Back When Shit Was Cool

SURFING Magazine
February 1985
volume 21, number 1


Surfers don't wear tuxedos anymore. Surfers wear baggy, button-up shirts and baggy jeans and go to the Surfer Poll Awards poorly attired. Surfers, if they are hip, wear skinny jeans cuffed above the ankle and cardigans and don't go to the Surfer Poll Awards. Shaun Tomson, in 1985, would have spit nails if he could have seen these two futures. He would have bemoaned, "Why, oh why, have you let me down? I gave you the world, the entire world, and you have repaid me with garbage. You have repaid me with filth." And Shaun Tomson would be right. How have we strayed so far off his path? How are we not donning three-piece tuxedos, vest included and maybe a cummerbund, with signet rings and clip-on bow ties unclipped?

Yes, his shoes stink. Yes, they are white Reeboks and yes, he is wearing white gym socks -- the 1980s were weird -- but the rest is an absolute vision. And Shaun knows it is a vision. Look at his hair. He used both gel and mousse to achieve perfection. Look at his posture. Relaxed and open. Look at his eyes and his smile, "Ain't no thing better than Shaun Tomson in a tuxedo," they seem to be saying. And Shaun Tomson would be right. Ain't no thing better.

It is not too late for us. We can start small: Men's Wearhouse has a sale right now on black peak lapel Calvin Klein tuxedos. Only $599! And we can grow. Tom Ford does a perfect tuxedo, perfect in every way, for $7,000. And we can lounge in front of our floro-sprayed surfboards, posture open, and feel good about ourselves and feel smug. We will manifest sex, money and power. Shaun Tomson will look at us and sigh, "Now that's more like it. That is what I was thinking. Booya!" The "booya" would be inappropriately tagged on, just like his white Reeboks and white gym socks. We can't all be perfect, nor should we try. We should only try to be amazing. --Chas Smith