‘‘I was an arrogant, foolish young man with talent, celebrity and opportunity but without a shred of respect for my blessings. The problem of course is that cocaine is the perfect enabling experience for just this kind of dickheadedness.’’
Raised on a prawn trawler, Gary honed his wave riding in the isolated mid-ocean wilderness of the Great Barrier Reef, then fell in to surfing and its hedonistic lifestyle with voracious energy.
Cutting a swathe through the industry, living the life, getting the girls, partying with celebs, taking the drugs — it all added up to a very good time until he woke up one day and found his nickname and reputation had become the 100-pound gorilla on his back, one which it was going to be very tough to rid himself of. But what do you do when everything around you, including the industry you’re in, encourages your bad behaviour and then punishes you for it?
Here, in a hilarious, rollicking, no-holds-barred account, Kong uncovers the good, the bad and the often ugly world of pro-surfing, and with it a great Australian story.
Rival surfer Kelly Slater says: ‘Elko is an epic, legendary figure in pro surfing. I’m glad it’s all in the past and I can enjoy memories now! Ha, ha!’