Surfing Photographs From the Eighties Taken by Jeff Divine

Surfing Photographs from the Eighties Taken by Jeff Divine edited by Scott Hulet, Jamie Brisick, Jeff Divine. T. Adler Books. Hardcover, 144 pages. $40.

The cover of Surfing Photographs from the Eighties Taken by Jeff Divine

As brand-name gear, advertising, and competitive championships changed the look of surfing for the MTV generation in ways both brilliant and vulgar, it was a cruel (endless) summer for some. Sage surf photographer John Witzig spat, “This new generation has no experience of the laid-back hippy trip. Being cool is uncool.” (Was surfing ever uncool?) A new book by Witzig’s contemporary Jeff Divine, photo editor of the Surfer’s Journal, presents yet another point of view. A follow-up to 2006’s Surfing Photographs from the Seventies, Divine’s latest volume is from the 1980s and shot mostly on color-saturated Kodachrome 64 in Southern California and on the North Shore of Oahu, a tribute to the decade (and the film) with Zinka Zinc, Ray-Bans, and attitude to spare: “I’m dissatisfied. I’m displeased. I’m mean. I’m fucked!” Thus, in 1988, spoke eighteen-year-old Hawaii native Sunny Garcia, one of the first “high-performance” surfers to emerge during this period from an incredibly talented handful of young Turks, Florida’s Kelly Slater and Australia’s Mark “Occy” Occhilupo chief among them. Soak in the beaming bleach-blond kids in their Body Glove suits, the Afro dudes carrying their nine-foot-six Town & Countrys, and the blistering, washed-out crowds on the beach. Despite Garcia’s punk posturing, the future of surfing looked bright—that is to say, Day-Glo.