Surf Cowboy…George Downing

The People’s Movement had the pleasure this past weekend of being a part of  SIMA Waterman’s Ball at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Beach.  Yes, it was posh, but definately not stuffy…this is where you get a chance to have a beer or 10 with the guys you grew up idolizing like PT, Jeff Divine, Michael Thompson and Gerry Lopez to name a few and just shoot the shit.  Oh Yeah, and SIMA raised over $400,000 in one night at this event which donates the proceeds to over 20 different ocean minded charities…not bad.

The highlight for me was legendary Oahu surfer, George Downing’s receiving the Lifetime Achievement award for his unmatchable contributions to everything surf.  His long time friend and student, Gerry Lopez spoke straight from the heart and and did not falter a word for 25 minutes telling first hand recollections of

just what makes Downing so special.  George’s life reads like a movie…”moved to Waikiki in the 50’s with no virtually no surf experience only to become one of the pioneers of big wave surfing, surfboard design and shaping all while being one of the first “Beach Boys of Waikiki”…you can only imagine the freedom and excitement of those times when television was still a novelty.  I wanna live a life half as cool as George Downing and after that evening I am inspired to do so or die trying.

-mark w