One of surfing’s most legendary rivalries will be rekindled once again. American regular foot, and style icon, Tom Curren, will surf another expression session style heat against Australian goofy foot, and power master, Mark Occhilupo. It’s all set to go down during the 2010 Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach. Curren and Occy at Bells decades later, this should be good.
The heat coincides with the 25th anniversary of their legendary battle back when they were both establishing themselves as two of professional surfing’s elite. The year was 1985, surfing was in the midst of Australian dominance, but America had been given hope in the form of a stylish young surfer from a land of point breaks. Santa Barbara, CA native, Tom Curren, paddled out at Bells against the future of Australian surfing, Mark Occhilupo, and the rest is history. He surfed “Black Beauty,” his black railed Channel Islands surfboard, to victory over Occhilupo. That year, Curren would go on to win his first ASP World Championship Title, which would usher in a period of American dominance in professional surfing.
That was 25 years ago. Kelly Slater was 13 years-old, and his biggest rival, Andy Irons, was 7 years-old. What about Dane Reynolds and Jordy Smith? They weren’t even born yet. This is the second time the ASP has brought these two surfers together to relive one of their historic battles. The first being last year at the Billabong Pro Jeffery’s Bay. Curren still has that magical bottom turn that he uses to draw perfect lines, and Occy can still throw buckets with those tree trunks he calls legs. Style meets power once again in 2010.
Photo: Tom Curren in their first rematch at last year’s Billabong Pro Jeffery’s Bay.