Senior Editor

The Inertia

When Tom Curren and Rip Curl released the film Free Scrubber, it was met with great excitement. That’s because Tom Curren is… well, Tom-freaking Curren. In the film, he headed to Mexico with his old friend Buggs Arico and photographer Andy Potts.

It was at the beginning of the pandemic and they were looking for a break from the shit show that the U.S. was becoming. “Disease, riots, protest – a hot bed of change, emotion and confusion,” the Rip Curl team wrote. “As usual, Tom took to the ocean as a way of making sense of it.”

There wasn’t much of a hard plan — just a few friends heading down for a month and a half to see what would happen. They ended up at Punta Conejo, just surfing and making music, blissfully and purposefully tucked away from what was going on elsewhere.


“Over the period Rip Curl had sporadic contact with the crew,” the post on the Rip Curl site continues. “Sometimes from Andy trying to get home and back to Australia and back to the USA (that’s another story for another time), other times from Tom himself to wish us all well when things looked uncertain and to talk surf.”

The film turned out to be a work of art. It’s hard to get a feel for what a man like Tom Curren is really like, but Free Scrubber was a deeper look at who he is now than anything else we’ve seen in a while. It was also, as you’d imagine, an incredible display of his surfing.

Since the film’s debut, the team that created it has been releasing little chunks of footage that landed on the cutting room floor. Not quite right for the film itself, but just right for a few little shorts. The one you see above is the fourth in the series, and, just like the others, it’s a wonderful few minutes of Tom Curren surfing in Mexico.


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