Our surf world semi-regularly reaches out and touches greater pop culture. Danny Fuller, for instance, becomes the face of Chanel Allure Homme Sport Eau Extreme. Or Chasing Maverick’s plays in movie theaters across the nation. It is usually an unremarkable encounter. Pop culture observes, shrugs and goes back to whatever it was doing before. The surf world does the same.
Almost ten years ago, though, there was a pop culture/surf world union that went tragically under reported and under celebrated. Sam George, ex-editor of both Surfing and Surfer, married Nia Peeples.
Let the weight of this sink in for a moment. Sam George, the writer of flowery prose and wearer of flowery shirts. The excitable pundit who appears in most surf documentaries using every superlative in the English language. The man with small hoop earrings and a mane so full, blonde and luxurious that it was Gucci before there was a Gucci Mane. Sam George. Married Nia Peeples. The famous 1980s dance hit sensation who also starred in the hit 1980s TV show Fame but most importantly starred as Kiani in North Shore. The best surf film ever made.
You remember Kiani don’t you? She rode up on a horse after Rick Kane wiped out at the Banzai Pipeline and rubbed aloe on his wounds. Her hair was impossibly chestnut. Her skin was flawless. Remember when Kiani and Rick went for a jeep ride and got rained on? She was the most beautiful flower on earth. But, just as every rose has its thorn, Kiani had her cousin Vince. Vince was the bearded and angry leader of Da Hui, a fictional surf gang that brutalized Rick Kane. Vince did not want Kiani to be with Rick because he was a haole. She was forbidden fruit, which made her that much more desirable.
I do not recall how Rick and Kiani’s relationship worked out but clearly he did not marry her because Sam George did. And, in so doing, he married the dream. He married the very apparition of surf sexy. We, apparently, were not invited to the wedding. Maybe Vince did not want us there. Maybe Sam George had to steal her away and marry her, like Romeo married his Juliet, in secret.
Whatever the case, we should celebrate their union today. We should go out and raise a frosty cold Mai Tai and shout, “To Sam George and Nia Peeples!” We should let the haole church bells ring.