8 Surfers You Shouldn't Hate For Being Sell-Outs
Want to earn a living from surfing but don't want turn into a total douchebag? These guys managed it
As a professional surfer, sometimes you just can't win. Wanna keep your cred, stay underground, and keep working the till at your local surf shop? Sure, but look forward to a life of forced abstinence and fiscal ruin.
Want money, success and a shot at mainstream celebrity? Hell yeah, but every surfer on the planet is gonna hate you for it.
These next eight shredders have all managed to crack it big, while simultaneously keeping it real in one way or another...
[part title="Malibu from American Gladiators"]
There is absolutely no proof that Malibu aka Deron McBee, the god-fearing man from American Gladiators, has ever set foot on fibreglass.
Nevertheless, with a look like that and such classic lines as: "The next thing I knew I was sitting on the beach taking in some cosmic rays and getting healed by mother nature," I can't see him doing any harm to our tribe in the eyes of middle America.
McBee started his career as a pro racquetball player and is a trained karate and swordsman expert.
Later he went on to become a professional wrestler, have a couple of kids, and enjoy a prolific acting career.
He's a tour de force of D-Grade classics, including Baywatch NIGHTS (a spin-off of the original produced by David Hasselhoff), Mortal Kombat: Annihilator, and most recently the 2013 straight-to-internet series, Black Dynamite Teaches A Hard Way.
At least he never went as low as the porn industry.
[part title="Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High"]
Surfers really have to let go of our shame complex. Jeff Spicoli is widely disparaged for having set surfers back years in stereotyping. But, wait, why are we trying to bust the stereotype?
What's better than being the eternally stoned, dead head that's cheered every time he walks into a room? That has never-ending stoned witticisms for every occasion? And can handle the most savage scenarios with a numb aplomb?
Accept it. Just like investment bankers accept suits, sportscars and a reputation for tiny penuses, which they've compensated for by fisting the world in other ways.
Interestingly, Sean Penn grew up in Malibu and has surfed on and off his whole life. However, and this is exactly what I'm talking about, he refuses to discuss his star turn as Spicoli and has spent most of his career distancing himself from it.
[part title="Shawn Stussy"]
Shawn Stussy is one of surfing's most respected sell-outs. He was so successful, he ended up losing the rights to his own name.
Originally a board shaper from Laguna Beach, California, Stussy spent his early days in a haze of fibreglass dust, ganja and Bob Marley riddims.
He used his board shaping skills to subsidise his fashion aspirations. In fact, the famous Stussy logo was once just the signature he signed his boards with.
He began his rise to fashion icon by flogging merch out the back of his car around Laguna. It wasn't until he sapped a whole bunch of inspiration from the New York and Tokyo Club and hip-hop scenes - where he met the likes of Keith Haring and Mick Jones from The Clash - that his steeze really took off.
Stussy became one of the biggest street wear labels of the 1980s and 90s, reaching a value of $17 million a year at one point (big for those times).
He eventually sold it off and with it, the use of his last name. He's got a new shaping and design project now called S/Double.
[part title="Kai The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker"]
Straight outta Dogtown and hitching his way to Mavericks in California, Kai became a viral superstar after hatcheting a delusional Jesus-freak to death.
He was revealed shortly after to be suffering some serious mental issues of his own. Talk about delusional, the guy was planning on surfing Mavs on a mini-mal.
Still, his keen sense of cosmic justice was a glowing endorsement of surf culture. Reduced to our bare humanity by the daily humblings of the ocean, there's a certain clarity to us that policy makers and law enforcers often lack.
You sexually assault someone, as Kai alleges of the New Jersey lawyer he'd killed a few months earlier, you die. You proclaim your omnipotence before burying your car into pedestrians, smash-smash-SUHMASH!
[part title="Ozzie Wright and the Goons of Doom"]
No one's done more to legitimise and monetise infantile humour, garage punk and all round delinquency than Ozzie Wright and his band, the Goons of Doom.
This degenerate surf-punk is considered a legitimate pop culture deity in Australia. He played a definitive role in the hit fashion label, Tsubi, enjoyed considerable success as an artist, thrown down an era-defining surf career, and of course been a central part of the Goons.
Having played to tens of thousand of fans in Japan and Europe, it's hard to believe the band started after Ozzie and his mates bought a bunch of instruments to use as props in the old cult-classic surf film, Doped Youth.
It's a little more believable if you were around to see some of their early gigs, as I was, and recall the time they once lost the lead singer's microphone into the crowd mid-song.
[part title="Brody, the WAPAH! guy"]
With one immortal line, Brody from Huntington Beach said more about surf culture than any man or woman living or dead. But it hasn't been good for the sport, in his eyes at least.
In subsequent interviews, he laments the stereotyping of surfers, even going as far as blaming Jeff Spicoli for it!
He's also suffered what he believes to be unfair stereotyping. To see Brody be burdened by such stigma is a real shame. Who knew how high he could have soared!
[part title="The Dude"]
It's true that The Dude never explicitly says he was a surfer.
However an ageing Californian with a penchant for Creedence, filter-less joints and loose fitting clothes had to have been part of the scene at some point.
Impervious to insult, unruffled by the most dastardly of Germanic super-villains, and a stoic practitioner of Taoist and Zen philosophy, The Dude was to the deadhead movement what Martin Luther King was to Civil Rights - he gave us self-belief.
Some say his dream has now come to fruition with entire religious sects devoted to Dudeism and a "Burning Dude" festival held each year behind LAX airport, in which robed dudists smoke fatties, drink White Russians and burn effigies of the dude.
Long may the dude, abide.
[part title="John Philbin aka Turtle from North Shore"]
Earning a crust working the till at the local surf store and shredding the shit out your local will always get you mad respect. It is for this reason Turtle from cult movie North Shore remains one of the most celebrated mainstream surfing figures.
You can find a Turtle at every beach the world over. They are the binding fabric of surf culture and the thread that connects generation to generation.
Indeed, Turtle's character in the film was based on the real life North Shore shaper/shredder, Brian 'Turtle' King.
Following his commanding performance in the film, Turtle returned to Hollywood where he was just plain old John Philbin, a milging deadhead who sucked the lived off George Clooney and Eric Stolz's crumbs.
One day, he woke up and went, man, I'm a lousy deadhead. I need a fucking job, and he got one. He's now travels teaching actors how to play the part of a surfer. Blue Crush's Kate Bosworth was one such client.