hawaii were made from the same principle as the 1st 6 3 I made him.....it was all theory , gut feel with a dash of inspiration as watching Tom surf on the new EEVS was nite and day compered to his quiver the year before........
The 1 st x 6 3 was , "a happy mistake " as some of the preshapes I received that year were really bent and twisted.....some were just lots of extra rocker....they looked great but were way to curvey......
Tom asked me to do quiver for Hawaii.........and as I drank too much coffee and smoked too much hash at the time, I would take 3 days to shape the board and I overshaped them to where they were a lot finer than what was being surfed in Hawaii.....when everybody saw Tom's bds for the first time , they were too thin/would never catch waves and there was no Vee between the fins so they would be too stiff for Hawaii......
it's all history now, as there was a quantum performance leap/moment which occurred with a combination of a happy mistake/Tom Curren/..no boards in France except a 6 1/MC learning to ride barrels and design equipment that was more better......was a 3 year period..
I notice Udo posted an interview that I did ....which really tells the details.....
As you know I also went into very deep concaves.....so now just finished a new design... deep VEE to deep concave....pretty extraordinary results so far!
Cool. Thanks Brutus and Udo.
I have the Curren photo as the screensaver for the point of sale at work. I try to explain to the young fellas its significance.
On a different subject, can anyone explain an easy way to remember the correct use of apostrophes?
I think the easiest is this: there is no such thing as an apostrophe to make a noun plural. Essentially, there's two types: contractions (e.g. they are > they're) or possessive (Curren's cutback is otherworldly).
My limited understanding (or more probably, the way I was taught), was that the apostrophe after the 's' indicated possession (ie belonging to somebody or something)...Tommys' gun. (TC owns a rhino chaser)
As distinct from Tommy's a gun (TC is a gun).
Happy to be corrected by some grammarian pedant
Sorry, here's the pedant correction:
It's Tommy's gun. You only use the possessive apostrophe after the plural s, e.g. "All the factories' chimneys were tall and sooty"
Thanks IB, I stand corrected
An old fave (right click and open in new tab to read properly)
Ha, I get this from Ben a few time's a year.
+1 Swellnet Point
Does any video footage exist of that Curren cutback at Backdoor? I'm guessing not. The whole photo sequence is incredible though
yeah no-one was filming , it was actually pretty big Pipe , that's why Tom took out the 7 8...he then just snagged a right......there were a couple of photographers , Jeff Hornbaker was next to Tom.....but Tom S's shots were better and even Tom will tell you , it put him on the map!
I have a feeling I have seen video footage of that cutback. From memory it was so FAST that the video is so much less impressive than the photo. I can't tell you where i saw or or if I dreamed it.
Thanks Brutus, gold 1st hand context. The Servais Tom Curran photo is similar to THAT Michael Peterson Morning of the Earth shot
The Cutty ...frame by frame
Burned into my memory when I first saw it at the time. Stands up to anything you'll see in the modern era IMO.
MP ripping too...is he still on the MP?
I think Curren was on the same board(?) in the first Momentum movie (segment starts at 31:50):
I used to own a Maurice Cole 6'6". Was a really special board. It went half way around the world with me. On Indo trips it would morph into the "community" board. When the swell came up at home I'd always bring it down, even if I wasn't going to ride it, and one of the guys would always take it out. In a fitting ending, I snapped it out the front of my house on an alltime day at a certain peaky beachbreak, my favourite wave that a lot of people in the area kind of live for, long time ago now. It's funny how some boards become a part of your life and community, almost like another person.
If the very first wave surfed in momentum (from 1:21) isn't the wave the cutback shot is from (freeze at 1:28) I'll eat my hat.
Reckon your hat is safe.
It's sooo very similar it's uncanny, even the foam on the face of the wave. If you take screengrabs to coincide with the pictures at https://surftwenty.com/798-2/ then everything - the drop, wave size, style, barrel, foam on face, cutback - is like 95% similar.
That's incredible if they're actually different waves. Wow!
Same wave, no question.
Your hat is goneski, same wave for sure
I'd never surfed a reverse vee but a mate who had one of MCs RVs years ago says it is one of the best boards he's ever ridden, and that seems to be the verdict here. So why did they fade out? Do double concaves surf better or did they just lose out to the next trend?
fliplid....damn good question.....in the guns for Jaws etc......we have used a reverse Vee for the last 10 years....anything over a 9 0 gun .....the EEV just paddles better , handles chop and strong offshores.....so I have slowly but surely been trying to incorporate the RV formula with one of my deeper concaves so far so good ..........am getting best reviews from surfers I have worked with for a long time......so you will see the VEECON next year...
