Wednesday, January 7, 2009
RIP Tommy Lewis
Tommy Lewis and John Cherry - Cardiff Reef-1985
It sadens me to here about Tommy. i spent many a happy morning or afternoon surfing Cardiff Reef with Tommy in the 60's, 70's and 80's. I learned a fair amount about shaping and building boards from Tommy too. Tommy cranked out a lot of great boards from his Northshore-ish shaping hut out in Olivenhain, the same place he built his glass-over wood skiffs that he made his living fishing from.
I was absolutely jazzed when I got to buy his purple lobster skiff and beach-launch trailer from him in 1986. I think he charged me about twice what it was worth. Tommy was also a wheeler-dealer. But I didn't care.
I remember standing on the beach in the late 70's, watching Tommy standing in the back of his 15' skiff (also purple)with his hand on the outboard tiller. He was racing north and south, in and out, over and through the whitewater, looking for a break in the 10'-12' mostly closeout surf, just south of Georges. It was absolutely crazy. It took him about 15 minutes.....but he made it. Tommy Lewis was the BOMB! I'll miss him.