IN APPRECIATION of those who have been so very helpful in the first year of realsurfers.net I am reposting (edited slightly because I can’t help it) my story on several run-ins with legendary La Jolla Surfer Chris O’Rourke. His friend and biographer, Kirk Lee Aeder, had, I discovered, only recently published a book, “Child of the Storm,” about Chris, with a forward by Drew Kampion, the first editor (other than John Severson) at “Surfer.” Kampion is another person I’ve had a sort of brushed-against connection with. I’ll write about that another time.
For now, the following is from a string of back-and-forths, an email from Kirk.
Please check out the next piece down, the edited version on Chris O’Rourke, and, yeah, buy the book.
Erwin, Some text:
“In 1969 while on a family vacation I visited the Big island for the first time as a ten
year old kid. I was immediately captivated by what I saw, wide-eyed,
and very much hoping to return to live here some day, which I finally did in 1993.
A little bit of irony accompanied my arrival. Soon I started shooting photos
of a surfer, who in many ways, very much reminded me of my old pal Chris
O’Rourke in La Jolla. Shane Dorian, a quickly emerging pro surfer with an Irish
background and also a regular foot, immediately became my primary focus of
attention, and for good reason. Shane’s high caliber of surfing was just so similar to
Chris. I was stoked this occurrence took place, almost as if this had happened for
a reason,and through this I felt a strong connection to my past.
Going from La Jolla, with it’s strong
surfing history, to a place like the Big Island, where surfing was more or less born,
is very special to me and I truly feel blessed. Looking back on it all I wouldn’t change
a thing.” Much mahalo, Kirk
Photo of Shane Dorian at Banyons, Big Island, Hawaii by Kirk Aeder, IMOCO Media