2 min read

the yin and yang of gerry lopez

Surfing is style, and the epitome of style is Gerry Lopez dropping on a massive wave at Pipeline while impassively scratching his nose.

just finished watching the film The Yin and Yang of Gerry Lopez, directed by Stacy Peralta, and presented by Patagonia.

side comment

From the early 80s, I remember two surfboards from my uncle's quiver: a 7'0" T&C with the mythical yin and yang logo, and a single-fin gun with a lightning bolt on the surface.

The lightning bolt.

Some time later I learned that the lightning bolt was shaped by Gerry Lopez and now, after watching the documentary, that the yin and yang is Gerry Lopez.


The film is about the legendary Hawaiian surfer, yogi, actor, snowboarder, and shaper Gerry Lopez. The good and nice of the documentary is that Gerry Lopez himself is who begins it and ends it. And unlike many documentaries in which other people talk about the main character, Gerry does most of the talking.

"what he does is poetry"

Surfing is style, and the epitome of style is Gerry Lopez dropping on a massive wave at Pipeline while calmly (almost apathetically) scratching his nose. He was the most iconic surfer of the 1970s, way above world champions (Mark Richards, Wayne Bartholomew, and others).
Rory Russell once said about Lopez:
"what he does is poetry.  For sheer beauty, no one else even comes close."

about yoga

According to Gerry, yoga was the discipline that unlocked this deep and instinctive connection with the ocean and with surfing. The practice of yoga allowed him to "tame" the monster wave at Banzai Pipeline.

the cool and the zen

Beyond surfing and yoga, Gerry is the definition of the cool and the zen. In the film, Lopez, then in his seventies, comes across to us as a genuine and compassionate human being. Content with the past and with the present. Calm but never static or sterile. Always in motion.

from The Encyclopedia of Surfing and The History of Surfing:

"Gerry Lopez was the coolest surfer alive; the Pipeline firewalker; the man who singlehandedly raised the tuberide from a mere surfing maneuver to an advanced Zen practice."

"He made the most difficult thing in the sport appear not just easy, but meditative."

watch the film!

Here is the link: The Yin and Yang of Gerry Lopez