Twenty Points of Mind Surfing – Seventeen Years Apart
by Chris Dixon
Australian professional surfer Joel Parkinson came into the world in 1981. By that time, Santa Barbara native Tommy Curren was a seventeen-year-old wunderkind. He’d won the United States Surfing Championships in the boys and juniors ranks for three straight years. He claimed the junior division at the 1980 World Championships, and was about to finish second in to world pro champion Shaun Tomson in the Katin Pro Am. (a competition he’d win the following year).
On July 19, at the 2014, ASP Jeffreys Bay Open, a heritage heat was held between the now 50-year-old Curren and his perennial rival and good friend, the 48-year-old Mark Occhilupo. Occy was no slouch on his backhand, but Curren displayed a maestro’s touch, gouging three huge arcs into a flawless J-Bay wall and tucking into a warp-nine barrel. Ten points.
Parko locked into the only other ten pointer of the day – to cap off his run to the finals (where he’d go down to an on-fire Mick Fanning). Parko’s was an equally hyperdrive, massive attack, with two disappearances behind the curtain at Supertubes.
In both cases, this was mind surfing at its finest. But it was also mind-blowing when you consider that Tom Curren is now halfway to a hundred.
Below, both waves, side by side. Enjoy the ride.