Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Surfing Year 1961

 Aloha and welcome to this LEGENDARY SURFERS chapter on the year 1961 as it related to the world of surfing.

I am indebted to the many people who are credited throughout the text and whose work is listed in the endnotes. I have gone after the most credible sources available; the subjects themselves, those close to them, or insightful writers who fully understood what went on.

The chapter is, unfortunately, merely an outline of all that was going on that year, and mostly the things I found interesting.

As usual with my chapters on time periods, the dates of things are approximate and in some cases could be incorrect. I did my best guess on the time frame and what to include, but assuredly, it requires more date checking for complete accuracy.

In spite of its warts and all, I hope you enjoy this look at a special time in surfing’s history.

-- Malcolm Gault-Williams


Mike Doyle in Santa Barbara

No Pants Lance

Jim Wicker

Second & Third Editions of The Surfer

Tandem Surfing

The Islands

First Retail Surf Shop on O`ahu

Aussies on the North Shore, 1st Time

Hot Doggers vs. Big Wave Riders

Miki “Da Cat” Dora

The Banzai Pipeline

Phil Edwards: 1st Filmed Pipeline Ride

Outside Pipeline




Mike Doyle in Santa Barbara


“Halfway through that winter,” wrote Mike Doyle of the Winter of 1960-61, “just before I turned twenty, I came back to California and enrolled at Cabrillo Junior College in Santa Barbara... After the excitement of surfing twenty-foot waves in Hawaii, everything in college looked pretty tame to me. I had way too much restless energy, not nearly enough self-discipline, and I didn’t have even the vaguest idea how to go about studying.

“Going to college didn’t mean I was ready to give up surfing. In fact, one reason I chose to go to school in Santa Barbara was that I knew how good the surf was at Rincon, just down the coast a ways.”1

Mike Doyle went on to talk about that time in his life when he lived close to Hammonds and Rincon: “I... rented a house on Butterfly Lane with four other guys: Garth Murphy, Bill Engler, Lance Carson, and Kemp Aaberg, who were also attending Cabrillo. It was a beautiful, Tudor-style house owned by the Music Academy of the West. They had about ten houses that were supposed to be for gifted music students, but we talked the academy into renting it to us anyway -- a decision I’m sure they came to regret.

“Each of the guys staying there at the Butterfly Lane house had a whole pack of friends who came up from the South Bay every weekend. They weren’t in school; they just wanted to surf Rincon, hang out, get drunk, and act crazy.

“Something gets into young people at that age -- a real craving for the outrageous and absurd. Maybe it’s a normal and healthy reaction to two decades of education. I don’t know what it is, but you see it today just like you did in those days.”2



No Pants Lance


“Another time at the Butterfly Lane house,” Mike Doyle told of Lance Carson from that time when he lived in Montecito, not far from Hammonds, “when Lance had an audience of maybe thirty people, he went into some kind of self-induced fit. He started breathing deeply, hyperventilating, until the veins in his neck bulged out. Then he smashed his fists into the walls and started breaking windows with his bare hands, yelling, ‘I’m gonna kill myself! I’m gonna do it this time!’ Lance didn’t really want to kill himself. It was just a strange mood he used to get into from time to time.

“Just then we heard the train coming down the tracks toward our house. Lance’s eyes opened wide, and he started chanting, ‘I’m gonna throw myseld in front of the train! ... I’m gonna throw myself in front of the train!’

“The train track was only about sixty feet behind the house. Lance dashed out the back door and ran to meet the train. A bunch of people who didn’t know Lance’s mood ran out after him, shouting, ‘No Lance! Don’t do it!’ A bunch more of us followed, mostly just curious to see how far Lance would take it this time.

“With his audience all in place, at the very last second, Lance threw himself in front of the train.

“From our perspective, it looked awfully close. Maybe Lance made it all the way across the tracks, or maybe this time he became the victim of his own joke. At any rate, there was nothing we could do until the train had passed. So we stood there for two or three minutes, saying, ‘Should we call the ambulance, or do you think he made it?’

“‘I don’t see how he could have!’

“As the last car finally rattled on by, we were ready to dash across the tracks and rescue whatever was left of our mangled friend. But instead of blood and gore, what we saw was even worse. Lance had his pants down around his ankles, and he was bent over showing us his hairy butt, using both hands to spread his cheeks as wide as they would go.”3



Jim Wicker


“One of Lance Carson‘s biggest rivals when it came to wildness was a guy named Jim Wicker,” Mike Doyle wrote. “He had a beautiful old woody that would be a real collector’s item, today, but Wicker had no regard for it at all. It was really embarrassing to drive with him. One day when we were coming back from the beach, Wicker knocked down a stop sign, drove over the curb and down a whole block of yards, across fences and hedges, peeling over lawns and rose gardens, smashing sprinklers and tricycles. When he got to the end of the block, he drove over the curb again, then continued driving slowly down the street without even looking back to see the damage he’d done.”4

“One time,” continued Doyle, “Wicker went into a little market to buy a Coke. When the cashier, an Asian woman, told him how much it was, he reached into his pocket for the change, but his pocket had a big hole in it. He reached through the hole, grabbed his weenie and pulled it out of his pocket. ‘No,’ Wicker said, ‘that’s not the right change.’ And he stuffed it back into his pants.”5

“Another time three of us were riding in Wicker’s woody to Baja,” Doyle went on, “where we were going surfing for the day. We passed a carload of girls, so all three of us lined up against the rear window and gave them a bare-assed moon shot. We laughed and laughed, thinking what a wild bunch of guys we were. But a few minutes later, the carload of girls came roaring by us, and all of them except the driver had their pink little butts pressed up against the windows. We didn’t think it was funny -- in fact it kind of scared us to think there were girls that crazy driving around on the highway.

“We pulled in at the Long Bar, in Tijuana, which was a mandatory stop-off for surfers. Inside the bar was a guy who had a hand generator -- you would hold tow wires while the guy cranked the handle, and a meter showed how many amps you were getting. It was a macho thing to see who could take the biggest shock. Wicker held onto the wires so long he fell over and passed out. I don’t know if it was cardiac arrest or what, but we just poured a little beer on his face and shook him for a while until he came to.”6


It was a unique time in America. Politically, it was known as the “Camelot” years, when President John F. Kennedy was in the White House and anything seemed possible. Although narrowly beating Richard Nixon in the 1960 elections, Kennedy became an extremely popular president -- at least in the northern and urban parts of the country. His attractive wife Jacqueline and the rest of the “Kennedy clan“ were likewise well thought of through much of the country. Publicly unknown at the time, however, Kennedy was having an affair with film star Marilyn Monroe. One source has it that on February 20, 1961, “Peter Lawford, a female companion, Marilyn Monroe and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of U.S. hang out at Malibu, accompanied by Secret Service.”7



Second & Third Editions of The Surfer


The second edition of John Severson‘s The Surfer was distributed a year after the first one. The Spring 1961 5,000 copy pressrun sold out in less than three months. “Without pause,” wrote Matt Warshaw, “Severson’s creation went from upstart to institution.”8

A masthead appeared in the third issue, with three names below Severson’s. “About two magazines into this boom,” Severson recalled, “I realized that I was a publisher and an editor, by the accident of success. At this time, I was committed to filmmaking, and that was already full time. Now a parallel career was unavoidable.

“Although graphic arts was my strong suit, and I could manage as an editor, publishing was a mystery... If there was any hidden traps, I figured I’d find them as I went along.

“They found me. Problems with distribution, mailing, personnel, taxes, printing, finances, politics, competition, advertising pressure, ad infinitum marched into my life -- and not one at a time.”9

“Editing was fun in terms of putting the package together,” continued Severson. “As for words, I managed to get more in all the time, running roughshod over syntax and spelling. What the magazine lacked in polish it made up for in enthusiasm, and our young audience was stoked. Teachers were astounded when surfers read. School libraries subscribed to Surfer. The editor was encouraged.

“I can’t even use the editorial ‘we’ for the first quarterlies, because there wasn’t a staff. I ran around California and Hawaii showing my latest movie. I would film, shoot stills and surf, not necessarily in that order. My wife, Louise, also shot stills, and we took most of the magazine photos. I wrote the articles and laid out the magazine in the garage. I had help with the ad sales and a secretary who worked after school. By the third issue we were out of the garage and into an office in downtown Dana Point. Dale Cole came on as full-time manager and advertising salesman. A staff was born. Which was lucky, because the first quarterly print run of 5,000 boomed to 55,000 a year later when we went bimonthly.”10



Tandem Surfing


“I was at a little surfing contest in Doheny one day,” recalled Mike Doyle, “talking to Benny Merrill. Benny had been surfing since the early Thirties and was one of the San Onofre regulars I admired most. I knew he had done some tandem surfing back in his younger days, and I told him, ‘You know, that tandem looks like fun. Some day I’d like to give that a try.’

“The next thing I knew, Benny had me out in the water on a tandem board with his daughter, Linda.”11

“Linda Merrill was about five-foot-two, with an hourglass figure. She was a very good surfer and paddler, and she was able to help me maneuver that big board into the waves. Also, she was a goofy foot, so when she stood up it was easy for me to reach around her arm and lift her into a shoulder swan.

“Linda and I had a great time that day, and we even managed to learn a few of the traditional tandem moves. The last event of the contest was the tandem, so Linda and I entered it. We finished dead last, but we didn’t let that discourage us. We made a promise to each other that we would keep practicing tandem surfing together as often as we could.”12

“The next tandem contest Linda and I entered, we placed fourth, which we took as encouragement. By now I was beginning to discover how talented Linda really was. Not only was she extremely agile and graceful, but she was fearless. When she did one-legged shoulder stands, she kept her composure and trusted me to hold her. And when the surf got large, then we really excelled. In eight-foot surf, when the wave broke, she didn’t panic; she would dive off, I’d ride the board through, then I’d come back to get her. So we were able to catch more waves than most tandem teams.

