To know Gerry Lopez is to know a gentle, content soul. Especially these days. The time I’ve spent with him has always felt so easy. He almost makes one feel comfortable in one’s own skin. But perfection is an illusion at best. And any person in my position knows there was another side to Gerry. The old guard, especially, knew even better. Gerry’s persona during his prime was much, much different. “He’s this mellow guy on shore, and just a tiger shark in the water.” Gerry would admit that himself.
Which he does In The Yin and Yang of Gerry Lopez from director Stacy Peralta and writer Sam George – an authentic portrayal of a truly authentic human. His relationship with yoga is famous. But beyond that, we get to hear about Gerry’s competitive nature, his nastiness in the lineup, and utter focus he had when it came to getting his – a pursuit to become one of the most well known (see iconic) barrel riders ever. With Banzai Pipeline as the best supporting actor.
Stories are always better told when the warts of the protagonist are clearly visible, when they aren’t brushed over with makeup. In Yin and Yang, we don’t just get the warts, we get intimacy. Intimate looks at the why of Gerry: the business failures, the triumphs, his family dynamics, his relationship with G-Land and exploratory surfing – a look followers of the pursuit really want.
Gerry Lopez isn’t perfect. He has flaws. Just like you. Just like me. And until now, it seems he’s been able to avoid talking about them in any public forum. Thankfully, two gifted story tellers, Peralta and George, were able to coax those intimate, sometimes uncomfortable, details out of him with skilled nuance.
Listen to our conversation with Gerry Lopez on The Inertia podcast, here.