Tom Curren on The Search
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Tom Curren Jeffreys Bay 1992

Tom Curren Jeffreys Bay 1992

By Derek Hynd

The trouble with perfect alignment of surfer, wave, and cinematographer was highlighted in May of 1992 when Tom Curren’s hallowed “first ride at J-Bay” simply was not documented. Fifty years in the future, the now infamous film of the rider/wave will intrigue the same way, but it’ll still be the second wave that will be studied in awe.

Tom’s arrival at J-Bay that year was arguably the most anticipated moment in surf history. Could there be a greater vicarious surfing rush than the world’s best surfer at the world’s best pointbreak? Big call of course…there had been Gerry or the other Tom during their respective primes paddling out at solid Pipe, Simon Anderson likewise during his incredible test paddle-out at big Bells aboard the early Thruster. Tom and Occy’s paddle-outs behind the pier at the OP Pro had, in themselves, set some sort of compounding phenomenon. Maybe even Duke in December 1914 riding to shore as a large chunk of Sydney lined Freshwater Beach in anticipation of the greatest athlete on Earth walking on water.

The timing, linkage, style, and drive of Curren at J-Bay would be second to none. American surf fans alone willed it so. The last peg was gaping; they just needed Tom to show up.

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Sonny Miller filming in australia for the search. Photo Tom Servais

Sonny Miller: A Great Friend Who Lived Life to the Fullest

By Derek Hoffmann

Traveling around the world with Sonny Miller on The Search was the best five years of my life. He was a legend- generous, encouraging, happy and always positive. We all had the best time with Sonny.  

We had no idea how monumental those surf trips would become- we were having too much fun.  It was before the internet, cellphones, and autofocus.  We used 16mm film and were never 100% certain what we shot came out until we saw the film transfers from Hollywood months later.

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