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Were Surfers More ‘Radical’ 15 Years Ago?

2003 was a scintillating era of surfboard maneuvering.

style // Aug 24, 2017
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The internet is like a mother’s purse.

It may be endlessly cluttered and holding some pretty gross apparati (pantyhose, yuck!), but dig deep enough and you’ll inevitably find some hidden treasures (Snickers, score!). 

Just the other day, my friend stumbled across a real snack of a YouTube clip. The short is called “Best Radical Move 2003” and it wildly surpassed my own skeptical assumptions. There are double grabs. There are shuv-its. There are straps.  Let’s take a bite out of this crusty log, Lady and the Tramp style.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/hKTeqnKCpG0

Now, to break it down into bite-size morsels… 

Shawn ‘Barney’ Barron’s double trouble:
This double-grab, full-roter ‘oop was likely the inspiration for Josh Kerr’s “Kerrupt Flip”. Though relatively low in height and velocity, Barney makes this air sing by holding the crouching-tiger position, reconnecting with lip, and disco sliding to the floor. Based solely on his natural ability, Barney’s re-emergence from the whitewater is a foregone conclusion. Dude was a freak of the highest order.

Dylan Longbottom’s cheater bs ‘oop:
What happened to this guy? I vaguely remember him as a decent surfer/big wave dude but haven’t heard his name in years. That said, this backside, double-strapped ‘ooper is a thing of cosmic beauty. I adore everything from the stumpy yellow board to the tucked knee to the slight over-rotation. This clip really makes you wonder what Mason Ho would be able to achieve with a pair of foot-holders. 

CJ Hobgood’s Dane-turn:
Ohhhh boy. This could raise some problems in surfing’s historical timeline. As far as I (and most everyone else) understood, this type of front-footed, power-jamming reverse can be attributed to one man and one man only, that being Dane Bartholemew Reynolds. Yet, in 2003, Dane was only 18, and it’s unlikely the chicken legs seen in First Chapter were able to unload one of these girthy direction changes. Should we change the name to a Clifton-Turn? 

Asher Pacey’s shuv-to-tub:
I love me a clean shuv-it. Looks hard (but it’s not), feels good (oh it does), and it’s a more interesting way to approach a fattening shoulder (cutbacks r mehhh). When paired with a friction-free barrel, it might just be the coolest thing you can do on a surfboard. Unfortunately for Asher (who, if I’m being honest, is quite confronting to see on a proper banana), the wave didn’t double-up enough for a legitimate tub. I’d love to see someone do this on a proper throaty wave.

Parko’s double-grab, tail-low, one foot air rev:
Answer quickly: what do you think an air like this would receive on today’s Championship Tour… say, at Lowers? A three? Maybe a three-five. A three-six-seven at most. It’s pretty incredible that just 15 years ago, this was considered one of the top-5 best radical maneuvers captured in surf cinematography. We’ve come a long way, and thank The Laird for that. 

You know what’s the best part of this whole clip? The fact that, in 2017, the waves featured here (CJ’s outstanding) would fill the credits section of an esteemed surf film. Can’t you see it? 

The early 2000s were the funniest-ever era of waveriding! Follow @surfcore2001 for proof. 

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