Why is there not much design happening now.....and yeah why have trends suddenly become the mainstay of anything new in Surfboards???
I think that there has been a quantum shift from on the edge design, that delivers innovative technical performance ......to a lot of manufacturing Bells and whistles( Carbon/EPS/etc) where it's about the look of the surfboard......and the media helps create fashion....like Twins at the moment.......also there is really nothing new in design coming from the WSL/World Champ formula.....in fact I would say there's way more design going on in Hybrids than Pro surfboards!
Thankfully I am no longer fashionable, and can just keep tinkering/tweaking and hopefully stumbling onto the next Happy Design Mistake...LOL!
You'd know better than I, but it also feels like all R&D got put on ice during COVID as shapers struggled just to keep up with orders.
I was really surprised that during Lockdown, shapers who have CT /QS surfers were not able to spend the time working on better surfboard design....so bizarre to see surfers getting to Comps with their new boards to test it was like nothing changed at all during the lockdown/covid period.
It was always really hard before to test and finalize a new design as Pipe finished before Xmas, and then 8 weeks later Snapper started so their was only really time to get last years boards , take the best of them and try and copy the previous years design maybe with a couple of tweaks......so time was an issue.........the big Brands all have ghost shapers who do the bulk of the orders....so I was very surprised to see how it was just the same ol when the tour got here!
It does seem that the smaller shaping outfits are the ones making the innovations and coming up with different designs, then the others follow in line. For instance JS spent 4 minutes describing his Big Barron on his website video when all he to say was “I copied Simon Jones”
Brutus what was the reason behind not Releasing the 5K Reverse Vee Package in Aust ?
I am currently looking at relaunching the MC brand.......with all new designs from performance Hybrids to shortboards and guns....so the RV is part of the back story on how it has had a serious makeover , combining concaves etc into all MC Designs!
The RV will be released again early next year....but as part of a business plan which will incorporate the RV story as the foundation of the relaunch...so it's coming!!!
For not answering the Question..
OK Udo ...Tom is pretty popular here in Australia...I am not , never have been , never will be....too polarizing a person....
so as far as the RV Paks go.....didn't think there would be much of a market here as there are not the collectors that would want my boards...so the USA/Brazil/France and Japan are the markets where the RV is being sold and where I put most of my shaping/designing sales emphasis !
The others I can understand, Tom's a seppo, you lived in France, spent a lot of time in Japan, but Brazil over Australia?
Australia ha always been an achilles heel for me as the big Surf Co's really had a crack at me , because I was representing surfers in the ASP board meetings so was constantly at logger heads with the Surf Co's , throw in I was one of the first surfers to help other surfers do their Surf Co contracts much to the distress od surf Co's as they were ripping off a lot of people...so Curren/Occy/Powelly/Margo/Taj....ah there 's a long list...and the way to hurt me at the time was stop my bds being sold by their shops/Reps weren't allowed to ride the boards , then there were the letters to team riders that said you cannot under any circumstances ride MC's ....all good now , but the residual negativity still exists....
So Brazil...spent the first 5 years hating and fighting them......the RCJ married one an introduced me to his friends who were some of the coolest people I had ever met, very rich down to earth.....I liked them , they liked me ....went Brazil about 12 years ago...saw a junior Comp , was blown away by the level of surfing ...I watched a young Medina/Toledo....and qite a few others and realized that the big Surf Co's had no real power in Brazil...as some of the guys involved in the industry had more money than the turnover of some of the Co's......so Brazil became a friend...I like the fact of how direct they are, how passionately they compete, and there is reciprocal respect!
Oh O.K . so its nothing to do with all purchases in the USA being Tax deductable
So less tax paid and they still keep the board that Appreciates over time so its an investment
And you get your Dough in USD .
nah not at all Udo......it's just always been a bit of rough for me in OZ......I pay my taxes , try and keep a low profile ....except on SN,LOL!
Great to see the sequence shots.
The frame from the start of the turn is pretty awesome too.
Just to play devils advocate...if that photo wasn't Curren on a stickerless board with the surrounding controversy, would it be as "iconic"?
