June ’95

David Rastovich, Joel Parkinson, Dean Morrison, John Craig Tiona, New South Wales, Australia

Success isn’t born overnight. And when you’re young, it’s impossible to know where the adventure is headed. Life can take any number of turns, few leading to the narrow off-ramp of fame. But en route from Coolangatta to a junior-pro contest near Sydney eight years ago, when photographer Peter Boskovic shot this picture in the warm golden light of a cold winter morning, he definitely had a feeling these teenagers would go much farther than a few-hundred-mile road trip. “These four were really cheeky back then,” Bosko remembers, “but I always knew in my heart that they were very special and unbelievably talented for their age and would have a great future in surfing.”

A chipmunk-faced, pint-sized Parko fared the best of the gang that weekend at Copacabana, the left-hand point break at Avoca. “I got to the semis and lost to Lowey,” he recalls. “I thought that was a big deal. He was a hero of mine then.”

Even Bosko would never have prophesized that three of the four kids would become some of the most well-known surfers of their generation. And what about the smiles on their faces that morning as they checked the surf? Did they carry some confident sense that they were headed for stardom? No, that wasn’t it. Parko remembers the moment clearly: “The waves were great that day.”–Scooter Leonard