“I had a few natural talents at tandem surfing, too. I was bigger than most surfers -- about 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds -- which made it easier for me to do the lifts. I was a strong paddler, I appreciated the ballet-like grace of tandem, and I got along well with the girls. There weren’t a lot of surfers my age who would compete in tandem contests. Tandem wasn’t macho enough for them. But that’s exactly what I liked about it. Tandem surfing was a good excuse to get away from the chest-pounding guys and go play with the girls for a while.

“Linda and I kept practicing our tandem surfing, and in our third tandem contest, at San Clemente, we placed first against top competition. After that, she and I won almost every tandem event we entered.”13

“In those days,” continued Doyle, “top competition in the tandem meant Pete Peterson. Pete, who had a number of tandem partners over the years, was in his late fifties by this time. He was bald and very fair skinned -- neither are great assets for anybody who spends all his time in the sun -- but he was a brilliant all-around waterman. I really admired Pete, and it was my goal to keep surfing as long as he had. He’d been a legend as a surfer before I was even born and knew far more tandem moves than I could ever learn. The only way Linda and I could beat Pete and his partners was to rely on our youthful strength.”14

“Another great tandem competitor in those days,” Doyle went on, “was Hobie Alter, who had a very successful surf shop in Dana Point. Hobie was a good friend of Phil Edwards, and was an important innovator in surfboard design. Hobie was a bit small for tandem, but he was wiry and strong. He could pick up girls as big as himself and press them over his head. Oddly, Hobie was a chain-smoker. In his van the ashtrays were always full and spilling over onto the console, seats, and the floor. He smoked Kents, the ones with the fiberglass filters. Just the smell of them reminded me of the sanding room in a surfboard shop. I couldn’t believe anybody who made surfboards would inhale something that smelled like that. But Hobie was a great tandem surfer, and some people credit him with revitalizing tandem surfing in the Sixties.”15



The Islands


“I used to drive an old hearse in the Islands,” began Greg Noll, in recollections about his friends Mike Stange, Jim Fisher & the other North Shore Hall of Famers in his autobiography DA BULL, Life Over the Edge. “When we went to the North Shore to surf, we’d sleep in it. You’d have to roll up all the windows and plug up every hole to keep out the mosquitoes. We’d get cotton balls and try to plug up every potential entryway we could find before we’d even dare try to sleep. But the little buggers would find a way -- they’d get under the hood and belly-crawl up the accelerator pedal and get us every time...”16

“Airfare to Hawaii was always the biggest outlay for surfers,” Noll continued. “Once you got there, there was usually someone you knew to stay with, or several guys would rent a place together.

“For a few years, surfers used an airline called U.S.O.A. It was founded by an old lobster fisherman, Frank Donohue. The airfare was cheap, something like $75 one way, and the flight was horrifying. Those old DC-6s looked and sounded like they had been glued together with flour paste. It took forever to get to Hawaii. Guys would be crapped out in the aisles. You’d spend a week recovering from one of those flights.

“I was publishing a surfing annual at the time. I gave Donohue an ad and he gave me a free ticket. I’m not sure now if that was a fair trade. I had to wait two days in the airport for the flight to take off. It wasn’t so much that the flights were unscheduled -- Donohue just wouldn’t take off until there were enough passengers to make it worth it...”17



First Retail Surf Shop on O`ahu


“In the early sixties,” recalled Dick Metz of the embryonic surf industry, “there weren’t that many retail surf stores anywhere. Most of the guys making boards sold them where they made them, so the common surf shop was also a surfboard factory. Hobie Alter‘s first store in Dana Point was like that, until he moved the board-making operation down the road a ways and converted the store to retail only.

“In 1961 I opened the first retail surf shop in the Islands, Hobie Sports, in Honolulu. There was another surf shop there at the time, Joe ‘Kitchens’ Kuala‘s Inter Island Surfboards, but this was also a factory. At the Hobie Sports shop, you could order a custom board, but most of the inventory was ready to go.

“Over the next couple of years, as different surfboard manufacturers from the Mainland came to the Islands, they saw how well Hobie Sports was doing and decided that they wanted to do the same. Some of them asked me to carry their boards in my shop, but since it was called Hobie Sports and specialized in Hobie Surfboards, I thought it might be a conflict of interest.

“To solve that problem and also to be able to do business with other surfboard manufacturers, I opened a second store called Surf Line Hawaii and acted as a distributor for various Mainland board makers, including Reynolds Yater, Dewey Weber, Don Hansen, Bing Copeland, Gordon & Smith and Greg Noll. This gave kids in Hawaii access to all the major California surfboard manufacturers. I took in a partner, Dave Rochlen. Soon afterwards, he and his wife started the Jams surf trunk craze and devoted all their energy to the clothing end of the business. So we brought over Freddie Schwartz, a friend of Dave’s from Santa Monica, to run the shop.”18



Aussies on the North Shore, 1st Time


Bob Cooper was blowing foam for Dale Velzy when The Hawk got a letter from board builder Barry Bennett, in Sydney, Australia. Bennett wanted info about the foam making process. Cooper wanted to checkout Australia, so he went over knowing there would be work for him when he arrived. “He stayed a couple of nights with Bennett before settling into the Manly surf scene in a flat with Mick Dooley and Wheels Williams,” wrote Nat Young. “He had seen Bud Browne‘s movies of local surfers at Manly and thought he knew what to expect, but there was one young surfer around who was head and shoulders above the rest: Bernard ‘Midget’ Farrelly. Cooper was astounded at his natural ability and go-for-it attitude, and recognized that Midget was already mastering the Californian (Dora and Edwards) style of surfing. Cooper encouraged the young surfer and kept him informed of what was happening in the United States; Midget and his mates even began wearing American-style board shorts and adapting themselves to the American surf image. Cooper also kept pumping Midget on how good the waves were over in the Islands. So, in 1961 Midget and a group of other surfers... Charlie Cardiff, Dave Jackman, Bob Pyke, Owen Pillon, Mike Hickey, Mick McMann, Tank Henry, Gordon Simpson, Nipper Williams and Graham Treloar... booked passages on the Oriana and, for the first time, Australians set out to ride the waves of Hawaii. Bob Evans went along too, to film the action for his first surf movie and to take a few pictures for the first issue of Surfing World.”19

“That first year was a barrel of laughs,” continued Young. “It was whispered by Californians and Hawaiians that in Hawaii in 1961 you could spot the Aussie by his cozzy, and in the ninth international surfing championships at Makaha that was true. Australia didn’t do too well in the contest, but the experience gained from the first year was invaluable.”20



Hot Doggers vs. Big Wave Riders


“With more and more Californians coming to the Islands,” wrote Nat Young, “two distinct factions had become apparent: small wave riders were the majority, made up of newly arrived Californians and local kids who only surfed in town; and then there were the prestigious big-wave riders, made up of older Hawaiians and the very best of the Californians. Some Hawaiians and Californians could perform in both big and small surf, and these were the real heroes: Buffalo Keaulana, Conrad Cunha, Paul Gebauer, Pat Curren, Mike Doyle, Phil Edwards, Joey Cabell, L.J. Richards, Mickey Dora, Ricky Grigg and Paul Strauch.”21



Mickey “Da Cat” Dora


“No one surfer from the fifties and sixties has managed to create the kind of mystique that surrounded, and continues to surround, Mickey Dora,” began Greg Noll in his recollections of this other legend. “Dora worked hard to create a legendary persona for himself. This persona enabled the real Dora to hide from the rest of the world.

“Different people who knew Dora have described him as sensitive, crazy and erratic. He was a colorful, unpredictable guy who loved a good caper. And he was more. Despite what anyone thought of him as a person, as a surfer, Dora was a genius. He was a tremendous athlete who surfed with a beautiful, smooth, natural style. Dora’s influence can be seen in every surfer from that era who ever dared to invade Dora’s home turf of Malibu. Every surfer, and even kids who didn’t surf, tried to copy the way Dora walked, talked and surfed. To this day, Dora is a Malibu legend. The famous wall at the beach there always has Dora’s name on it, or some saying about Dora, such as ‘DORA LIVES.’ The county comes along now and then and paints over all the graffiti on the wall, and the next day somebody has spray-painted Dora’s name there again.

“In fact, a couple of years ago, Laura and I and our two children... were on our way back from a trip and we drove by Malibu. The kids had never been there and wanted to stop. It was a winter day, nobody on the beach. I pulled over to let the kids walk along the beach. We went to take a look at the wall, and noticed Dora’s name among the graffiti. In one place, it also said, ‘DA BULL,’ and in another it said, ‘DA CAT IS KING.’”22

Noll went on to talk about the surfboard he and Dora collaborated on and which, in the mid-1990s they reissued: “Over twenty years have gone by since Dora and I made that board together, and somebody still remembered [Da Cat model surfboard].”23

“Dora was a rebel. The freedom of the surfing lifestyle suited him perfectly. Although he agreed to let me make a signature board for him in the mid-sixties, he hated the surf industry, which he felt had ruined the purity of the sport. Even though I made my living making surfboards, I had to agree with him on that point.”24

“Dora was a bright guy,” continued Noll, “and had a very quick mind, but it was all turned toward the con. I talk about the capers we all loved to pull on each other -- they were pretty harmless diversions. Dora’s thing got so bad, so far out in the wrong direction, that the capers became reality and his whole life turned to conning people to get by. It was rumored that he got caught writing bad checks, using stolen or forged credit cards. Some people said that he’d get into Hollywood parties by passing as an actor and then things like fur coats and valuables that had been left in the coat closet would disappear... along with Mickey, slipping away into the mist. I don’t know if that was ever proved. With Dora, it’s hard to tell which part of his story is myth and which part is truth. He did leave the country in the early seventies to avoid arrest. The mystique surrounding the guy never dies.”25

“I think Dora is known more for what he didn’t do than for what he did,” Noll said. “He was the kind of guy who would create a situation, like a surf contest in his name, and then not show up. He’d organize all the players in a situation, then sit back and watch the outcome. I think he liked to create chaos.