No way, but there are many aspects to a photo becoming 'iconic' and one of them is definitely fame.
In this case it's also backstory....or backstories:
-The new design.
-The pairing of great shaper and great surfer.
-The seeming renunciation of sponsors at the height of corporate surfing (in reality Tom just forgot to put stickers on).
-The start of the movement away from 6'0" squaretail Thrusters.
And of course the technical qualities of the photo, such as Curren's superb body English and the gorgeous late afternoon North Shore light.
And FWIW, putting all the backstory aside, I reckon Dave Rastovich is the only other surfer capable of laying a gun over with such elegance.
I'd pop Margo in that category too i reckon
yeah I still rate Margo as the greatest surfer I worked with....ability and power carves beyond mere mortals ......Tom /OCcY/Slater/Munners/Taj/BL.....great but Margo was soooo different , watching him surf was an adventure in itself of where he could draw lines....
Actually been thinking about making a couple of 7 8's...and getting surfers to try and match Currens turn.......so who do you think???..
.Stu has mentioned Rasta
So lets start with:
Mason Ho.......could turn this into an article???
The first I thought of was Margo, then possibly Porko?
Unreal about Margo Brutus, and agree on his surfing.
Parko on a 7'8 would be a sight to behold.
Loved watching Tony Ray surfing on the big boards too. Actually there'd be a fair list of surfers from Vic and WA....current day, i'd say Jack Robbo going by his Sunset performances...and Morgan Cibilic. (not WA, but based on his Sunset surfing)
Patterson brothers in the West.....geez...there's alot that come to mind.
Saw Paul Patterson destroy Sunset in the mid 90's and win a contest there. Big board, big turns, big cojones, total respect. Pancho also
There's just such a nuanced, but vital difference in where Curren puts the emphasis in the turn.
JJF, puts that real tweak in at the end of the turn.
Curren frames his up with everything laid over at the mid-point.
need to see how JJF finishes his turn....the day of Tom's photo it was 10' pipe super strong swell , so Tom was going at Mach III at least........when you see the full sequence even I was amazed out how Tom's cutty turned into another grunty bottom turn!
I have last bit of the Cutty pic where can i find the grunty bottom turn pic ?
Just checked out your RV'S on the website MC, I'm going to have to save some money as I'm seriously intrigued. and don't need another board....but.
Stickerless at Sunset
Great read from all the comments
Make the boards for sure and see how they go. Good nominations. Looks like it's the time to do it.
I think this has been a great demographics experiment by Swellnet.
Article about a 31 year old photo gets 70+ comments.
Article about some airs in Bali gets 4 comments.
Pretty clear the average age of the Swellnet poster.
make that 5 comments
CB, it's not about the average age it's also about the collective experience.
There would be thousands of years of collective surfing experience here on SN.
MP cutback, TC Pipe front door snap, Curren Backdoor carve, Laird 'wave of the millenium' ...you see my point. Iconic moments.
Airs in Bali not so much. Will be (barely) remembered as a fleeting moment in the development of surfing, replaced by ???? We won't even recall the footage next week.
I had a go on one of the 6'9 magic boards back in the day, was this the type that Curren used? It was a beauty, liked the juice and what I remember from it was just how beautiful and smooth all the curves in it were. Low rocker iirc as well?
Whats Merricks story here Brutus ?
Udo , when Tom moved to France permanently in the 80's , Al gave him $20K to help with sponsorship......but no boards for France.....So Tom felt obliged to put a Merrick sticker on the board , as he was buying all his boards off me...I had no problem with it.....as the 6 9 I made him was just for riding Barrels in France........
Story one day at La Piste south of Capbreton...it was solid 8' no-one out , I had an incredible/magic 6 8 that was 19 1/4 x 3".....was getting some amazing barrels when Tom came out and didn't make a wave , he was riding a 6 1 AM......he came up to me after the session and asked about getting a board...that's how it all started....
Any pictures of the vee profile or drawings of it?
I've never seen one in the flesh so don't know how it looks.
From what I read here, half front of the board is vee and the back half flattened off?
leebo...no Tech pictures/drawings , but I did measure everything and took rockers off the boards ....have a book since 1983 where I keep track of every magic board......there will be some coming next year as I am 1/2 thru a project right now to re-release the Paks and also the new Veecons...bit of old a bit of new.....something fresh and different that goes better , that's why I am the most excited I have ever been for the future of designs in s/bds!
