Todd Holland maxed out with an eighth place finish in 1991 and went to work for his mom's travel agency back home.

Jeff Booth finished fourth in '95 and took a sales manager job with his former sponsor, Billabong. Doing quite well there, thank you.

Kelly Slater ate three full generations of "Next Tom Currens" for breakfast and he still looks hungry. He's out nightsurfing Waimea with Eddie Vedder right now.

As far as picking a "next big thing" out of a sea of ambitious 15-year-olds, SURFING can probably pat itself on the back for this one. Now never do that again.

But did the world ever really find its "Next Tom Curren"? Well, if you want to get technical about it, Tom pretty much nexted himself when he came out of retirement two years later and defied all logic to win a third world title.

But do we really want to get technical?

Curren is Curren. Kelly is Kelly. Dane is Dane. Nobody's the next anything. And Todd and Jeff probably didn't need that sort of pressure gnawing at their heat sheet.

The real Cinderella story here is the guy who started the article with the word "Jeeze" and wrote that, "Curren surfs like an angel." SURFING essayist Chris Carter went on to create a little TV show called The X-Files. Two hundred and two internationally syndicated episodes and a couple of feature films later, he's got a bigger Malibu pad than any of these guys. So what we really should be asking is: Where's our next Chris Carter?
The truth is out there. --Nathan Myers