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"We’ll fucken go kidnap him!"

- Maurice Cole

In 1987, Tom Curren was enjoying the first of his three world titles and Art Brewer was traveling around the world shooting photos for Surfer magazine. Tom was famously private. Art was a master of “getting the shot.” On a sunny eight-foot day at Backdoor with Tom pulling into the barrel and Art shooting from the beach they connected easily. In other circumstances, though, it was a little more complicated, as Art explains here—.


“Tom Curren was very shy, quiet. We went on a couple of trips and he eventually started opening up. I ended up going to France and I spent seven weeks waiting for him to go surfing. I basically camped out in a hotel across the street from him and his wife Marie’s house. They were partying down in San Sebastian. I waited seven weeks, I was going to leave the next day, all of a sudden there’s the swell forecast. It looked good. I was with Maurice [Cole]. Maurice goes, ‘We’ll fucken go kidnap him!’ Anyway, this photo was taken in 1987. Tom was still sponsored by Op. He ended up coming by the studio and needed these shots done, so I did them. His comment later was that he hated that image because he thought he looked so fat, which I thought was pretty funny.”

See more of Art's Work—

Masters of Surf Photography: Art Brewer




Jamie Brisick is a writer, photographer, and director. He surfed on the ASP world tour from 1986 to 1991. He has since documented surf culture extensively. His books include Becoming Westerly: Surf Champion Peter Drouyn’s Transformation into Westerly Windina, Roman & Williams: Things We Made, We Approach Our Martinis With Such High Expectations, Have Board, Will Travel: The Definitive History of Surf, Skate, and Snow, and The Eighties at Echo Beach. His writings and photographs have appeared in The Surfer’s Journal, The New York Times, and The Guardian. He was the editor of Surfing magazine from 1998-2000, and is presently the global editor of Huck. In 2008 he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship. He lives in Los Angeles. For more of his work check out & @jamiebrisick