Saturday, August 1, 2009

Rory Russell "UnSung"

Check out The Tribute to the "Dog"
Rory Russell "UnSung"

UNSUNG | MySpace Video

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lightning Bolt Is BAck!

Sweet article about the Return Of the Bolt on

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New School Old School

Jed Noll Hosts Lightning BoltUSA team Ambassador Dustin Franks in his New Surf Shop Gallery. Jed talks about what the Old school boards mean to the History of Surfing, and Dustin recalls his intro to riding the classic shapes. Click here to watch the video:)

Monday, May 4, 2009

LIGHTNING BOLT | The Spirit of Surfing

The Spirit of Surfing

by Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz

It was mid morning in Honolulu. My wife, Juliette and I were strolling around Magic Island near Waikiki,
when I heard the sound of an ambulance approaching. Looking up the path I could see a surfer lying on the grass. A small group had gathered about him. Running toward them I found this young Japanese surfer unconscious and terribly wounded. I put a t-shirt over the gash in his chest and leaning close to him I kept repeating, "stay awake son, stay awake the ambulance is coming." The surfer opened his eyes and gazed around him. Then he looked at me and said, "Where's my board?" I had to laugh. "There’s the Spirit of Surfing," I thought.

When I myself was a young surfer in 1936, (I was 15) there really weren't many surfers in the country--maybe 500 to 600 at most. Three of these to me symbolized the "Spirit of Surfing": Preston "Pete Peterson, Lorin "Whitey" Harrison and George "Peanuts" Larson. Each was his own logo so to speak. The logos, the symbols, the emblems we create often define the spirit of our time. 3000 years ago the symbol of one Pharaoh was a Hawk, another a Jackal. People worshiped these images.

In ancient Greece a thousand years before Christ the symbol of a ferocious tribe called the Dorians, was a special curly cue at the top of every marble pillar. The Doric column labeled their architecture. The first king of Rome, Romulus, had a she-wolf as his insignia. Look at the best known figures today--Coca Cola, Ford, Gucci, Burger King, etc.

In 1970 Gerry Lopez and Jack Shipley started a surf shop they called “Lightning Bolt Surfboards”. A colored lightning bolt was on the deck of every board they sold. Next year Jeff Hakman won the first Pipeline Masters with a Lightning Bolt on his surfboard. Gerry Lopez won this event twice in a row in 1972 and1973 a Lightning Bolt on his 6-9 pintail. Actually Lopez had been putting lightning bolts on his surfboards since 1969.

In the mid '70s, when "Rocky" and "Star Wars" were the rage, Rory Russell, Gerry's best pal, goofy foot like Gerry, also won the Pipeline twice in a row. Of course he also had a Lightning Bolt on his 6-8 roundtail.

The short board revolution spanned the decade of the Seventies. Boards went from 9-6 to 6-9. Jeff Crawford, Shaun Tomson and Mark Richards won the Pipeline championships, sporting Lightning Bolt labels on their boards.

The Lightning Bolt was the spirit of surfing for the 70's. No other logo before or since has dominated the surfing media as has the label of The Lightning Bolt.


lightning Strikes Twice...


by Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz

It was a chilly morning on the beach at "Zippers" in San Jose del Cabo, Baja Mexico. In the distance I saw a lone figure standing on the sand looking at the ocean. As I drew closer I recognized Gerry Lopez.

I walked up to him, put out my hand and he greeted me warmly, which pleased me very much. I'd known Gerry Lopez since he was a little boy, Maybe 9 or 10, when he was just learning to surf at "Baby Queens" in Waikiki. I knew his Mom who was a school teacher in Honolulu.

We stood there "talking story" for about half an hour, but all the while I was remembering those exciting days in the late sixties and seventies, when Gerry was known as "Mr. Pipeline" I recalled him riding with such grace and elegance on the wave considered to be the most dangerous surf spot in the world. Someone died at Pipeline every other year.

When we parted I kind of laughed to myself reminded of the time Jeff Hakman won the Pipeline Masters in 1971--the first Pipeline Masters. Gerry didn't even show up because that mongoose, Corky Carroll told him the contest was postponed.

Several special surfers had greatly influenced Lopez in the early days of his career: The "silky smooth" surfing of Paul Strauch and Jock Sutherland,deep tube rider who was the worlds greatest switch foot surfer. Sutherland had won the Duke Invitational in '67 and was known for having ridden big surf, Waimea at night. Jock Sutherland was also mentor to Gerrys' pal, the happy go lucky Rory Russell. Both had won the Pipeline Masters twice
in a row--Lopez '72 and '73, Russell, '76 and '77.

As Fate would have it, in 1968 when Rory was 15 and passionately in love with surfing his folks moved to the North Shore in a beach house right next to Jock Sutherland.

Jock informally guided Rory to become a master of the Pipeline, finishing in the championship, '73 to '78 third, second, second, first, first and second.

The symbol of the Pipeline in that decade was the Lightning Bolt. It became the symbol of the short board revolution ----the colorful emblem on the deck of goofy foot Gerry Lopez 6’-9” pin tail and goofy footer Rory Russells 6’-8” round tail. There was a Lightning Bolt logo on the boards of many of the North Shore champions: Mark Richards, Rabbit Bartholomew, Shawn Tomson and Lady Margo. And of course the great Jeff Hakman. As surfing historian, Matt Warshaw put it " board making label before or since has dominated the surf media the way Bolt did in the mid-70's.

Like his predecessor, Duke Boyd, the financial wizard of Lightning Bolt and Hang Ten, Jonathan Paskowitz, past marketing executive of the ultra successful Black Flys eye wear company is hoisting anew the ensign of the Lightning Bolt up the masthead of the present global surfing industry.


note : This article could not have been accurate without the help of
Matt Warshaw and his fascinating, "Encyclopedia of Surfing".

Saturday, April 25, 2009