FROM TOP: TOM CURREN, 1981; AL MERRICK AND STUDENTS, 1980; AL MERRICK WITH ONE OF HIS INNOVATIVE TWIN FIN SHAPES
Shaping Surf History: Tom Curren and Al Merrick, California 1980-1983, a new surf book from Rizzoli, documents a brief but influential period in surf history in Santa Barbara, California. It was an era that saw an extraordinary mix of innovation, individuals, and epic surf conditions on the back of a record-breaking El Nino — beautifully captured by author and photographer, Jimmy Metyko, in a visual encapsulation of one of the most fertile periods in the sport.
With dramatic action shots and personal vignettes, Metyko follows the rise of young legend-to-be and future three-time world champion Tom Curren, whose preternatural wave-riding abilities would help establish California at the forefront of contemporary surfing. He puts us on the waves with a remarkable view and insider’s perspective of the sport’s evolution embodied by this young surfer, whose singular style was enhanced by revolutionary board shaper Al Merrick of Channel Island Surfboards.
We recently chatted with Metyko about this era in surf history, his own evolution from surfer to photographer, and the compilation of work in his first book… Read More