LIGHTNING BOLT CO-FOUNDER AND LEGENDARY SURFER/SHAPER.
By the occasion of Lightning By the occasion of Lightning Bolt’s 50th anniversary, Gerry Lopez told in the first person all the stories around the ‘70s: the decade of the foundation of Lightning Bolt and the golden years of surfing.
THE PICTURE OF COOL AND CALM
Lopez was the picture of cool and calm surfing The Pipeline when surfers were taking their sport back and taking it underground. The world was mesmerized by a man who matched Pipeline’s power and beauty with grace. Lopez’ fast-twitch, German/Japanese physiology was part of the act, but what was under his feet was also important.Matt Warshaw detailed the influence of Gerry Lopez as figurehead/godhead in The Encyclopedia of Surfing:Lopez was the most-filmed surfer of his generation – a protracted Lopez-at-Pipeline sequence was part of nearly every surf movie made between 1971 and 1978, including Morning of the Earth (1972), Five Summer Stories (1972), Going Surfin’ (1974), Super Session (1975), Tales from the Tube (1975), and In Search of Tubular Swells (1977).Lopez needed surfboards that were as lithe, quick and fast as he was – so around 1970, Lopez teamed up with experienced Surf Line Hawaii store manager Jack Shipley to form an elite boutique for Hawaii’s best surfer/shapers. The symbol was the Lightning Bolt and the symbol meant energy – the energy of Hawaiian surf, but also the energy of human physicality and artistry to make the surfboards to ride that energy deeper, faster and more radical.