Tom Curren’s Personal board 6’9 “Widow Maker” by Dave Parmenter | All original (1992)


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6’9 “Widow Maker” shaped for Tom Curren by Dave Parmenter. The board is ALL original and was shaped in 1992. No major damage but does have some dings.

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Tom Curren: Enigmatic pro surfer from Santa Barbara, California; three-time world champion (1985, 1986, 1990), and incomparable wave-riding stylist; one of the sport’s most revered and influential figures. “His world titles brought salvation and inspiration back to American surfing,” surf journalist Chris Mauro wrote, “but it was Curren’s humility, his shunning of the hype, and of course his ungodly natural talent that had the most influence.”

Curren was born (1964) in Newport Beach, California, the son of pioneering big-wave surfer and boardmaker Pat Curren, and raised in Santa Barbara. Pat first put Tom on a surfboard at age two, but Curren didn’t start surfing regularly until age six; at 14 he began a remarkable four-year streak as an amateur competitor, winning the boys’ division of the United States Surfing Championships in 1978 and 1979, and the juniors title in 1980; he also won the juniors title of the 1980 World Championships, and followed up two years later with a victory in the men’s division. In 1981 he finished runner-up to former world pro champion Shaun Tomson in the Katin Pro-Am, then won the following year.

Curren turned pro just before his 18th birthday and signed contracts with Rip Curl wetsuits and Ocean Pacific beachwear worth $40,000 a year—a record at the time for a first-year pro. Curren won the Trestles-hosted Stubbies Pro, his debut event; entering just four of 12 world tour events in 1982 (including the Marui Pro in Japan, which he won) Curren finished the year rated #19. His rating jumped from eighth to fourth over the next two years, helped by consecutive wins in the Op Pro at Huntington Beach.

By mid-decade, the handsome and reclusive teenager was an international surfing phenomenon. Apart from his contest record, Curren developed an original wave-riding style—influenced in part by 1978 world champion Wayne Bartholomew—that was both functional and poetic. Using Al Merrick-shaped tri-fin surfboards, and with a style born in part from endless hours spent in the long perfect waves at Rincon, Curren planted his front foot at a 90-degree angle upon standing up, tucked his back knee in, and rarely moved his feet as he rode. The lines he drew across the wave face were alternately sinuous and explosive, each turn blending perfectly into the next. Although relatively slender at 5′ 8″, 150 pounds, Curren was able to synchronize his limbs, head, and torso so as to leverage maneuvers with a deceptive power. He invented the “double-pump” bottom turn by adding a quick booster second turn while climbing toward the lip, resulting in greater torque and rotation during the following off-the-top maneuver. Curren’s style became the pattern for virtually every hot young surfer in the world during the 1980s and early ’90s.

Read the full article @ Matt Warshaw’s Encyclopedia of Surfing…

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