“This happened with a girl Dora liked. As far as I knew, it was the closest thing that he ever came to seriously getting involved with a girl. Dora was going to the Islands, and he asked this friend of his, Frenchy, who was a maitre d’ at a Hollywood restaurant, for some help in getting this girl on the same airplane. Dora thought it might be nice if he and the girl could spend some time together in Hawaii.

“Frenchy spends a lot of energy putting this thing together. Then Dora gets on the airplane and finds this girl sitting in the seat next to him, and he becomes totally enraged. ‘What are you doing here?’ he shouts at her. ‘You’re going to ruin my trip to the Islands!’

“When Dora found himself getting into a situation where he might be forced into a closeness with someone, he backed off. He couldn’t handle it. He walked off the plane, told Frenchy that he never wanted to speak to him again.”26

“Dora had a funny sense of humor and had a lot of quirks,” Noll went on. “He’d talk with various phony accents, use his hands to gesture while he was talking or surfing. He cared about things you wouldn’t think he’d care about. When I was building his signature board, he’d get fan mail every day. Sometimes we wouldn’t see him for a couple weeks. When he’d finally come in the shop, there’d be a stack of fan letters waiting for him. He’d go off in a corner and read every letter, then write a reply to every one of them. He really cared.”27



The Banzai Pipeline


“I remember one day in 1957,” Fred Van Dyke wrote of the North Shore’s Banzai Pipeline, “when Pat Curren and I were camped on the lot where Warren Harlowe, another pioneer, lives now. The huge surf was washing under our trucks, and we’d climbed a tree to watch the shorebreak which is now called Pipeline.

“Pat said, ‘Yeah, maybe in 2000 years this place will be surfed.’”28



Phil Edwards: 1st Filmed Pipeline Ride


“Anything over 18 feet is not surfing,” wrote Phil Edwards about size of surf.

“It is a Rite of Manhood,” he corrected. “The fun has suddenly been separated from the serious business and it is you, alone, against the world. You are wearing a big-gun board -- say an 11-footer -- under your feet and you find, on top, looking down, that it is pitifully small against the water. But it is a thing you must do...

“Which brings us... to the Banzai Pipeline.

“It was the winter of 1961. Bruce Brown and I were on the north shore, on the Hawaiian leg of Surfing Hollow Days. We had shot some footage at Sunset Beach, where the surf was crashing in fearfully. And all was going well. Still, I could see from the top of Sunset’s humped-up waves that something was happening at the beach next door...”29

“For one thing, the waves were perfect. The surf was rolling in 15 feet high. Running along the top of each wave was an enormous curl. More than a foot of spray was zinging off the top in the wind -- and from the beach I could hear it sizzle. The curls were bending over to form tubes. Holland Tunnels, the sort of tubes a man could actually get inside. If he was lucky. No. If he was crazy.

“Bruce and I walked over and sat on the beach and watched the thing, each with our eyes squinted, taking imaginary rides on the sets as they came hammering home. And each time, mentally, we wiped out.

“‘Shall I?’ I asked Bruce.

“‘If you want,’ he said. ‘But I can’t ask you to do it for me. The thing is clear murder, old buddy.’

“I agreed and we went back to Sunset. Still, the perfect wave kept sucking me back. And I would stand along the shoreline, alone, and stare into it. And it would stare into me until we were at a standoff. I began to ask around about it. Casual. Wild-eyed.

“‘Yeah,’ they all said. ‘We know’, ‘Uh-huh.’ And, ‘Great sets,’ they all said, nodding at it wisely. ‘But it turns out you can’t surf them. Turns out the reason they’re so sneaky and perfect like that is that the bottom shoals up very quickly there. Makes for a pure, motherless curl, all right. But what you don’t know is that the bottom is full of coral; I mean full. Whoo-eee. And it lies less than five feet under the water. You fall off your board there, you get cut all into little old pieces. As simple as that.’”30

“But I was getting, deep inside my stomach,” continued Phil Edwards, “that pre-pumped feeling about it. Kept looking down into that tube of water. It was making me miserable. Not only does misery love company, it also is pretty fond of more misery.

“‘I’ll tell you what,’ I said. ‘I’ll go ride the thing if you guys will come along. And I’ll go first.’

“No takers Then, next day, the water was calm and flat and I picked up my Gun and went back to Banzai. I paddled out into it and looked down into a sort of blue-green coral horror. They were right: there were miniature spires and jagged fingers of coral sticking up just below the surface. I kept looking down into it and thinking, ‘Oh, Jesus, and I’ve got to do it, too.’ I lay down, sun baking into my back, and explored the entire area. On one end, where the water rushed off toward Sunset Beach on the northeast, there was a stretch of pure sand. Which meant: if someone could make it intact across the coral, he could get off there.

“If he could make it across the coral.”31

Sounds pretty exaggerated, reading it today, eh? Thes ridden every day it produces a wave. Untold thousands have ridden it and while there have been injuries, Edwards’ melodrama seems a bit much. Even for then. After all, had ridden it successfully two years before, on his first trip to the Islands, September 1959. Before him, some of the Hot Curl bodysurfers like Fran Heath had ridden the place. And, who knows who else?

“I went back and looked at Bruce; he looked at me and he knew that I was committed,” continued Edwards. “It had become a thing I had to do. Bruce decided to shoot the picture. We started to get ready.

“Next day, on schedule, the wind changed and Banzai came up again, viciously. It began to slam and hammer in about 18 feet high and we sat there on the beach and studied it.

“‘I think this,’ I told Bruce. ‘I think that even if the lousy bottom is do damn bad -- that if you plan the ride right -- the wave is so perfect, you just might make it.’

“Bruce agreed, looking at it. ‘You just might,’ he said. ‘Of course, you just might not, too.’ He still had his camera in the car, back up on the cliff. I took a deep breath.

“‘I’m about ready to go,’ I said. He started back up the path to get the camera and tripod to shoot the thing.

“It was midday, the sun was directly overhead, and the water danced with shimmer. Well, hell, clubbers, it is time to go. I threw the board into the water and started out into the surf.”32

Phil Edwards‘ caution was well founded, as the bottom is notoriously dangerous. Caution surfing a spot for the first time -- even one known to have been surfed before -- is the prudent approach for any surfer. And, at this point, as far as Edwards knew, he was the first to go out at what was soon to be known as the Banzai Pipeline.

“High on the path,” Edwards continued, “Bruce was walking back down, the camera already fixed on the tripod, the whole apparatus over his shoulder. He had figured that I had planned to take a little longer studying the surf. (Well, I had planned to take a little longer. But everything suddenly took on a tremendous immediacy.) He saw me plowing into it, rising up at the crest of each wave to look farther out, and he began to run down the beach, swinging the tripod around and holding it like a three-pronged spear in his arms.

“Out in the sea I saw the wave I wanted, and I took a deep breath and kicked the board around to let it surge up behind me. As it rose, I glanced over at the beach to check my lineup and began to paddle. It rose higher -- then higher -- and the big kick of it started to come on. I swung the tip of the board straight out into the air and stood up.

“I hadn’t counted on the view. The view at my feet. A guy can’t think of everything. Here I was, 18 feet aloft on the crest of the wave -- and at the bottom of it, where the water was sucked away, lay the jagged teeth of a jillion coral spires. ‘Hot damn!’ I thought, fleetingly, and rode straight down into them.”33

“Ashore,” Edwards went on, “Bruce had run to one end of the curl. He had no time to set up the tripod he began to shoot from the hip, holding down the button and running, crouched over, along with the wave.

“The wall was vertical. I took it to the bottom and then stepped back and dropped one knee; the coral was surging up. Then the board came around, smoothly, and suddenly I was parallel. Together, we were racing, the wave and I. Now it hunkered high up over me, hissing and singing, and I turned and looked up at it.

“The tube lay up there, all curled over. White and boiling. Moving faster than anything I had ever seen.

“Here I come, ready or not. I cranked the board into a tighter turn and began the climb back up the face of the wave. I hunched my shoulders and slashed through into the tube. It closed completely around me.

“My God! It was perfectly dry in there. You could have driven a truck through it. The pipe was swirling thinly on top and it was a burst of green crystal with shafts of sunlight coming through it. It was like a whirling cathedral, yet, immense, overpowering, somehow quiet. Only the inside edge of the board was dug into the water and we raced along together.”34

“At one point,” Phil Edwards continued his personal recollection of the first time he rode the Banzai Pipeline, “fighting for balance, I wheeled and leaned back against the wave. It held me up. Bitching! Then, suddenly, it began to collapse behind me and the curl started to dissolve. It folded up all at once.

“I could feel a sudden surge of strong water spurt through between my arms from behind me, and then between my legs. And the wave, as easily as it had swallowed me, spit me out the far side.

“I was out of it. And I knew I was over the sandy stretch of bottom. I was so jazzed I just went limp -- blaaaaaaah -- and fell off the board.

“The Banzai Pipeline. I named the thing.

“On shore, Bruce looked at me, quietly, and we both turned and walked back up the path to the car. Nobody said anything; at such a time, nobody speaks. Bad form. It is a ritual, I suppose. At the car, wiping my face with a towel, I muttered, ‘Let’s get the hell out of here,’ and Bruce nodded. Then we turned and looked back at the Pipeline.

