Samson’s Victory

A moment of triumph for Todd Holland and the beards of the world

Todd Holland and the unkempt source of his power. Photo: Gilley

Todd Holland and the unkempt source of his power. Photo: Gilley

In these beard-loving times, it's hard to imagine, but when Todd Holland let his facial hair grow unchecked in the early '90s, it incurred a lot of hatred. Society was so into the clean-shaven look, and so traumatized by the weak mustaches and Miami Vice stubble of the '80s, that some threatened to rip Holland's whiskers directly off his face. I even heard rumors of people wanting to cut it off while he was sleeping.

But Holland didn't care what anybody else thought, and therein lied his strength--like Samson, Holland knew that his hair held secret powers. In fact, one of the only times he doubted himself was during the ASP Coke final at Narrabeen in 1993. In the dying moments of the heat, in front of hundreds of spectators, Holland thought he had fallen short of winning and started annihilating his own surfboard--just punching the absolute crap out of it.

But then...wait...hold on...a faint announcement from the contest scaffolding: Holland's last wave had indeed been enough to put him over the top. He had vanquished his opponent after all.

So what you see on display here is the exact moment that Todd Holland, the southern lion-heart, had secured victory and realized that he should never doubt the power of chin hair again.