Waterspot: Back to North County fashion college
In the early Nineteen Eighties, I first met Brad Gerlach inside the Cardiff Reef dust car parking zone. He turned approximately 12 years old and conscious that I began writing for a few surf magazines. Even then, he changed into a good self-promoter, and approached me to say that I should write a tale on the grommets of North County. I knew what he waswas getting at, but I decided to check him besides.
“Who did you’ve got in thoughts?” I asked. “Oh, Kenny Clemmens, John Glomb … me,” he hopefully replied.
I never did write that piece, but want I had, only for the terrific prophetic charges “Gerr,” as Brad became recognized the world over, might have presented. Over the years, I interviewed him severa times. Once, a few buddies and I even took him to La Jolla’s Comedy Store, where he did a routine like a canine with indigestion. It turned so true that I could nonetheless smell it and ponder the verbal snapshots he served whenever I decided to lose weight.
As everyone who follows surfing realizes, Gerlach became one of the first-class competitive surfers of the past due ’80s and early ’90s and took a middle degree again. At the same time, he and his tow-in partner Mike Parsons rode some of the sector’s largest surf a hundred miles offshore at Cortez Bank some years returned. While his achievements are numerous, I am proud that Brad became an envoy of fashion for North County surfers after he polished his act on the street.
I met Joel Tudor on similar occasions and in precisely the same region as I met Brad at Cardiff Reef. In Tudor’s case, however, the young youngster did not say a phrase about his browsing. Even at 12 or 13, it became apparent that he didn’t have to. It didn’t take a prophet to look that he could sooner or later end up referred to as the most gifted longboarder of his era.
Tudor seemed on the radar someday within the overdue ’80s. At the same time, longboarding was mid-way through a 2nd boom spurt after the “Shortboard Revolution” of the ’60s despatched most people’s knuckleheads into our garages to cut down our traditional longboards and reincarnate them into crude mini guns and V bottoms. Most kids who determined longboarding in the early to mid-’80s climbed onto bigger forums after deserting their shortboarding peers.
As such, the general public regarded them as attempting too difficult, carving big arcs on highly rockered, ultra-skinny, wonderful light hybrids. Tudor, on the other hand, went minimalist, driving conventional, heavy, single-fin surfboards, making wider, more stylish turns and cutbacks, and taking walks to the nostril in a fashion not seen considering Hawaiian-born David Nuuhiwa light-footed it to tip like an eight-pound kitten. Other North County stylists deserve to stand apart in this corridor of reputation duet. Rusty Miller, Cheer Critchlow, L.J. Richards, Margo Oberg, Syd Madden, and Linda Benson are leaders.
Of course, Rob Machado, an international-magnificence competitor who incorporated vintage-college shape into his every motion, merits honorable mention, as do Jeanette and Cori Schumacher, Ryan Burch, and Zach Flores.
It’s comforting to realize that the ones noted above understand something known as fashion, a phrase that has long lived on our coastline. Here’s to them and us as we have a good time with a subculture going back as a minimum as far as the father of current browsing, Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku.