(born November 7, 1948), aka Mr. Pipeline
, is an American surfer
, shaper, journalist, and film actor.
Lopez was born in Honolulu
, grew up in East Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii and attended Punahou School
. He frequented the semi secret reefs in and around Aina Haina as well as better known surf spots in Metro-Honolulu. An early reference point for his sleek and precise style was the graceful Paul Strauch, whom Lopez still credits as "the most stylish surfer ever." Lopez became the Hawaii State Champ at age 14, and he and friend Reno Abellira began surfing Ala Moana Bowls frequently. It is here that Lopez began honing his casual style and masterful tube riding skills.
Lopez and friends began to migrate out to Oahu's North Shore
, where they watched surfers like Butch Van Artsdalen
and Jock Sutherland ride the hollow waves of the Banzai Pipeline
. As surfboard designs began to integrate "downrailer" edges, curve, foil, and rocker, the vertical drops and thick tubes of Pipeline became survivable. Not long after, performance levels at big Pipeline exploded, led by Lopez.
He was widely recognized as the best tuberider in the world, and won the Pipeline Masters
competition in 1972 and 1973, which has since been named the Gerry Lopez Pipeline Masters.
Lopez played an important role in the industry of commercial surfboard manufacturing. Whilst in Hawaii, and together with other shapers
, Lopez started the... Read More