“There were -- I promise you -- three or four guys out there, ready to ride it. Surfing is like that. It shall ever be thus.”35

In his book illustrated with the photographs of Ron Church, Ricky Grigg wrote this about Pipeline two years after Edwards broke it open: “It isn’t difficult to understand how the Banzai Pipeline got its name. Probably, the most top to bottom waves in the islands can be found here. More often than not, a surfer follows this exact sequence -- from top to bottom and over the falls. An abrupt change in the depth of the reef causes large waves to break in extremely shallow water. Sometimes an eighteen-foot wave will tower over a coral bottom only five feet down. Pity the poor surfer who falls on such a giant where bottom contact is inevitable and sometimes permanent. The inside tube is sheer suicide and cannot be recommended for even the most expert rider. Occasionally, a northwest swell will find the outside reef and provide a long, well-formed left slide. Good rides are the rule, but don’t let it be forgotten to pull out before the shorebreak! The only way to paddle out is to wait for a lull, as there is no channel. While fighting the waves to paddle out, a roaring current between the break and the beach can transport a surfer up the beach a half a mile in a matter of minutes. Hence, it’s better to wait on the beach for a lull. On second thought,” Grigg added in 1963, in an era when the break was being regularly ridden for the first time, “maybe it’s better to wait on the beach -- period.”36

Shortly after Phil Edwards opened the Banzai Pipeline up, and it became regularly ridden, eyes turned to the outside reef at Pipeline...



Outside Pipeline


“The years 1961 and ‘62,” wrote Fred Van Dyke, “were huge for surf. The Pipeline was officially filmed and ridden for the first time in January 1962. Rick Grigg, Peter Cole, Butch Van Artsdalen -- who later became known as ‘Mr. Pipeline‘ -- Bob Pike, one of the first from Australia, and Jose Angel rode Outside Pipeline at 15 feet plus.

“Jose achieved the ride of the day. It was a goofy foot‘s answer to a perfection wave. There were now Sunset surfers and Pipeline surfers. Rarely would the two mix, and this spread some of the great surfers out a little.”37



1  Doyle, Mike. Morning Glass, ©1993, pp. 96-97. Doyle was probably refering to Santa Barbara City College.

2  Doyle, Mike. Morning Glass, ©1993, p. 97. Butterfly Lane is close to the beach, in Montecito, between Santa Barbara and Summerland. Doyle placed it in Summerland, but this is inaccurate.

3  Doyle, Mike. Morning Glass, ©1993, pp. 97-98.

4  Doyle, Mike. Morning Glass, ©1993, p. 98.

5  Doyle, Mike. Morning Glass, ©1993, p. 98.

6  Doyle, Mike. Morning Glass, ©1993, pp. 98-99.

7  The Surfer’s Journal, Volume 1, Number 3, p. 44.

8  Warshaw, Matt. “Articles of Faith,” The Surfer’s Journal, Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 1996, p. 90.

9  Severson, John. “Stone Age Editing,” Surfer magazine, Volume 36, Number 10, October 1995, p. 47.

10  Severson, John. “Stone Age Editing,” Surfer magazine, Volume 36, Number 10, October 1995, p. 47.

11  Doyle, Mike. Morning Glass, ©1993, p. 100.

12  Doyle, Mike. Morning Glass, ©1993, p. 100.

13  Doyle, Mike. Morning Glass, ©1993, pp. 100-101.

14  Doyle, Mike. Morning Glass, ©1993, p. 101.

15  Doyle, Mike. Morning Glass, ©1993, p. 101.

16  Noll, Greg. DA BULL: Life Over The Edge, ©1989, p. ?

17  Noll, Greg. DA BULL: Life Over The Edge, ©1989, p. ?

18  Noll, Greg. DA BULL: Life Over The Edge, ©1989, p. 117.

19  Young, 1983, p. 91.

20  Young, 1983, p. 91.

21  Young, 1983, p. 91.

22  Noll, 1989, p. 129.

23  Noll, 1989, p. 129.

24  Noll, 1989, p. 129.

25  Noll, 1989, pp. 129-130.

26  Noll, 1989, p. 130.

27  Noll, 1989, p. 130.

28  Van Dyke, 1989, p. 37.

29  Edwards, 1967, pp. 151-152.

30  Edwards, 1967, p. 152.

31  Edwards, 1967, pp. 152-153.

32  Edwards, 1967, p. 153.

33  Edwards, 1967, pp. 153-154.

34  Edwards, 1967, p. 154.

35  Edwards, 1967, pp. 154-155.

36  Grigg, Richard (“Ricky”) and Church, Ron. Surfer in Hawaii: A Guide to Surfing in the Hawaiian Islands, ©1963, John Severson Publications, Dana Point, California. Quoted in Edwards, ©1967, pp. 155-156

37  Van Dyke, 1989, p. 37.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Surfing Decade: The 1920's

During the period 1920-1929, the popularity of surfing continued to grow among the determined and dedicated... Surfing's resurgence during the previous two decades had gone by relatively unnoticed by the rest of the world, with the exception of AustraliaNew Zealand and the United States.

With the death of George Freeth in 1919, surfing's spread was left to Duke Kahanamoku almost single handedly. From a surfing perspective, the 1920s was largely Duke's era and he dominated all news about the sport during that time. However, Duke was not alone. There were growing numbers of surfers at Waikiki, in Australia and California... Significantly, another champion swimmer named Tom Blake got interested in surfing and would become -- second only to Duke -- the most influential surfer of the next two decades... This chapter covers the events and the surfers of the 1920s in the kind of depth that cannot be found anywhere else.

"The 1920s" is 17,287 words long and comprises 46 pages in length (726 KB), including several pages of footnotes and historical images. The chapter is formatted in Adobe Acrobat's free Portable Document Format (PDF) for easy viewing and printing from your computer. Additionally, the electronic file can be freely shared with friends and family.

To download, please go to: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1u0o-7K4He7RPxBduZpw9tZYWplNuGJen/view?usp=sharing

Aloha and Thank You for Your Interest in My Writings!

Malcolm Gault-Williams


  WAIKIKI, 1920'S
  TOM BLAKE 1921-23
  LAAC, 1921-29
  TOM BLAKE, 1924-25
  THELMA, JUNE 14, 1925
  SAM C. REID (1908-1978)
  DRILLED-HOLES, 1926-29
  SHARK'S COVE, 1928


Friday, October 9, 2020

Surfing Year 1960

 Aloha and Welcome to this chapter in the LEGENDARY SURFERS collection, highlighting some of the events and stories of surfing in the year 1960.

Appreciation goes out to Matt Warshaw for his work documenting early surf magazines and Mike Doyle and Greg Noll, for their autobiographies that spice this chapter up.



Early Surfing Publications 

THE SURFER Magazine, Spring 1960 

Surfer's Annual and Reef Magazine 

Mike Doyle 

Curren's Template 

Paddling, Surfing & Lifeguard Competitions 

Greg Noll on the Mainland 

Ricky James' Thumb 

Da Bull at Redondo, Winter 1960 


July 7, 1960 

September 19, 1960 

October 3, 1960 

Mike Doyle and Big Wednesday 

Winter 1960-61 on the North Shore 


Mickey Dora on the North Shore 

Ricky Grigg 

Robin Grigg & Mike Doyle 



For the world of surfing, the previous year 1959 was a disaster in the sense that the movie Gidget resulted in the quick over-population of Southern California's best point break: Malibu -- and increased numbers of kooks in the lineup at other surfing beaches, as well. Looked at in the long run, Gidget and the other "beach movies" that followed caused surfing to become popular to non-surfers before the sport and the lifestyle were even clearly understood. The new breed of poser surfers found themselves wanting to be kahunas on the beach and live the lifestyle they'd only seen through Hollywood eyes.

The year 1960, real surfers got media relief from John Severson. While Bud Browne, Greg Noll, Bruce Brown, John Rohloff as well as John Severson were making surf films for surfers, the big significant media event for surfers in 1960 was the publication of the first surf magazine...



Early Surfing Publications


The first text and photos printed with the surfer in mind were books. Ron Drummond was the first one to publish a book on bodysurfing, in 1931, entitled The Art of Wave Riding. A few years or so later, in 1935, Tom Blake published his landmark book Hawaiian Surfboard, the first book on surfing. This later volume is still in print, under the title Hawaiian Surfriders, 1935.1

The first newsletter published for surfers was Ye Weekly Super Illustrated Spintail, the publication of the Palos Verdes Surf Club. A bulletin for club members, it was edited by Doc Ball, who provided his own photographs. Ye Weekly Super Illustrated Spintail had a press run between the years 1936-40.2

"Whipping up in mid-channel, the giant crackers surely reached the awesome height of 20' at times," wrote Ball in the August 8, 1937 edition. Writing about the big south swell to hit Flood Control, at Long Beach, and the club's surfari there, Ball continued: "Wild man (LeRoy) Grannis, when attempting to look where he was coming from, got caught in the hook and was snatched from under himself in a whirling mass of soup. Fire-Hose Feister, while doubling up with fits of laughter at the sight of Grannis, (also) got gobbled up in short order."3

Doc Ball pasted up about 200 of these typewritten editions between 1936 and 1940. One-to-three pages each, Ye Weekly Super Illustrated Spintail was notable for its surf shots. Following World War II, Doc Ball went on to publish the first fully illustrated book on surfing, California Surfriders. This book contained many of the shots he had taken in the pre-war years and is a classic.4

"Next to surf riding," Ball encaptioned one picture of a bunch of the Palos Verdes club members pawing at an edition of Ye Weekly Super Illustrated Spintail, "they like pictures of same which, all told, is the reason for this book."5 The initial press run of California Surfriders was 510 in 1946, directly following the war.6

Fifteen years later, the first surf magazine came out in 1960, the product of surfer John Severson...



