Meeting Gerry Lopez at The North Shore Surf Shop on Maui in 1987 has to be one of the most incredible moments of my life. Gerry hid himself behind the counter to make himself inconspicuous, one of his trademark traits of humility. It wasn’t until I went to the counter, probably just to buy some wax, cuz I was the one the tribe of broke-ass surfers, that Gerry threw his signature, most original, Shaka. He smiled with Aloha and rang up my small purchase while I relished a moment of being in the company of greatness. I would later watch Gerry surf at Middle Lefts at Ho’okipa on Maui and was blessed to see a man walk on water. The conditions weren’t ideal but just as I had been out at the same time, so fortunately, with Tom Curren in Ventura, months earlier, he made surfing in these conditions look like magic. What we all would have called a substandard day he made look like “all time.” At that moment I felt I was part of the grand scheme of surfing history that would later become the catalyst for my documentary, Makai Side: A History of Hawaiian Surfing, with a large tribute to the man himself, the legendary and forever, King of Pipeline. Thank you Gerry for a truly kismet moment in my life. I’ll be forever grateful that you established a surf shop in my favorite town on Maui. Aloha Nui Loa Photographer Unknown and not credited.
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