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Tag Archives: Lopez

The young Trigger Brothers on boards and best surfers

Ted Bainbridge talked to his friends, The young Trigger Brothers Paul and Phil, for this interview published in Breakway, December 1974.

The brothers remain successful board makers and retailers to this day, operating out of their headquarters at Pt Leo, Victoria, their spiritual home.

At the time Phil, the glasser, was 22 and Paul, the shaper, was 24.

That year Paul qualified for the Australian team to compete in the World Titles and was Victoria’s top seed in the team for the Australian Titles. Phil was fifth in the Bells Easter Contest against a field of internationals and Australian surfers. He went on to win Victoria’s only other professional contest – the Pt Leo ‘1200’, where he regularly surfs.

 

TB: How many boards do you ride and what dimensions are they?

Phil: I’ve only really got one at the moment because I’ve sold all my others in our summer secondhand board sellout. I would like to ride 6’8″, 7’0″, 7’4″ and 7’8″; I think that would give me a really good range for all surfing conditions that I’d find in Victoria.

Paul: I’ve got a 6’8″ hot dog board, a 6’10” “good wave” board and a 7’1″ “power wave” board. I haven’t really got a big wave board because I don’t like big boards, but I like riding big waves. I’ll probably make a 7’8″ speed machine pretty soon though.

TB: Are they all basic boards?

Phil: We’re definitely basic surfers. Surfing’s a basic thing so you should stick to basics. A basic (board) should go best because it’s a flowing sort of an art.

TB: But isn’t a concave a basic thing in a board?

Phil: They only have a real affect if they’re pretty deep and right at the back of the board.

Paul: We’ve ridden boards with bonzas, tronzas, twin finners, five finners, swallow tails, scoop-outs and we always go back to a basic board.

TB: You’ve competed against all the top surfers in Australia and seen them in action, who do you think is the best?

Phil: Michael Peterson: he’s the best contest surfer.

Paul: He can go out in any contest and get a tube, do re-entries, cutbacks, and manoeuvre his board anywhere.

But in bigger surf there’re better surfers than him. There’s Farrelly, Nat Young, Drouyn, Wayne Lynch, Ian Cairns, Ted Spencer and Peter Townend.

Out of the international surfers, Lopez is about the best I’ve seen because he can manoeuvre his board radically but with continuous carving arcs.

He’s incredible because he’s about the best tube rider in the world, but if you watch him hot-dog he can hot-dog better than anyone, too. A lot of people don’t realise that: he impressed me as much as Peterson and Drouyn did at Bells’ contest, but he didn’t get the waves they did.

TB: Who do you admire the most in Victorian surfing?

Phil: I’d say Alan Atkins and Rod Brooks. Those two guys have been in the finals of almost every contest since the A.S.A. started down here (Victoria). Rod even won the last contest we had. His surfing has improved out of sight this year compared with the last couple of years. When you look at those guys, you can see that as long as you have enough time in the water you can still improve even through you’re middle and late twenties.

 

Read the entire interview by downloading the issue or the whole set.

 

BREAKWAY DECEMBER 1974

Memories of the Pipeline pioneers

This is all about the Pipeline pioneers, surfing history, vintage surfing at its best.

Breakway covered surfing in ‘70s when memories of the first big wave riders at Banzai Pipeline were still fresh in our minds.

 

When you think of Banzai Pipeline you think of Lopez, Russell, Bertleman and the other latter day surf heroes. But what about the days when Pipeline was only ridden by a few? When Pipeline meant risking your life? When Pipeline wasn’t even ridden.

A nostalgic trip back into the “good old” surfing mags revealed the early days at the Pipe when surfers would stand for hours on the beach and watch in awe as these monstrous sucking giants threw out over a shallow coral shelf after travelling thousands of miles across the Pacific in huge swells.

Compared to Pipeline, Waimea Bay and Sunset were comparatively “safe” surfing spots. To even contemplate riding Pipeline was a long thought about affair.

Back in the early ‘60s Phil Edwards and a few of his hardy mates ventured out to the super-hollow lefthander followed by the ‘heavy’ of all big wave riders, the legendary Greg Noll.

And remember these guys rode cumbersome and heavy boards that lacked the speed of today’s guns!

However, back in those golden days, one man conquered the Banzai Pipeline like no-one else could – Butch Van Artsdalen. Van Artsdalen didn’t worry about those bottom- scraping wipeouts or huge drops down the vertical face at the take off. For every ride the ordinary person got at the Pipe, Butch got five. And four of them would be· bad wipeouts!

Van Artsdalen would slide down the face of a gnarly 15 ft. wall sideways, then push out through a spitting Banzai tube until he was speeding in front of the pursuing white water.

Pipeline held for Van Artsdalen what Everest must have nurtured for Hillary or America for Columbus. But although the Pipe is ridden by many these days, one can always reminisce about the “Good Old Days” when the long board surfers would paddle out at 15 ft. Pipeline, not knowing whether they would ever make it back to shore.

 

BREAKWAY JULY 1974