THE SURFER Magazine, Spring 1960


John Severson said he first thought of producing a surf magazine in 1949, when he was 15 years-old and a surfer since 13. The lack of potential buyers, in terms of numbers, caused him to initially decide against it.7

Severson's creative edge turned, instead, toward film, in 1957, while he was in the Army and stationed on O`ahu. That year, following the lead of first Bud Browne and then Greg Noll, Severson made a 16mm film called Surf. Fred Van Dyke took it on the road and showed it on the budding high school auditorium circuit in California. After finishing his stint in the Army, the following year, Severson made his second film, Surf Safari, and took it on the road, himself.8

"One thing was immediately apparent," he wrote, echoing Doc Ball's observation of years before. "Surfers would devour any image of wave or surfer." The posters promoting his movies would vanish quickly from the telephone poles they were stapled to. Surf shops had waiting lists for the extra posters Severson started dropping off after his showings. These surf posters were 8 X 10 glossies that sold at the showings for a buck a piece.9

"In '59," wrote Matt Warshaw in an article on surfing magazines, published in The Surfer's Journal in 1996, "the magazine idea resurfaced. There were a few thousand potential readers now, maybe lots more." Severson came up with the idea of an "annual" to help promote his thrid film, Surf Fever. Calling the black and white booklet with a two-color cover The Surfer, Severson reasoned that if sales went well, he would make another one, the following year, to go along with that year's cinematic offering.10

"The first edition needed to be ready to distribute by Easter of '60," continued Warshaw, "when Severson would begin touring Surf Fever. He took a few new photographs for The Surfer, but mostly relied on blow-up prints from his film stock. He grouped certain photos together ('Toes on the Nose,' 'Rincon,' 'Waimea Bay -- the Heavies'), wrote captions, made spelling decisions ('kuk' instead of 'kook') and sold 12 advertisements (two full-page at $400 each and 10 partial pages). He had-lettered the cover logotype and spent months playing with layout and design. He remembers crouching on the living room floor of his two-bedroom Dana Point apartment in December of '59, surrounded by the 36 pages of artboards that would eventually become the first issue of The Surfer; high on creative energy one moment, then nearly frozen by the publishing version of stage fright."11

"The 26-year-old had invested heavily on himself. Each page of The Surfer was given life by Severson's money, ego and aesthetic. He photographed and developed the cover shot of Jose Angel at Sunset, for example, then shamelessly tilted up the left-hand corner during the design process, effectively doubling the size of the wave. (The Pat Curren shot on page 16 of the first issue was runner-up for the cover.) He shot virtually all the other pictures and added twelve of his own drawings...

"The Surfer was clearly self-serving. It was also technically crude... the quality of images in general fell short of Doc Ball's standard in California Surfriders.

"But The Surfer was so friendly and generous, so perfectly in tune with its subject matter and so thoroughly stoked that the flaws nearly disappear... it remains unique."12

"The first one really was different from all the others," Severson noted, "and actually came out pretty much just how I'd hoped.

"It was simple. I liked all the white space and all the artwork. It was trying to be an art piece, really. But total surfing."13

The first issue of The Surfer -- later changed to simply Surfer -- contained many images that continue to be republished to present day. Like, the shot Bud Browne took of Mickey Muñoz doing the "quasimoto" and the one Severson shot of Kemp Aaberg at Rincon (his favorite) with Warren Miller's 1,000mm lens.14 Perhaps the photo that would gain the greatest notoriety was the one Severson put on the inside back cover. It shows a surfer paddling out alone at Hammond's Reef with offshore winds causing the right hander to feather brilliantly.

"I got that picture early in the process," Severson remembered. "What a shot! Here was a guy going out all by himself to these perfect waves, and I remember... I remember..." Severson drifted off in his recollection, genuinely moved. "Oh, wow. Yeah, I mean, that photo really was the one. So I put it aside and came back later when I had some time to really work on it."15

John Severson closed the first issue of The Surfer with this Hammonds shot, writing below it: "In this crowded world, the surfer can still seek and find the perfect day, the perfect wave, and be alone with the surf and his thoughts."16 That refrain has been adopted by succeeding generations of surf-stoked wave riders.

Leonard Lueras, in Surfing, The Ultimate Pleasure, wrote that "because it filled a yawning need as the first ideas forum published by and for surfers, The Surfer was well received."17

"When I created SURFER Magazine in 1960," wrote Severson in 1995, "I thought I was filling a photo need. But more likely, there was a huge information vacuum, and I was merely the first entrepreneur sucked into the tube..."18

Severson started the mag with $3,000, 36 pages and a pressrun of 10,000 copies sold for a dollar each. "In early spring," wrote Warshaw, "Severson and his brother drove to L.A., loaded the magazines into John's VW van, turned around and began hand-distributing to surf shops and bookstores. Severson took stock a few months later. Five thousand sold. Five thousand for the archives. No loss, but virtually no profit. A few months passed as Severson worked on his fourth film, Big Wednesday, and considered his next publishing move. He finally decided against a second photo annual in favor of a quarterly."19

"A decade later," noted Lueras, "Surfer was a slick monthly with a paid circulation of nearly 100,000. In 1970 The Los Angeles Times called Surfer magazine 'the only magazine of national consequence published in Orange County."20



Surfer's Annual and Reef Magazine


Hard on Severson's heels were two other publications that came out in 1960 but which were short-lived.

One was Greg Noll's Surfer's Annual, a 46 page photo collection that featured 16 year-old cartoonist Rick Griffin.21 Griffin would be hired by Severson the following year and go on to create the cartoon surf character "Murphy." Later, Griffin would be a leader in the development of psychedelic poster art. His best known material is probably the cover work he did for The Grateful Dead in the 1970s.

In August, September and October 1960, Reef magazine attempted to become surfing's first monthly. Edited by Pat Anderson and David Goldman, Reef magazines sold at the affordable rate of 35-cents.22



Mike Doyle


When Mike Doyle's first trip to the North Shore ended, he returned to Southern California in the Spring of 1960 to take up lifeguarding at Manhattan Beach. Before he did so, though, he surfed Swami's a bunch with Rusty Miller.23

"I'd surfed with Rusty at Swami's several times," wrote Doyle, "but the first time I ever saw him out of the water was at a party in Palos Verdes. He'd been wearing a tweed coat and slacks, and was smoking a pipe with his arms crossed, looking very much like a professor of history, which was what he wanted to become at the time. He had a freckly complexion, kind of a bent nose, and reddish-brown hair. I remember thinking, This guy's really got his act together, going to college, dressing like a professor. He made me feel like a goofball.

"Rusty lived with his parents on the bluff in Encinitas, just a half mile or so from Swami's. It was kind of strange going to Rusty's house. His father was extremely overweight, and every time I saw him he was sitting in a chair in the living room smoking cigarettes. Rusty's mother had a deep, raspy voice, and she chain-smoked, too. The ceiling in their house was stained brown from all the cigarette smoke, so it was easy to imagine what the insides of their lungs looked like."24



Curren's Template


"Rusty and I surfed at Cardiff Reef that morning," continued Doyle, "and I explained to him the problems I'd had with my surfboards in Hawaii that winter and how badly I needed one of Pat Curren's designs.

"Rusty said, 'You know, Curren just opened a surf shop here in Encinitas. You oughta stop by and see him.'

"I tried to explain how terrified I was of Curren.

"'I know what you mean,' Rusty said. 'He scares me, too. But I still think you oughta go see him.'

"That afternoon I stopped by Curren's shop on D Street. I parked around the corner and sat in my car for a few minutes, working up my courage. When I finally got out and walked around the corner, I saw a sign on the shop window: Be back sometime.

"I peeked in the window, and in the dim light I could see a row of Curren's big guns standing against the back wall, like dark tiki gods. I stood there trying to memorize their shapes, trying to capture that one magical line. But I knew it couldn't be done.

"I started walking away -- then stopped. Right there on the sidewalk, drawn in grease pencil, was a full-scale drawing of Curren's template. It was about 9' 6" -- just my size -- a masterpiece of art and design, right there where people could walk on it, spit on it, or make off with it. I stepped inside those magical lines, then looked down at my feet to see how the water flowed over and around me. It was a miracle!

"But how could I get it off the sidewalk and into my hands? I knew right away what I had to do. I ran up D Street, across the Coast Highway, then up the hill to the Mayfair market, where I bought ten feet of butcher paper and a felt pen. I ran back down the hill to Curren's shop, unrolled the butcher paper over the template, placed rocks at all four corners to keep the paper from blowing away, then got down on my hands and knees, and began tracing the lines.

"I had most of the template on paper when I realized somebody was watching me. I looked up and saw Curren standing on the street corner. His forehead was all twisted up in anger, and his eyes were scrunched down into mean little slits. I wasn't sure if he even recognized me. Should I try to explain myself? Or should I just run for it now, while I still had a chance?

"Curren stared at me for a long time, putting it all together: the North Shore, the Quonset hut, the kid with the lousy surfboards. Finally, as he fumbled for the keys to his shop, Curren said, 'You didn't have to steal it, Doyle. Though I have to admit that's kind of flattering. Just don't forget to tell people where it came from, all right?'

"As he disappeared through the doorway, I saw a smile on Curren's face."25



Paddling, Surfing & Lifeguard Competitions


The Summer of 1960 was when Mike Doyle earned his second nickname of "Ironman," by winning the first Ironman competition.26 More than any surfer of his time, he got into competition in a big way:

"In those days every little beach town up and down the coast had its own summer beach festival... Since I was training every day to stay in shape as a lifeguard, I used to enter all those contests as a fun way to check my level of conditioning. If there was a paddleboard contest anywhere in Southern California, I was in it. If there was a rowing contest, I'd enter that. And, of course, I was in the surf contest, too. In no time at all, I'd collected a whole garage full of trophies.

"Looking back on it now, I'd have to say I went to the extreme. I became a contest junky. But at that age, nineteen, I craved the recognition..."27

"Competing in paddling contests taught me that I had certain natural talents -- broad shoulders, long arms, and fairly large hands... Paddling races also taught me a lot about the psychology of competition. There were a few great big guys who were just animals at paddling, but they didn't know how to compete. I would plan each race ahead of time, then stick to the plan. If it was an eight-mile race, I'd stay with the pack the first couple of miles, then make my move on the third mile and power out until I'd buried them. I'd be almost exhausted, ready to die, but the guys behind thought I could still keep going, so they'd quit, at least in their minds. And when they gave up, I could slow down and conserve my energy for the rest of the race.

