Monday, July 6, 2020

Surfing Year 1958

 Aloha and Welcome to this chapter in the LEGENDARY SURFERS collection on surfing as it was in 1958. Appreciations go out to particularly Greg Noll and Mike Doyle for their excellent autobiographies, from which this chapter is largely drawn.




 

Contents

Waimea, January 10, 1958

Makaha, January 13-14, 1958

Mexico

Whitey & Edwards

Noll & Company in Mazatlan

The Nolls in Cabo San Lucas

Search For Surf

Malibu Before the Hollywood Invasion

Mike Doyle at Malibu

Matt Kivlin at Malibu

Mickey “The Mongoose” Munoz at Malibu

Lance Carson at Malibu

Kemp Aaberg at Malibu

Tom Morey at Malibu

Joey Cabell at Malibu

Tubesteak at Malibu

Mickey Dora at Malibu

The Guayule Kid

Cat On A Hot Foam Board

The Lure of the Islands

Ricky Grigg & Jim Caldwell: Out to Sea

Sheppard’s Loaner Trunks, December 14, 1958

 

At the beginning of the year 1958, Cuban nationalist revolutionary Fidel Castro and Ernesto “Che” Guevara were leading an all-out guerrilla war against the corrupt U.S. backed Batista regime. Nikita Kruschev was rising to power in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the communist government that ruled Russia and its republics. The Nobel Prize for literature went to Russian Boris Pasternak -- not exactly a communist sympathizer. This same year he would write the novel that would be re-titled Dr. Zhivago. The influence of the Beat Poets, centered in San Francisco, grew so big that a “Beatnik“ movement spread across the country and into Europe. Films like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (adapted from the play by Tennessee Williams), starring Elizabeth Taylor, played across North America. It was the beginning of the first artificial earth satellites like the USSR’s Sputnik III and the USA’s Explorer I.1

Much less known events were brewing within the surfing community. These, however, were of more interest to the surfers, themselves. Significant during this time were the advances being made in polyurethane foam board development. Even so, while foam and fiberglass surfboards were being refined and slowly introduced into the surfing marketplace -- mainly in California where they originated -- surfers in places like the island of O`ahu were still riding fiberglassed balsa boards with wooden skegs -- and with much success. It was boards like these, in the hands of mostly “Coast Haoles,” that ruled the big surf of the North Shore. And, as far as big waves were concerned, the North Shore was the focal point of the surfing world at that time.

 

 

Waimea, January 10, 1958

 

What many would recall as the biggest day of the year at Waimea, January 10, 1958 was similar to the biggest day of the year before (November 5, 1957), when Waimea “was broken open” by the likes of Greg Noll, Mike Stange, Mickey Muñoz and Pat Curren. Three years later, Peter Cole told this story of 1958’s epic Waimea surf:

“The morning started with the surf just barely big enough to ride, and then by later afternoon, waves 25 feet and higher were hitting, with more water in them and more size than I have seen since I’ve surfed.

“The surfers that day included Pat Curren, Mike Diffenderfer, Jack Webb, Byron Keough and Paul Gebauer, plus two who tried the biggest stuff for one of the first times -- Fred Van Dyke from Santa Cruz (now a Hawaii school teacher) and L.J. Richards of Oceanside, as fine a surfer as you’ll find anywhere.”2

“This was the big day,” continued Cole, “and everyone could sense it, and the air was filled with excitement. The lines were more definite than at any time during the year and Makaha was reporting its only point surf of the year.

“The surf was inconsistent, with only one or two waves per set, but each was at least 10 feet in size. Diffenderfer took off on the first big one and dropped straight to the bottom.

“Then Gebauer, who rode more waves than anyone that day because of an almost inhuman aggressiveness, took off way inside on a 20-foot-plus wave and Van Dyke on his outside rode extremely high and made the wave as Paul ‘souped out’ at the bottom.

