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Surfing legend Gerry Lopez shares journey behind new documentary film

Gerry Lopez

Gerry Lopez is a legend in the surfing community, not just in Hawaiʻi, but across the world. He was born in 1948, grew up in East Oʻahu, and learned to surf at a young age.

While in his 20s, he became one of the first to master Pipeline on Oʻahu’s North Shore. His innovative board designs helped launch his line of Lightning Bolt surfboards which became hugely popular in the 1970s. He’s also appeared in several classic films like "Big Wednesday", "North Shore," and "Conan the Barbarian."

He’s 73 now, and his life is the subject of the new documentary "The Yin and Yang of Gerry Lopez," which premiered at the Maui International Film Festival on Wednesday. The Conversation caught up with Lopez at his home in Oregon to talk surf stories.

This interview aired on The Conversation on July 6, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Russell Subiono is the executive producer of The Conversation and host of HPR's This Is Our Hawaiʻi podcast. Born in Honolulu and raised on Hawaiʻi Island, he’s spent the last decade working in local film, television and radio. Contact him at talkback@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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