"I really loved competing in paddling races -- much more than I ever loved competing in surf contests. Paddling had a finish line, which made it real."28

Mike Doyle admitted that "some of those first surf contests were so bad, it was kind of funny. Usually the judges didn't even surf. The local president of the chamber of commerce would get his mother-in-law, who was a gym teacher, and his brother, who was a fan of big-time wrestling... And they were considered qualified to judge a surf contest, even though none of them had ever been on a surfboard before. The judges had no concept of wave selection, wave positioning, or style. So if some guy in the contest did something really silly, like stand on his head, the judges thought that was just fantastic and the guy would win the contest. It was ridiculous, and the surfers knew it.

"Even the surfing trophies were ridiculous. In those days it was hard for the contest organizers to find surfing trophies, so they used to take a basketball trophy with the basketball player jumping up to make a one-arm dunk. They'd cut the basketball off his hand, cut under his feet at the base, then lay him down on a small, hand-carved paddling board. It looked like a basketball player being carried out on a stretcher."29

"The truth is, I never felt that surfing as a competitive sport made much sense. Surfing is very difficult to judge because there's an act of god that influences how each wave will behave...

"But probably the worst thing about surf contests," continued Doyle, striking a blow, "is that they're contrary to the very essence of the sport, which is freedom. If you make up a bunch of arbitrary rules that are supposed to define good surfing, the creative freedom of surfing gets destroyed.

"I wasn't the only surfer of my era who felt this way. There were a lot of great surfers -- Kemp Aaberg, Lance Carson, Phil Edwards, and Mickey Dora -- who rarely entered contests. If a big contest was being held at Malibu, they'd much rather go down the road someplace and surf by themselves all day."30

"As a young man," Doyle admitted, "I was caught in the middle of all that. I wasn't against competition -- I loved competition... But in a surf contest, I never felt there was a fair way to decide who won.

"After I got a little older and began competing every winter in world-class surfing contests, the judging became somewhat better. But I still never felt the contests had any real validity. I competed because surf contests were my free ride. How I placed in contests one year would determine whether of not a sponsor would pay my way to Hawaii the next year. If I hadn't competed in the big surf contests and done well, I would never have been able to spend half the year traveling and surfing. So in a way, competing in surf contests became a job."31

This is probably true for many of the professional surfers who compete, today.



Greg Noll on the Mainland


At this point, in addition to his wintertime surfing of big waves on O`ahu's North Shore and filmmaking, Greg Noll was getting into production surfboard making. He tells a humorous story about Rick James and his cut-off thumb:



Ricky James' Thumb


"Ricky James was an excellent shaper who worked for me for several years before he started his own board shop," Noll began. "One day, in our old shop on Pacific Coast Highway, Ricky was sawing center strips for boards and talking to one of his buddies at the same time. I was about fifteen feet away and I told him, 'Ricky, goddammit, pay attention to what you're doing.' He says, 'I am, I am.' He's telling stories to this guy and the saw is whining yeoooow, yeoooow as it cuts off center strips.

"Suddenly I hear the saw stop and Ricky yells, 'Oh, God!' I rush over, and there's his thumb on the floor. He had sawed it off almost at the base. I grab a paper towel, scoop up the thumb and take Ricky to the hospital. All the time we're driving, I'm talking to him, trying to keep him from going into shock.

"'Do you think they can sew it back on?' he asks me.

"'Oh, yeah, they got modern-day medicine, no sweat, Rick. Just settle down, everything is going to be just fine. They'll sew it back on. You may have a little scar but everything is going to be O.K.'

"I'm driving and he's sitting on the passenger side and the thumb is between us, on the seat. While we're talking, Ricky keeps looking down at it as though the thumb is a third person in the car.

"As soon as we get to the hospital, they take Ricky into Emergency. I've got the thumb and Ricky is clasping the stub and the doctor walks in. Ricky says, 'I'm so glad you're here. Are you going to be able to sew my thumb back on, Doc?'

"The doctor had the worst bedside manner of any doctor I've ever met. He says, 'No, it wouldn't do any good. We could sew it back on, but it would just turn black and fall off in a few days. There's no use in even trying.'

"Now Ricky is really going into shock over the whole situation and he says, "Doc, please. I don't know what my girlfriend will think of me. I don't care if it works or anything. Just sew it back on so it looks good. I don't care if it works.'

"The doctor talked to him for a while. Of course, they didn't sew the thumb back on. I saw that a nurse had the thumb and was going to dispose of it. I said, 'Do you mind if I take that with me?' She thought it was kind of an odd request, but she gave it to me. I didn't tell Ricky.

"After they got Ricky bandaged up I took him home, gave him a couple of beers and left him there to relax. Then I went back to the shop and mixed up a nice, slow batch of resin in a Dixie cup. Dropped the thumb in it. Let it set up, then took off the Dixie cup. It was absolutely perfect. Looked like a paperweight with a thumb suspended in it."32

"Ricky was off work for a while, so we used the thumb as a sort of novelty item. In the inner shop, we stuck it in the showcase where we had fins, wax, skateboard accessories and... a thumb. People browsing in the shop would look in the showcase and say, 'Hey, take a look at this fake thumb.' Then they'd take a closer look and say, 'Jesus Christ, this isn't a fake. Look, you can see dirt under the fingernail.'

"The thumb got to be such a conversation piece that guys started coming in from all over the place just to see it. I came into the shop one Saturday and there must have been eight or ten guys shoulder-deep in the showcase, trying to get a glimpse of the thumb.

"Meanwhile, Ricky gets wind that his thumb is on display. I hear he's mad, so I put away the thumb for safekeeping. He comes in asking for his thumb. We had a giant argument about whose thumb it was. I said, 'I found it.' Ricky said, 'I don't care. You're not supposed to put a guy's thumb on display.'

"We used to freak out people, especially girls, with the thumb. We'd say to a girl, 'Hold out your hand. I want to show you something.' And we'd put the thumb in the Dixie cup in her hand, remove the Dixie cup and watch a hundred expressions go across her face. She wouldn't know whether to drop it or throw it or what.

"Ricky and I argued about The Thumb for nearly two years. I still have it. It's buried in a box somewhere."33



Da Bull at Redondo, Winter 1960


Sonny Vardeman, Lieutenant, Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors recalled Greg Noll surfing the Redondo breakwater earlier that year:

"One day during the winter of 1960, the surf broke about twenty feet at the Redondo breakwater. Greg and I and a few of our friends had been out riding a few big waves the previous day. In fact, one of our rides appeared in an early issue of SURFER magazine [which began in 1960The following day, the swell was huge. We couldn't get off the beach, so everybody backed out.

"Everybody, that is, but Greg. He went out inside the breakwater where the boats were moored, then paddled out and around the jetty to get to the break.

"On the way out around the jetty, a giant set came and almost caught Greg between it and the seawall. He just made it over the top of the wave. Had it broken, it would have slammed him into the seawall. The set was so big, it rolled over the seawall and tore a number of boats loose from their moorings. It had to be twenty feet. He finally made it to where the peak was breaking. After about forty-five minutes, another giant set came. He paddled for one of the bigger ones, caught it and rode it half a mile back to the beach as we all watched from shore. Greg had put himself in a very precarious position along the breakwater jetty. But he was very determined to ride the wave, come hell or high water. When he was that determined, he usually accomplished whatever it was he'd set out to do."34





Malibu in the Summer of 1960 was a far cry from what it had been. With the onslaught of the beach movies, crowds came to Malibu and beaches, in general. The foam and fiberglass didn't help, either, making wave riding within anyone's grasp who wanted to try it.



July 7, 1960


Early in the summer. "Twilight. A fire burns brightly on the beach," wrote C.R. Stecyk, "and the crowd rapidly diminishes out in the water. Lance Carson gets a long five across the point, and the fireside crowd hoots in appreciation. Bob Cooper takes off on the next wave, and perfectly emulates Lance's ride causing the beach spectators to scream wildly. Lance responds with a howling ten. Cooper covers this and adds a kick stall on the inside section. Carson comes back with a kick stall to heels. The audience grows wilder with each rider's next move of one-upmanship. The pair of surfers never falters and never repeats any tricks as they continue to match one another under the light of a full moon. Finally, after two hours of flawless finesse surfing, Lance and Bob leave. No words are spoken as none are needed. Fun was the function."35



September 19, 1960


Phil Edwards, in 1960, is -- according to C.R. Stecyk -- the "reigning monarch of the surf media." When he visits Malibu, Lance Carson crawls on all fours and imitates a mad dog in Edwards' steps. Phil visits with Toni Donovan, "the object of his affection," and his old San Onofre surfing brah Mickey Dora."36



October 3, 1960


"Gordon Duane," wrote Stecyk, "an enterprising manufacturer from Huntington Beach via Compton, arrives with the cast and crew of his cinema epic Sacrifice For Surf. While Gordie films, the point provocateurs scrutinize the uniquely elaborate, multiple curved, wood inlay sticks which members of this roving band possess. The incredible craftsmanship of these boards is apparent, yet Duane's boroque design sense baffles many. Gordie's manager is gruff and intense as he refuses to elaborate on his artistic intent or offer any purported functionality for diamond patterned and curvilinear inlays. Insiders speculate that Duane's aggressive standoffishness is the natural result of having recently suffered the loss of his on-the-sand factory/shop at the foot of the H.B. Pier in a disastrous fire. Gordie first heard of the fire when he called in to confirm that certain boards in the glassing room had gotten done and was told... 'Yeah, they're done OK, well done!' (Perhaps if they'd known that Gordie was also advised that the last known person to be seen leaving his shop before the fire erupted was none other than a prominent south coast surf industry figure that happened to smoke the very brand of cigarette that firemen said was the likely cause of the blaze, they would have better understood Gordie's unfaltering mistrust of his fellow man.) The film Sacrifice For Surf remains an underground legend, largely because of the sequences captured that day of Dewey Weber cavorting and careening across ten foot Malibu faces."37



Mike Doyle and Big Wednesday


"That fall," wrote Mike Doyle, "John Severson told me he wanted to make his first surf film in Hawaii [his fourth, Big Wednesday, which was shown in 1961], and wanted to use me as the featured surfer. He said he would pay for my trip to Hawaii that winter and cover all my expenses while we were working on the film. I couldn't believe it -- I could pocket all the money I'd saved working as a lifeguard that summer!