“Curren was the next rider, planing the monster perfectly, making it after doing everything right. Webb took off on the same wave closer to the point than anyone I’ve ever seen and took a terrible wipe-out immediately after reaching the bottom of the wave. Pat came back screaming of the size.”3

“The next big one,” Peter Cole went on, “supposedly the wave of the day and of the year, was one in which I took off on the inside, Pat on my side and Byron on Pat’s outside. The wave seemed large, but Waimea never seems as large to the rider as it does to the spectators on film.

“On the wave, Byron’s edge caught and he fell over both Pat and me. The last I remember was seeing Pat ahead of me on the way out of a gigantic curl, while I was completely inside of the curl knowing that I didn’t have a chance.

“Amazingly, Pat made the wave for probably the best ride ever attained at Waimea Bay. The wave in pictures measures 25-28 feet and has become a much-talked-about wave. Byron’s board came out with a crack down the middle. I was not aware of the power of the soup, as I got air right after the impact of the soup which saved me from having a bad wipe-out.”4

Waimea Bay is a small bay surrounded by low rocky cliffs. It opens up into a wide valley with a waterfall in the rear. The waves in the Bay are almost flat for about 90% of the year. But, when the surf comes up in the wintertime, the build-up at Waimea is both rapid and sizable. A “wave which is only 8 to 10 feet when it hits the reef may rise to 25 feet in a few seconds,” wrote Desmond Muirhead in his book Surfing In Hawaii, published in 1962. “The surf also comes up very fast, and when it does, the shore break is enormous. Occasionally a big wave will ‘close out’ the bay, and surfers caught in the crush will be lucky to escape with their lives.”5

This swell that hit Waimea was part of a million-square-mile storm that also threw giant surf towards Makaha...6

 

 

 

Makaha, January 13-14, 1958

 

Three days later, Makaha was going off.

“... thirty foot plus surf,” wrote Fred Van Dyke, “wound its way around Kaena Point for three days. The surf was so large that the regular lineup had moved out another quarter mile, near the drop off into deep water. The bowl had disappeared...”7

“There are places in the world today,” Van Dyke continued, “that have a wall type surf, such as Rincon, Laniakea, or Malibu. Most wall type surfs have sections, which should not be misinterpreted for a bowl break. Each break has its own separate characteristics. In a sectioning surf like Rincon there is no radical change in the bottom structure. In a bowl surf the bottom conditions get shallow abruptly, causing a horseshoe bend effect in the wave, which in turn causes a throwing out effect in the top portion of the wave. The most respected and difficult bowl break in the world today is Makaha.”8

During this particularly memorable swell, “The best surfers in the world had tried on those days, and only a very few made waves,” wrote Van Dyke. These were: “George Downing, Wally Froiseth, Pat Curren, Buzzy Trent, Kimo Hollinger, John Severson and a few others.”9

“Point waves become impossible to make after the waves moved into deeper water,” recalled Van Dyke. “The whole wall exploded over at one time from point to channel in one giant cataclysmic nightmare.

“Only after John Severson nearly lost his life on a straight up and down thirty-foot takeoff did the surfers finally realize that they had to ride differently.”10

Fred Van Dyke would also write, in the into to John Severson‘s 1964 publication Modern Surfing Around The World, that it was January 13th that Severson rode “one of the biggest, if not the biggest wave ever known at Makaha... For the first time was far as the records go, the surf at Makaha closed-out with waves of over thirty feet pounding the reef... A wave estimated as high as a three-story building.”11

“They discovered that by taking off in front,” Van Dyke wrote in his autobiography, “where the bowl was normally, you could make waves. This surf had jazzed those who had failed on the point takeoff to try again, the new Makaha, bowl-less.”12

When George Downing and Buzzy Trent talk about that day,” Peter Cole, writing in Surfer magazine would later write of January 13-14, 1958, “their eyes glaze over and they just look into the sky and shake their heads.”13

 

 

 

 

Mexico

 

Surfers from California had been regularly going over to the Islands for about a decade. Other locations were now being explored and sought. Being adjacent to California and mainland USA, Mexico was a logical next-pick.

 

 

Whitey & Edwards

 

Phil Edwards, in the company of legendary surfer Whitey Harrison, were two of the first known surfers to explore Mexico in 1957.14 But, as Edwards’ description aptly points out, they were far from the first:

“In Mexico,” Edwards wrote, “I... served as a crewman aboard another boat, a 30-foot sloop. Then the owners took off for home; leaving the boat with Harrison and me -- with the agreement that we could take three months to bring it home, providing we got it there intact.

“Naturally, we surfed our way back, stopping and anchoring wherever the surf looked good, taking our time in the lazy, hot waters off Mexico.

“One day we found the island.

“It lay uninhabited, a humpback of pure desert, 150 miles off the Mexican coast -- three degrees north of our charted course -- somewhere off Mazatlan. On the east face of it, waves were breaking in perfectly. A million miles of waves, each with a tube slicing across the top, each with the light shining through like turquoise, glittering. Alone in the world.

“We dropped the anchor, got our boards, got out of our clothes and over the side in one blur of motion. It was perfect: the waves were eight feet and we began to cut patterns where no man had ever surfed before, kicking up plumes of green and white diamonds.

“Then, jazzed, we fell on the beach to rest. And we found the sign. It was a crude thing, hand lettered on an old board and jammed into the sand.

“‘Mel Ross surfed here,’ it said, and gave the date. ‘The surf was 10 feet,’ it said.

“You should have been here a year ago.”15

 

 

Noll & Company in Mazatlan

 

Less than a year later, Greg Noll and fellow surfers made a major surf surfari to mainland Mexico going the overland route. Beverly Noll recalled this 1958 trip her husband Greg and troupe took to Mazatlan; one of the very first into mainland Mexico:

“I started out in first class on the bus from Los Angeles to San Diego. I got impatient waiting for my connection to Mexicali or wherever it was I was supposed to go next. I decided to take another bus that I was told ended up in Mazatlan, but via a different route.

“I’ll say. This bus took off across the desert and then just stopped in the middle of nowhere. At one stop, two bandoleros, guys wearing bullets across their chests and guns on their hips, got on. They didn’t pay, even though everybody else had. They rode for a while, then the bus stopped and they got off in the middle of nowhere again.

“I was the only gringa on the bus. Quite an experience. Something I wouldn’t even consider doing now. But at age twenty it was an adventure.

“Greg had a room at Senora Enrique‘s for about two dollars a day, including breakfast and tortillas... She rented out rooms in her home. Everyone had breakfast together out on the patio. We lived there for six months, with all of our worldly possessions in the Studebaker...”16

Greg Noll wrote of Beverly, Sonny Vardeman, Rick Stoner, Reynolds Yater and Bruce Brown as all being part of the Mazatlan trip:

“In 1958 I went to Mazatlan. I was supposed to meet another guy down there to do some fishing and monkeying around. He never showed up... The Mazatlan trip turned out to be another first. The Mexicans thought surfing was pretty far-out. I found a real nice spot and made friends with one of the local boys who spoke English. He liked to watch me surf. One day I was riding a wave towards shore with the intention of coming in for the day. As I walked up onto the beach, I saw this old Mexican guy and his burro there, standing in front of me. The old man slowly backed up, making the sign of the Cross, his eyes bulging. The Mexican kid tried to calm him down.

“‘What’s the matter with him?’ I asked the kid.

“His eyesight is poor and he saw you coming across the water. He didn’t realize that you were on a surfboard. He thought you were walking on water.’

“The poor old fart thought that his day of reckoning had come and Jesus was going to take him to his deliverance. We finally got the old man to come over and touch my board. Eventually he came back to reality and thought it was all pretty neat, riding a wave like that. I think he was more relieved than anything.”17

“The first day I went out surfing in front of the Freeman Hotel in Mazatlan,” Noll continued, “I didn’t think anything about it. I just pulled up, took my board off the car and went down to the beach to wax up. The Chiclets kids started to gather ‘round, full of curiosity. I take surfing for granted, but it’s a hell of a thing for people who’ve never seen the sport.

“The surf was three- or four-foot get-wet stuff, catch a couple of waves and goof around, have a good time. No big deal. But by the time it was over I had created a minor sensation. People came out of the hotel. A crowd of about three hundred people gathered on the beach. Every time I caught a wave or made a turn, they’d cry, ‘Ole! Ole!’ It was fun, but over the next few days it got a little tiring, so I looked for less populous places to go out.”18

“I spent several months down there, surfing...” Noll recalled. “I wrote letters back to my friends -- Sonny Vardeman, Rick Stoner, Reynolds Yater, Bruce Brown... On one postcard, I wrote, “The difference between Mazatlan and Hawaii is the difference between night and day. It’s so beautiful down here you can’t believe it. Beats the Islands to hell.” I’d say anything to get them stoked so I’d have some company.

“They all came down... We made a side trip to surf San Blas, another first. Everywhere we went we broke new ground for surfing.”19

Bruce Brown vividly recalled that Mexico trip:

“I remember the trip to Mazatlan very well because I had a ‘50 Kaiser and Greg had a ‘47 Studebaker. My buddies and I caravaned down there and met Greg. He was making his first surf movie. At that time I hadn’t even started making movies.

“Greg’s Studebaker broke down in a melon field during one of our excursions. He found some Mexican guy who had a hammer and chisel and was willing to work on it. It looked to us like Greg was going to be stuck there for a few days, so we drove on with plans to meet him later.

“The big deal then was to be the one to name a new surf spot. Greg was real pissed because we got there first and named Cannon’s Point [after Del Cannon], among others that we ran into between Mazatlan and San Blas. Greg liked to name them himself.”20

“I thought I would become a watermelon king and spend the rest of my life in Mexico,” continued Noll. “Invested my whole life savings -- then, a hundred and fifty dollars -- in watermelon seeds. The Mexicans planted them, but when the watermelons were ready to be picked, they ate them instead of picking them or harvesting them for sale.

“I had an old Studebaker that was going to become my melon wagon. I went by myself to some ungodly place to fill it full of melons and ended up losing the timing gear. I was stuck there for ten days. Totally wiped me out. That was the end of my career as an agricultural baron.”21

 

 

The Nolls in Cabo San Lucas

 

Continuing her recollection of the 1958 trip to Mazatlan and then Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Beverly Noll remembered, “One night we met a couple of guys from California in a bar. By two in the morning, we were all great friends. They had just finished a race to Acapulco and were getting ready to sail back to California. They had no crew, so Greg volunteered to crew as long as they also took me. I was to do all the cooking. Neither of us knew a thing about crewing, but Greg figured we could pick it up in no time.

“By six that morning, we had packed all of our possessions in the Studebaker and stored it in the police yard in Mazatlan. Then we joined our new friends on their thirty-eight-foot sailboat. We didn’t know these people from the man in the moon, but away we sailed.

“I was deathly ill the whole way... Greg did the cooking and took turns on watch. I was green. We got as far as Cabo San Lucas but the weather prevented us from going on around the point. In Cabo, our newfound friends decided that they needed to go home to do their income taxes. They offered us the boat for as long as we wanted to use it.

“Cabo San Lucas was beautiful then. This was long before the Baja Highway was completed. There were about eight thatched huts on the beach and that was it. An oil truck came in once every two weeks by ferry from La Paz. There was plenty of food on the boat, and we fished every day.

“We found an old skiff and used it to explore different, untouched beaches. The big, hundred-and-twenty-foot-long tuna seiners were all coming back up from their runs. Since the weather also prevented them from getting around the point, Cabo became one big party scene. We were invited over to different ships for dinner, to play cards. The big Eldorado yacht was down there. It had been Eisenhower‘s yacht at one time and was now a corporate yacht for Northrop Aviation. We partied on it for two or three days. A couple from England tried to sail around the point one night and ended up on the rocks. We had to rescue them.

“I’ll never forget that time in Cabo. