Aired on 2020, Oct 21st  in Legends and much more! / Podcast / Surfers

Interview with Tom Curren


Welcome to the first episode of the second series of our podcast!

Thank you for following us and for your patience in the last month, we hope you going to like the second series even better than the first one.

We have two big news....

The first one is that our episodes will be, from now on, weekly.... every wednesday, we will bring to you a very special guest.

The second one is that we developed a new brand of eco-friendly apparel called Yogi Pipe , you can discover the collection on

First guest of the second series of our podcast is the legendary surfer Tom Curren, winner of the world title for 3 times in 1985,1986 and 1990.

With Tom we discussed about surf, his passion for music, future projects and much more.

You can find the interview on Spotify, I Tunes, YouTube and all the major podcast platforms.

If you prefer to read the interview, you can do it here, in our website, just forgive us in case of spelling mistakes and other issues, as we transcribed the full interview from the audio file.

TTOS: Aloha Tom, welcome to the show! Where are you today?

I’m at home in Santa Barbara.

TTOS:  How's it going over that at this time of coronavirus, people can go back to surf? How is the situation over there?

It's pretty bad, people have been feeling really bad…. we've been okay, no one that I know had corona, family has been ok and getting to go surf a little bit now, so we hope…

TTOS: Let’s hope it gets better, I know It's not a easy time for US right now, between Corona and unrest and we really hope you guys get better and well, very soon!

Today, in our podcast, we're going to talk about surf and we're going to talk about music. 

The first question that we have for you is… In your opinion, what is the most important thing in surfing?

There are a couple of things, good question….maybe the wetsuit was the very most important game changer in surfing with the invention of neoprene, we can say the same with the development of  surfboards with foam and fiberglass.

If I have to choose one, I would answer that the most important thing is the history, the history of Hawaiian surfing in particular. 

Hawaii is representing Aloha and surfing is from Hawaii and just inspiration for millions of people around the world and that is about Hawaii.

TTOS: Yeah, and surfing with Aloha is very important. 

I was talking in a previous episode, with Adam Pascowitz and he said, that's the most important thing for him today is that “surfing with Aloha” has to become part of the culture more and more and not everybody knows about it. 

If like people will really go back into the meaning of it, then actually all the surf community will benefit. 

I agree with you., when you're talking about Hawaii and surfing with Aloha.

TTOS: do you remember your first surfboard and you still have it?

I remember it, yes, but I don't have it.

TTOS: What was that?

It was a board that I borrowed when we were in Hawaii and I surfed on it all day. 

And then the father of the kid I was borrowing  offered to sell it to us, to my parents. 

I got that board, it was in Haleiwa, the Hawaii in 1970 made by “Surfboards Hawaii”.

I don't remember much about it, it just worked really good…. I got to bring it back home to California and I used that board even if it was already pretty old. 

I'd love to see that now ….I'm wondering where it is.

TTOS: We all wonder where our first surfboard is right now. 

You know, in the first episode of our podcast, we spoke with Rob Machado that he said that you were the reference, when he was young and he was starting surfing, you are his reference of which he was aspiring to. 

If I ask you the same question, who were you references, when you were a kid…. who was the surfer that you werelooking at?

When I was a kid there were a lot of magazines like Surfer and other things…. movies and things like that were so important….. I think that was the period when I was 14 years old, or even younger. 

The culture back in the day, was a little different when it comes to the movies, especially because the movies would come to town and everybody knew those movies and see all of the latest news about surf trying to, you know, catch up with the rest of the world. 

And then for the next year, another one movie would come out. 

The surfers we were looking to were the ones who were in those movies, those stories like free ride. 

A bunch of those on those surfers were Hawaiian, Pat and Jerry Lopez,BK, Bertlemann….

A few years down, the Australians were a big influence…..I would say, without naming a bunch of names that Nat Young would be maybe the most important one.

Nat influenced a lot of the surfers in Australia and also me as well due to the move-type of surfing of certain small waves….

TTOS: You had a long career….. what was the defining moment of your career, that moment that you decided to, that you were going as professionally surfer?

Around that time, that wasn’t really just a career, you know, anything like something that you would decide you would do….

There wasn't really any kind of tour like today, my wish was to continue with surfing as I like it very much; I was looking at waves and I wanted to go to Hawaii. 

One of the thoughts in my mind, was that I would become a photographer, a water photographer, something in the world of surfing, professional surfing

I liked to surf and I liked to compete….I started to do well in the contests…the Regionals then the Nationals that's kind of where I started to look closely at surfing . 

That was times when Shaun Tomson and all the other kids were there..

TTOS: If I have to ask you, what was your biggest achievement or the thing that you are most proud of in your surfing career, what would you answer? 

The biggest thing would be winning the World Title, but it wasn't something I really wanted. 

Now that I look back, I think that this (winning) could have really happened to somebody else because there was a lot of good surfers back then and some of them didn't have these opportunities that I had. 

I had great opportunities. I had some really good coaching, great boards and parents that followed me, and it worked out for me, I guess that may have been a bigger accomplishment because all this kind of organization, like a team,rather than somebody who surfs saying “I'll be back later mom” and go down and do that.

It was very much so much great support and, you know, it's a bit of a cliche, but the support was why I did well, that's it. 

TTOS: And if you had to choose between a, one of the three word titles the 1985, 86 or 90, which one you would would choose if any…

I think the first one was the most exciting maybe because of the waves were good there in Bells Beach, was part of the title race, it was quite quite energized moment! I remember Occhi was there , it was great!

(TTOS - In 1985, Tom Curren and Mark Occhilupo clashed in an epic Semifinal battle that resulted in Curren winning his first World Title)

TTOS: Let's switch to to music, to your albums and to your lyrics. Is there a connection between you being a surfer and you being a song-writer and a musician, or you see the two things totally disconnected or one thing influenced the other?

I don't know….I think sometimes when you're out surfing, you have kinda sometimes music playing in your head because there's a lot of times where it's just waiting for a wave and stuff. 

Sometimes there's people around and you are talking with them and then sometimes you're by yourself. 

Those are great times….I just very glad to have that time in the ocean. You don't kinda cross out things, you know, and mental things or whatever. 

I think sometimes you're out there, you start hearing music in your head. 

But, if you are really trying to do like a career between surfing and music at the same time ,then you will not be able to do one or the other as good as if you had chosen one.

TTOS: I guess they are complimentary, but at the same time, totally different from a professional point of view….

In your opinion, what is the most important thing in song-writing? 

Well, I think songs are really like art and they are very elevated thing, the same I believe, when it comes to books and movies…

Certain songs (like movies and books) are really good ones and, I know this sounds a little bit, well, whatever, but, I believe that the really good ones can really change the world!

Because, if the right person gets their hands on the right book, they could really do something about it (maybe they have money to action what they believe is right), sometimes in the world changes happen and it's not because of the popular protest all the time.

Sometimes if one particular person see a movie, that can motivate him/her to do something as something needs to be done. 

So I believe that songs are not only enjoyable, that's what we need… as we need those books, those movies, we also need those songs!

My stuff, when it comes to song writing (I really don't like it actually, I think it's boring), has to have original music to go out and play (otherwise it would be just a cover band). 

I would like an original and when it comes to lyrics, sometimes you just don't know what is decent or what's not working. 

Sometimes you get a sound idea that's almost good, but it's just not quite there, sometimes is the opposite and the song picks up ….

I guess the secret stays in trying to keep it simple.

TTOS: Yeah, I guess you're right…

Aren’t you ever afraid to share with the people, with strangers, with the audience, your personal stories through your music, through your songs?

The thing that I try to do is not to do a song until I had it for a while, so I'm not embarrassed to play it.

I guess you can write some songs, few of them are more durable than others and some let's just say, are just crap, but some of them are pretty good. As well!

I believe that “that's okay”,that's something to work with, you know, at the end, what we want to do is play with the band and really enjoy that.

TTOS: Yeah, definitely also it is important how people relate to a song… not important if that song is  let's say by definition, a good song or not a good song. I think if with your song, you can create good moments for people, then I think you reach the goal and if that goal is not reached, maybe there will be another song or something else, right?

It's just like anything….. do you play music?

TTOS: Yes. I do….actually I have another podcast called “Rock Your Lyrics Backstage” that talks about the lyrics and how the lyrics have been written. 

I like that, I would check that out.

I don't know your age or anything, but my age, I'm still enjoying song writing

Actually, right now, I'm trying to think of how this new song, how I'm going to do it and what it's going to be about and how it's best to be…. I was thinking about it yesterday, you know? 

I believe it is something that we just do….to think about and to work on things, learn things.

TTOS: Yeah, it's a journey, you know, what matters I guess, in in surfing like as in music, is the journey, right? And then whatever comes, it comes, right? 


TTOS: What are your future projects? What are you working on? 

Well, I have a few things that I'm pretty excited about, we'll start to work on boards with Channel Islands again and we're working on couple movie projects and things like that.

There's nothing going on right now (because of Covid), I have made plans to go on like a car trip, driving in West Africa, but, unfortunately, we can't really make any plans right now. 

I'm just doing home stuff, home repairs, things like that.

TTOS: That actually is good, sometimes is good just staying at home and and doing our own stuff as there is never the time to do so. I think maybe we can find good positive things out of a very difficult moment. 


TTOS: we're gonna finish our interview with a Q/A session, please answer the first thing that comes up to your mind, okay?

Oh, wait, you didn't tell me we're going to do this….It's not fair 

TTOS: It takes only three seconds 🙂 …. the best surfboard that you ever ridden…

The one I have right now

TTOS: What do you have right now? 

I can't answer three seconds 🙂

TTOS: You got me there 🙂 , ok, then, I don’t want to know ….LOL, maybe I'm more lucky with the second one….your favorite shaper of all time? 

Al Merrick

TTOS: A personal question, your favorite rock song. 

I don't like rock music, you know that. 

TTOS: Then, favorite artist from a music perspective….

It is so hard to pick one, you can't, you can't do this..

TTOS: Your favorite surf spot. 

Can't do that either ……

Sunset Beach

TTOS: Your favorite surfer today. 

John Florence is at the top right now for me. 

TTOS:  and the last question is a little bit unusual, is not related to surf and to music., but is a question that we ask everybody…..we want to know your best relationship advice. 

Try to find a person that cares for you that you want your spend all your life with 

That's the best we can do. 

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