I must confess that until I read this fantastic thread (SN subscription worth every cent) that I always thought the reverse vee was a concave vee in the tail. Always wondered how the fuck did MC do that, Find out it is in the front half, feel like an idiot.
yeah it's an untold story , and a lot of people misinterpreted what RV was.......had some shapers tell me when they read about the RV , they shaped a V shaped concave between the fins....
the reason the full story wasn't told , was I refused all media interviews , and blackbanned them....for 3 years....so as we had our privacy and there were just too many people trying to get to Tom thru me......
Some very Average Journalism Articles re the R.V. to eh Brutus ?
Ay too Brutus?
yeah very few journalists have a technical background or really understand what it takes to have 1 brain cell that works overtime....but designing is something you have or don't......I have never been content to live on anything from the past , as the real challenges/journey/adventures are question everything and see what the cell comes up with....
Was Margo riding them in the Wanderer vid in Vic?
yes , Margo came onboard with me at the start of the RV/EEV......so all his boards were based on the RV.......how's that footage of him at Winki....no-one has ever surfed better out there!
Watched it about a million times
I just noticed Dick Dale described exactly how to setup a Strat for surf guitar in this vid, too. Priceless.
Wow Udo, can I ask how the hell do you find all this stuff???
I Just put Tom Curren Reverse Vee into uncle Google
Cannot find any good pics of the board...
I Had completely forgotten about my moment on swaylocks.......not sure if you read all the pages , but Bill Barnfield had this real chip on his shoulder about me ....and as you can see the photo he posted there was a lot of Vee between his fins....mine were dead flat that later became concaves, I did challenge Bill to a public debate on Swaylocks , but got no answer , I did visit his Haleiwa shop a few times to try and sort out what he was talking about......here's what I wrote with no come back..
Maurice cole here,I have just read your BS version of the reverse vee,I dont even know where to start,as everything you say is a figment of your ego/imagination!Lets put up the history of the reverse back in the swaylocks forum,and let me respond to your fanciful version of History,so here's the challenge.............I can back up my story with fact & logic,yours is BB's F I G J A M or F..K I'm Great Just Ask Me..to denigrate a fellow shaper/designer for your own gain says it all! Don't worry next time i am in Hawaii I will make sure I come by your shop for an apology...I.E.if you are prepared to put your version of history up against mine,so either put up OR,shut up & apologise!
hahaha! Classic Brutus.
I got Brutus to make me a board specifically for the tweed area waves that are 70% of the time , gutless , lumpy & small especially this time of year. He recommended the hybrid reverse v and I’m absolutely stoked in this board . If it goes this good in crap , I’m so looking forward to getting it out in decent waves . I have a puddle jumper 5’10 for crap also but struggle to catch waves. This thing catches waves easily and has awesome speed over the flat sections. Thanks again ya brute .
Nice..Do you own a Square supa ?
Not sure what you mean udo
What you talking about Udo? They look fine to me.
Look slightly out, but reckon that's probably just lens distortion?
A Carpenters Square -check your boxes alignment off the Stringer
Oh ok , no I don’t , do you see something strange ?
Great to see cutbacks getting talked about! Its a shame the WSl don't recognises them as a high scoring manoeuvre. KS cutbacks in Mexico were another level. Since toms cutback has been compared to MP in MOE, then its worth bringing Thorntons at Nias in Stormriders, would have to be the most technically performed cutback. Worth slowing down frame by frame . go to 45.00 on attached vid, 7.6' single fin 1980
One that always stood out in my mind as a grom, Matt Hoy, J Bay, 26.02 min mark.&t=754s
Possibly unrelated to much above - no other info on the boards (they look nice though), just wanted one up Udo.
this is my new fluted flyer Twin Pins.....been making the Twin Pin in the USA for more than 2 years now.....stoked that it seems to be going better than most...the best surfboard reviews in the World is Trip at real Water Sports , the biggest online store in the world .....
Also an Assym
Should've known better. I got a board with an arctic blank finished at Joymill a while back - geez they do a nice job.
Real Water Sports reverse vee review......https://www.realwatersports.com/collections/maurice-cole-reverse-vee-hybrid
Freshies at the best surf shop in Vicco.
MC got a pleasant surprise when he recently landed in France: