Let’s go back to a simpler time. An era of war and war protestors. Hippies and Leave it to Beaver. Counterculture and Lyndon B. Johnson. A time of great cultural change in America. And a time when chain-smoking cigarettes was accepted like man buns were in 2013.
The footage above comes from Matt Warshaw’s wave-riding archival haven, the Encyclopedia of Surfing. It shows California-born surfer John Peck at Honolua Bay, executing what apparently was a common practice in the 1960s – lighting up a smoke, paddling out, and attempting to ride a wave without the flame extinguishing. He nearly gets a full cover-up, too. And the ciggie’s still lit.
Peck was (and is) a peculiar guy, aside from his surf-smoking escapades. According to Warshaw’s site, “Peck had meanwhile set out on a lengthy course of alcohol and drug abuse, including a seven-year LSD phase beginning in 1965.” That was a year after that video was shot. Ultimately, however, Peck went on to clean up his act. He’s also known for being the first regular-footer to get tubed at Pipe.
In today’s eco-friendly, kale-consuming, chia-seed-chomping surf scene, it’s unlikely that the cig smoking thing will make a comeback. Besides, all the kids are vaping these days. That’s the cool new thing, right?