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Shooting the Breeze on Radio Waves

August 19, 1993|Rick Fignetti and David Reyes | Rockin' Fig is Rick Fignetti, a Huntington Beach surfer/shop owner. Times staff writer David Reyes has reported on U.S. surf teams competing in Bali and Brazil. and

Yo, Figgy! What's been happening, man?

Well, coupla of the boys and I headed up to L.A. to do the "KROQ Love Line," a radio talk show. We were taking calls from listeners with their love problems.

Oh, gawd. Surfers loose in a radio station?


Did it get outta hand?

Well, not at first. I was with Richie Collins, former Top 5 pro surfer in the world from Newport Beach; Joey Hawkins, world pro long-board champion off a recent victory at the Southern California Edison contest at Huntington; Jeff Deffenbaugh, currently eighth on the U.S. Bud Tour, and Phil Fein, former runner-up in world amateurs for knee boarders.

Pretty good company there, Fig. Any reason why the station picked surfers for the show?

Usually, it's a rock band, but the Poor Man, who's the deejay, wanted to have something different. 'Sides, the surf was flat and the weather kinda sucks right now from all this June gloom in August.

What did you talk about?

Hawaii's Pipeline and stuff. Richie took a bad wipeout at the Pipeline and told us how crucial the wave sets up because it's really shallow there. The others had their own horror stories, but Richie said he busted his nose on the reef there and screwed up his knee.

Another caller wanted to know how long it takes from the time you start surfing until you should enter a surf contest. He said he had been surfing only a month. We told him you got a long way to go. It usually takes about two years, and that's surfing every day.

Aren't there amateur contests people can enter? You know, weekend contests where maybe a novice can grab a heat or two?

Yeah, there are amateur contests that are perfect for guys--or girls--who want to just have fun and surf a couple heats. But it takes more to get out of your first heat a winner. It takes some ability, strategy and a lot of luck.

Luck? I thought luck doesn't play a part in competitive surfing.

It does. A lot of the time the guys that are ripping in the early heats seem like they will take the contest. But one guy might have to surf five heats and another may only have to surf a coupla heats because he's seeded way up there.

A lot of the time you're surfing hard in a bunch of heats and then that one heat will just go PING! You can't score high and you're eliminated.

Gee, that sounds like a friend of mine at the recent U.S. championships at Oceanside.

'Zactly. Yup , I got aced. I needed one more wave in my heat and didn't get it. I got knocked out at the quarter finals.

Figgy, weren't you like, the No. 1 rated surfer for Senior Men's? What happened?

Luck. Fate. Karma. Destiny. It means I got ninth instead of first. Oh, well, I hope to do better in New York next year.

Is that all you talked about on the radio?

No, we talked about partner swapping, lesbianism, and Richie handled a question on homosexuality. His views and the callers' views didn't mix, and after that everything went loony for pro and con. The station's phones were ringing off the hook and the fax machine was going so fast, it ran outta paper.

Let me tell you, the boys went off\f7 !


TV: Prime Ticket has been carrying the U.S. Bud Tour events, but another show that's been showing great surf footage is Hawaii's "H2O," which is shown on cable and is narrated by Mark Foo and Mike Latronic. Their show with pro surfer Tom Curren ripping Jeffrey's Bay, South Africa, was awesome.

Contests: The Assn. of Surfing Professionals (ASP) tour heads for France. Figgy says that means such top pro surfers as Collins, Taylor Knox, Chris Brown and others are leaving California for Europe. First up is Lacanau, France, now through Sunday, then Rip Curl Pro Landes at Hossegor, France, on Wednesday, and the Quiksilver Surf Masters in Biarritz, France, on Sept. 1.

Photo session: The Huntington Beach Pierfest celebration, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 21-22, will feature never previously exhibited surfboards from the International Surfing Museum. The outdoor display will be on the sand, north of the pier. The unusual showing will feature racks of Hawaiian aloha shirts for use by the public during photo sessions with the long boards. Photographers will donate their time. For more information, contact the museum, (714) 960-3483.

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