When I started surfing, you still had to put some real effort into locating surf movies. You couldn't just pull up an endless number of clips or videos on YouTube or StokeTV like you can today. The people and music in these films were usually a collaboration of months or years of work just to create a short 1 hr. film and soundtrack. A stand out collection was Rip Curl's Search series. I instantly fell in love with the cast, the story and romance of adventure, and the mind-blowing surfing footage! I watched them over and over again, trying to absorb all I could. In every movie the stand out character for me was, and always will be, Tom Curren. Watching him surf is like watching art in motion. His creativity and approach to managing a wave was unlike anyone else I had seen and his combination of aggressive power surfing and precision timing all looked so effortless. With the fluidity and speed in which he connected turns, maneuvers, and sections; it always seemed like he was driven by some kind of internal rhythm or beat…turns out, he was!
As much as I loved the surfing, the Search Series also provided some great insight and behind-the- scenes footage which made you feel like part of the crew and let you get to know the surfers and staff on a more intimate level. Tom always seemed a bit more reserved than the others on the trip and you would always see him tucked away in some corner of the boat or beach, strumming a cool riff or a series of warm chords while waiting for the next window of swell to arrive. He looked as happy with a guitar under his arm as he did with a surfboard and I always wondered what kind of musician he was. Skip ahead many years later…I am sitting at my desk when an email from my editor comes over asking if I wanted to interview Tom Curren about his new album. Tom Curren? Album? I instantly email him back saying that I will do the interview but that he must be mistaken, did he mean Timmy Curran? His response back made my jaw hit the floor… “No, Tom Curren, from the Rip Curl Search Series, 3 x World Champ, Kelly Slater's hero…” – forget Slater, he is one of my hero's!!! A few Google searches later, I was embarrassed when I realized I had already missed a few early albums Tom had released. It wasn't long before I had them downloaded any blaring through the whole office…questions about who it was and where they could get the songs started to pop up immediately.