- WSL / Kelly Cestari

While all eyes have rightly been on the action going down on the North Shore of Oahu lately, the U.S. West Coast has quietly been on the cook for the last few weeks as well. Everywhere from Santa Cruz to San Diego has had their moments, but if there's been one wave that embodies that good, old California gold it's Tom Curren's beautifully threaded backside barrel.

Caught somewhere between Malibu and Rincon, the 56-year-old, three-time World Champ puts together a seemingly effortless read on a wave that looks like something he would have paddled into 30 years ago when he lived in France and feasted on Hossegor's beachbreak barrels. And from what we can tell from the video, it looks like he's even riding a relatively conventional board. (Pulled from the used board rack at the nearby Channel Islands factory perhaps?)

Growing up surfing this zone, Curren's plenty familiar with how good it can get when all the elements come together. And when the New Year came marching in, the winds howled, the west swell pumped and the tide dropped, and the man himself was in exactly the right place at the right time ... because that's what Curren does, he shows up and makes magic.

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