"In December, John and I already had our tickets to Hawaii when, at the last minute, he told me he wanted to take along an airline stewardess he's met just a few days before... to hard-core surfers, having a girlfriend in Hawaii was considered a big drawback because it cut into your surf time. But John was paying for my trip, so how could I object? Still, something about the glassy look in John's eyes when he talked about this girl made me uneasy."38

Here, Doyle, in the retelling of the story, has a little fun at Severson's expense: "When I met John's girlfriend, Louise, at the airport, I could see why he was all hot over her: she was a tall, pretty blonde, with a curvaceous figure.

"In Hawaii we rented the Quonset hut right on the beach at the Pipeline, where Buzzy and his bunch had stayed the year before. I retreated to one of the smaller back bedrooms and let the two lovebirds take over the front of the house. But that back bedroom became my prison cell. From the first night, and every night after, I lay in there listening to John and Louise making passionate love. I couldn't sleep. At dawn every morning I would peek out my window and see huge waves breaking on the beach. I was dying to get out there and surf, but I couldn't because John and Louise wouldn't stop long enough for me to slip through the front room and out the door. And of course we weren't getting any work done on our film."39

"After a few days of that," continued Doyle, "I knew I had to get out of there. When John and Louise cooled down enough to go buy some groceries, I slipped out with my surfboards and went over to Kawela Bay, where the guys I'd lived with the year before had rented a house again.

"What a joy it was to be with my surf buddies again! I forgot about Severson and the movie we were supposed to be working on. I just went surfing every day and enjoyed the life of a beach rat.

"Later that winter, Severson cooled down just a bit, and we finally got some work done on his film. He and Louise got married not long after that..."40



Winter 1960-61 on the North Shore


The usual cast of characters started assembling on the North Shore as the winter surf season got underway, the traditional season of the makali`i.





"At one time," recalled Greg Noll of how the season began for him, "both Peter Cole and Jose Angel taught at the Punahou school in Honolulu. They had to drive past Waimea about six o'clock every morning on their way to work. We had a deal worked out where they would call me in California if it looked like a big day was coming up at the Bay. I kept all my stuff packed and left my big-wave board at Henry Preece's house. Since Hawaii was three hours ahead of California time, I could catch an early flight from the Mainland and be in Hawaii, in the water, by early afternoon. Alan Chang would pick me up at the airport.

"I only had hit Waimea on a few occasions the very day it was coming up. Usually I'd arrive in Hawaii and take several weeks to warm up. Catch some waves, break in easy. It's quite a transition from four-to-six foot California waves to twenty-foot-plus waves in Hawaii.

"One particular morning, Jose calls me and says, 'Jeez, Greg, it's coming! You'd better get over here!'

"I caught the earliest flight I could get. Alan Chang picked me up, took me to Henry's to get my board and we headed for Waimea."41

"It had been six months since I had been in the Islands," continued Noll. "This was the first day of the winter season. I paddled out just as a giant set rolled in. I saw Peter scratching for the first wave. He dropped down and looked like an ant as he smoked across the face of the wave. I thought, 'Christ! That wave looked bigger than normal.' It was.

"I kept paddling out, spun around and took off on the next wave. It was even bigger. I remember thinking to myself, 'Goddammit, I'm not going to let Peter get away with this.' It was straight up and down and I was late getting into the wave. The ass end of the board dropped out from under me and I free-fell from top to bottom. I ate it somethin' fierce.

"I think it meant more to me to psych out Peter than it did to make the wave. Peter was a hell of a waterman, but he had some shred of sanity. Jose would practically kill himself before he'd let anybody get the best of him. And Ricky was usually too smart to get sucked into these head games. Each one of these guys was interesting and complex in his own way, and I just loved to mess with their brains."42

"The first time I paddled out at Waimea that winter," wrote Mike Doyle, "the waves looked impossibly big and fast. I watched another surfer dropping in on a fifteen-foot wave, and I thought, God, that's impossible! It was so intimidating. The North Shore really is a whole different level of surfing.

"But after a week or two, I was back in the groove again. I was thinking fast, and after a while a fifteen-foot wave just didn't look that big anymore. Besides, I was riding the boards I'd made from Pat Curren's template. This year, not only did I have the experience, but my equipment was as good as anybody's."43

By then, Fred Van Dyke was a veteran of the Waimea scene and he had this to say about the winter of 1960-61: "Waimea was well broken in, but not dominated. Sammy Lee, Peter Cole, Rick Grigg, Pat Curren, Kimo Hollinger, Dick Brewer and Greg Noll were the stars. We were all still mostly wiping out at Waimea, but having fun, and the boards were getting better, especially Brewer's with his special eye for board lines. Foam definitely overtook balsa, but broke more easily."44

"I surfed Waimea one day that winter when it was at least twenty-five feet, maybe thirty," recalled Mike Doyle. "It was the biggest I'd ever seen it, and there were only about a dozen guys out. Every surfer has his bad days, when he just can't do anything right, and every time he takes off, he gets creamed. But I'll always remember this one day, because I could do no wrong. Other guys were going over the falls, and boards were crunching all around me. But I'd take off and angle right, hang high at the top of the wave, then drop down twenty feet and swing around into the curl. I felt so calm, I kept wondering if I was doing it right. It seemed so simple, like surfing a three-foot shore break back in California. But when I looked up at the waves, they were huge."45

"I had one bad day at Waimea that winter I'll never forget, though," admitted Doyle about the other side of the surf. "It was late morning, on a fifteen-to-eighteen-foot day -- big, but not monstrous -- with choppy surface conditions. There were also four-foot wedges coming in at an angle from the north and breaking. The surf was decomposing, and it was about time to go in, but I wanted to catch one more good tide. I was sitting right off the point, which can be a bit tricky. If you lose your board there, the waves will carry it right into the rocks. I paddled for what I looked like an average wave, but as I dropped in, it reared up to about eighteen feet. As the wave passed over the boil, it churned violently and, in classic Waimea fashion, the top of the wave pitched way out. Before I was completely in the wave I could see it was going to get nasty, so I sat back on my board, trying to stall out. But I was too late. The wave hit me in the back and threw me over the falls while I was still sitting on the rear of my board. I had no idea how to bail out of something like that, but as I was free-falling down the face of this eighteen-foot wave, I swung my right leg over the board and rolled off to the side. To my surprise, when I hit the water, instead of being pounded to the bottom, as on most bad wipeouts, I was pitched out like a beach ball. I bounced along in front of the white water, thrashing and spinning, unable to dive under or break away. Luckily, I was able to suck a little air through the foam. The white water drove me in about 150 yards, in a course parallel to the rocks, but only about ten feet away from them. I could very easily have been dragged along the top of the rocks, in which case I would have been ground to hamburger. When I was finally able to stop myself, I saw that I was right in front of the rocks. As I watched in horror, the waves crashing on the rocks tore my board into a hundred pieces. Slowly and carefully, I eased myself away from the rocks, and swam all the way to shore.

"It's odd how, out of thousands of waves and hundreds of wipeouts, one wipeout like that has stayed with me for years. Not because it turned out so badly, but because if things had gone just a little bit differently it might have been the end of my life."46

In Fred Van Dyke's overall assessment of the North Shore that winter, "... Phil Edwards, Mike Doyle and Mike Hynson are tearing the North Shore apart. It's the year of hot dogging. There's a de-emphasis on big waves in movies. Nose walking, head dips, 360's and carving down the face dominate.

"Phil is the hottest on the nose. Doyle is all grace and poise, like a Greek god. He can ride a long hot dog board on a big wave or small, and it looks easy. Hynson is the head dipper and carver of faces, using a newly-acquired wide stance. He looks strong.

"... Greg Noll does an ad with all the best riders sponsoring his boards. It's a full page layout, a regatta of surf stars...

"Buzzy Trent began stoking a guy named Dick Brewer into shaping a few boards. Brewer showed real promise. He opened the first surf shop in Haleiwa and sponsored the Haleiwa Open Surfing Competition sometime later.

"A fire marshall threatened to close Brewer's shop down because it was a fire hazard, until Brewer shaped a board for the marshall's son. He never heard from him after that. Sometime later Brewer gave then President Lyndon Johnson a surfboard when he visited the islands. That was Brewer."47



Micki Dora on the North Shore


"Mickey Dora showed up in Hawaii that winter," wrote Mike Doyle. "His reputation in the world of surfing was growing, but more as a personality than as a big-wave rider. He was great back in Malibu, where he was the king, but when he came to Hawaii he showed up with all the wrong equipment, like it didn't really matter to him, or like he was trying to make a mockery of big-wave riding. I don't think Dora ever got the thrill from big waves the way others of us did. I think it was the surfing lifestyle that intrigued him more than anything else. He didn't fit into mainstream society, with a steady job and a little house out in the suburbs; but at the beach, Dora always felt at home.

