Something monumental occurred in the world of surfing as we entered the early ’80s. Suddenly the sport – previously associated with the likes of VW bus-dwelling hippies and beach bums – went mainstream; transforming into a multimillion then multibillion-dollar industry seemingly overnight.
What followed – at least internally – was a transition from tranquil kick-backs to hard-partying drug use amongst the surf culture’s newly rich and famous. Now, ironically hidden behind the veil of health, vitality and clean living was a lifestyle of wild parties, long nights, and copious amount of cocaine. Chas Smith’s unapologetic Cocaine + Surfing attempts to peel back the curtain of this industry – exposing the overdoses, cover-ups, occasionally deadly dealings with the drug, and the reckless lifestyle that permeated beneath the surface of what appeared at the time to be a budding wholesome industry.