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Gerry Lopez


Gerry Lopez

Gerry Lopez 1

Gerry Lopez, also known as Mr. Pipeline among the surf enthusiasts, is an American professional surfer, a surfboard shaper, a journalist, and a movie actor. Only a handful of people can claim that they have changed the history of a sport. Gerry Lopez is one of those people who single handedly made Pipeline the most popular and an incredible wave to surf.

Early Life

Lopez was born on November 7, 1948 in East Honolulu, Hawaii. He grew up there and went to Punahou School. He was interested in surfing since an early age. He often used to surf the reef breaks in Aina Haina and Metro-Honolulu. His inspiration was an elegant surfer of that time, Paul Strauch. When Lopez was 14, he won the Hawaii State Championship which encouraged him to practice surfing even more seriously. After becoming a champ, he gradually sharpened his skills as a casual yet brave tube rider.

Career: Surfing, Acting and Surfboard Shaping

Later, Lopez migrated to North Shore of Oahu with his surfer buddies where they used to observe professional surfers like Butch Van Gerry LopezArtsdalen and Jock Sutherland braving the waves. Gerry himself gained worldwide recognition as the best tube rider when he performed at Pipeline. In 1972 and 1973, he won the Pipeline Masters Competition which has now been renamed as Gerry Lopez Pipeline Masters. He also explored various surf spots around the globe and is particularity famous in Indonesia where he rode the dangerous left-hand pointbreak in the natural reserve of Plengkung. On windy days, Lopez also used to do windsurfing, one of his favorite sports. Besides surfing, Lopez has played a major role in sailboard and surfboard shaping and manufacturing. He has fashioned his own surfboard line and named it Lightning Bolt Surfboards. The surfboard with a noticeable and stylish lightening bolt, the signature sign of the brand, is still a popular choice among the surfers. In 2002, he was awarded the Shaper of the Year Award by Surfing Magazine.

Lopez has also starred in quite a few movies and surfing documentaries. He frequently appeared in movies directed by his ex-surfer friend, John Milius. In 1982, he acted in the film Conan the Barbarian with Arnold Schwarzenegger. His other work includes Big Wednesday (1978), North Shore (1987), and Farewell to the King (1989), Five Summer Stories (1973), Tales From The Tube, Step Into Liquid (2003), and Riding Giants (2004). Today, Lopez resides in Bend, Oregon with his family. He has a wife Toni and a son, Alex. Moreover, Lopez has now developed a passion for snow boarding as well. He is honing snowboards along with surf boards which are still a commercial success. No matter what the quest is, Gerry Lopez faces the challenge with an impeccable grace.

A Tribute to Gerry Lopez aka Mr. Pipeline

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