"Dora had been surviving by doing stunt work in Hollywood -- awful movies like Bikini Beach Blanket, with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. But the movies didn't pay enough to live the kind of lifestyle he wanted. Nobody got paid to surf in those days, no matter how good he was. So Dora had to hustle. You might say Mickey Dora was the professional surfer of his era."48

"One day," continued Doyle writing about Dora, "when a bunch of us were in Honolulu, Dora grabbed me and said, 'Come on, Doyle, let's go to dinner.'

"I figured we'd run down to some hot dog stand, gag down a few tubesteaks, then get back to the beach. But Dora had something else in mind. He took me to the Royal Hawaiian, one of the grand old hotels on the islands -- very beautiful and very expensive. As we walked into the lobby, with huge candelabras hanging from the ceiling, I started thinking to myself, This place is way out of my league. It wasn't anything at all like the Busy Bee Cafe, where I usually ate in Honolulu and where two dollars would buy you all you could eat.

"But Dora was right at home. He'd been groomed very early to feel at ease in that kind of place. He said, 'Excuse me for a second, Doyle, I've gotta go see if somebody's here.' He walked over to the registration desk and asked if Mr. So-and-So had registered yet. While the woman at the desk checked the registration book, Dora peeked over the desk and scanned the names in the book.

"We took a table laid out with white linen and crystal and real silverware. Dora just glanced at the menu, then ordered a full dinner, with hors d'oeuvres, fine wine, dessert, and a liqueur.

"After dinner the waiter brought the check on a leather tablet; it came to just over $200. Dora glanced at the check quickly, then looked up at the waiter and said, 'I'll sign for it.'

"I had to gag myself to keep from laughing. But to my surprise, Dora signed the check, the waiter folded the leather tablet and said, 'Thank you very much, sir.'

"I still didn't quite get it yet, but I knew enough to keep my mouth shut.

"On the way out of the lobby, I looked over at the registration desk, and then the whole thing became clear.

"I didn't say anything to Dora, and he never mentioned it to me again."49



Ricky Grigg


"One night," wrote Mike Doyle beginning a story of another famous surfer of that time, "we had a big party at our house at Kawela Bay. We invited everyone we knew on the North Shore and told them we'd have the food, but bring your own beer. There were hardly any girls living on the North Shore then, so our party was mostly a bunch of guys trying to prove they could drink more beer than the next guy.

"One of the guys who came to our party was a merchant marine named Henley, from Oceanside. He didn't really surf, but he hung around with the surf crowd when he wasn't out at sea. He was about 220 pounds, heavily muscled, crude, and pushy. The guys from Oceanside at that time were known to be very heavy partiers, and Henley was as heavy as any of them.

"As soon as he walked in the door, Henley shoved his way through the crowd to the food, grabbed all of it he could, and started shoving it in his mouth. Nobody said anything, because the guy was really big, and besides, we didn't want to see our party turn into a brawl. When the food was all gone, Henley shoved his way into the kitchen, went to the refrigerator, and pulled out a beer."50

"Just then," continued Doyle, "Ricky Grigg walked in. Ricky was six inches shorter than Henley, sixty pounds lighter and, unlike Henley, gentle by nature. But Ricky wasn't afraid of anything. He said, in a friendly way, 'Hey, that's my beer.'

"'So what!'

"Ricky looked him in the eye, then said again, 'That's my beer.' And he snatched it out of Henley's hand.

"Henley grumbled something, then moved away. Ricky had backed that ape man down, and none of us could quite believe it."51

"Ricky Grigg was always doing things like that," Doyle went on, "which was why I was kind of in awe of him. He had won the Catalina-to-Manhattan Pier paddling race way back in 1955, he rode the hell out of the biggest Hawaiian waves, was a tremendous diver, and could hold his breath underwater for something like three minutes. But he was more than just a water jock. He seemed to have more focus in his life than most of us. He was going to school at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, he knew he wanted to be an oceanographer, and he went after it with energy and discipline. Although he was already one of the best big-wave riders in the world, surfing to him was still just a form of recreation. But everything he learned in school seemed to help his surfing, too. He had a real understanding of the ocean, which gave him confidence and a power of survival in the water that I don't think any of the rest of us had. He understood how the ocean bottom affects waves, how rip currents could be used to the surfer's advantage, how the weather patterns can be used to predict surfing conditions. He really understood hydrodynamic design and was able to perfect his surfing equipment to compliment his abilities. At a very young age, Ricky had become a master waterman."52



Robin Grigg & Mike Doyle


"Ricky had a sister, Robin, who was in Hawaii that winter," wrote Mike Doyle, "and I thought she was just as impressive as Ricky. She was blonde and lovely, athletic, had a pretty smile, and was a good surfer. She was about ten years older than I was, a nurse, and a lot more sophisticated than most of the people I knew.

"Robin took a personal interest in me. She used to ask me what I wanted to do with my life, other than surf. What kind of books did I read? What kind of music did I like? She drew me into her circle of friends, which included people who didn't always have salty eyebrows and sun-bleached hair. Most of them were well educated and , to my surprise, they seemed to like me and accept me, even though I was a water jock with some pretty rough edges."53

"At first our friendship was a brother-sister thing," continued Doyle, "-- or so I thought. Robin was probably always one step ahead of me. One evening Robin and I were down at the beach in Kawela Bay, having a good time goofing around together. There was a full moon that night, and we swam out to a raft in the bay... That was the beginning of an affair that lasted the rest of that winter. It was my first romance in Hawaii -- a thrilling experience in itself, but even more so for a twenty-year-old kid lucky enough to have a beautiful and mature woman to teach him the proper way to have an affair.

"Robin used her age and wisdom to influence me in a positive way. 'Suppose that within the next ten years you become the world's greatest surfer,' she said. 'What happens in the ten years after that? There's a whole new generation of little gremmies back there in California learning to surf. Ten years from now, they're going to be surfing better than you. Do you want to spend the rest of your life proving you can still keep up with them?'

"I think I was fortunate to have somebody like Robin help me see what my future might be like. She helped me understand how important it is for young athletes, no matter how good they are, to resist the tendency to let sports become their whole identity."54




1  See Drummond, Ron. The Art of Wave Riding, 1931, Cloister Press, Hollywood, California and Blake, Tom. Hawaiian Surfriders, 1935, ©1983, Mountain and Sea, Redondo Beach, California. Originally published in 1935 as Hawaiian Surfboard, published by Paradise of the Pacific Press, Honolulu, Hawai`i.

2  Warshaw, Matt. "Articles of Faith, 35 Years of Surf Magazines: An Insider's View," The Surfer's Journal, Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 1996, p. 86.

3  Ball, Doc. Ye Weekly Super Illustrated Spintail, Palos Verdes Surf Club bulletin, August 8, 1937. See also Warshaw, 1996, p. 86.

4  Ball, John Heath "Doc" (1907- ). Early California Surfriders, ©1995, Pacific Publishing, Ventura, California. Originally published as California Surfriders, published in 1946, by N.B. Whale. Later republished by Mounatin and Sea, Redondo Beach, CA, 1979.

5  Ball, 1946, 1979, 1995, p. 85.

6  Warshaw, 1996, p. 87.

7  Warshaw, 1996, p. 88.

8  Warshaw, 1996, p. 88.

9  Warshaw, 1996, p. 88. Severson quoted, source unknown.

10  Warshaw, 1996, pp. 88-89. See also Lueras, 1984, p. 130.

11  Warshaw, 1996, p. 89.

12  Warshaw, 1996, p. 89.

13  Warshaw, 1996, p. 89. John Severson quoted.

14  Severson, John. "Stone Age Editing," Surfer Magazine, Volume 36, Number 10, October 1995, p. 47. See reprinted photo and caption.

15  Warshaw, 1996, p. 89. John Severson quoted.

16  The Surfer, 1960, by John Severson.

17  Lueras, 1984, p. 130.

18  Severson, 1995, p. 47.

19  Warshaw, 1996, p. 89.

20  Lueras, 1984, p. 133.

21  Warshaw, 1996, p. 89.

22  Warshaw, 1996, pp. 89-90.

23  Doyle, 1993, p. 77 & 79.

24  Doyle, 1993, pp. 77-78.

25  Doyle, 1993, pp. 78-79.

26  Doyle, 1993, p. 82.

27  Doyle, 1993, p. 83.

28  Doyle, 1993, pp. 83-84.

29  Doyle, 1993, p. 84.

30  Doyle, 1993, pp. 84-85.

31  Doyle, 1993, p. 85.

32  Noll, 1989, p. 109.

33  Noll, 1989, pp. 109-110.

34  Noll, 1989, pp. 23-24. Sonny Vardeman.

35  The Surfer's Journal, Volume 1, Number 3, Fall 1992, C.R. Stecyk, p. 51. Stecyk dates are always up to question, but the season and year are usually right on.

36  The Surfer's Journal, Volume 1, Number 3, Fall 1992, C.R. Stecyk, p. 51.

37  Stecyk, The Surfer's Journal, Volume 1, Number 3, p. 59.

38  Doyle, 1993, pp. 88-89.

39  Doyle, 1993, p. 89.

40  Doyle, 1993, p. 89.

41  Noll, 1989, p. 105.

42  Noll, 1989, p. 105.

43  Doyle, 1993, pp. 89-90.

44  Van Dyke, 1989, p. 37.

45  Doyle, 1993, p. 90.

46  Doyle, 1993, pp. 90-91.

47  Van Dyke, Fred. Thirty Years Riding The World's Biggest Waves, ©1989, pp. 36-37. Fred marked it as the winter of 1959-60, but this had to have been 1960 and after, as there were no magazines to advertise in until SURFER was published later, in 1960 and Brewer didn't show up until the beginning '60s.

48  Doyle, 1993, pp. 91-92.

49  Doyle, 1993, pp. 92-93.

50  Doyle, 1993, p. 93.

51  Doyle, 1993, p. 93.

52  Doyle, 1993, p. 93-94.

53  Doyle, 1993, p. 94.

54  Doyle, 1993, pp. 94-95.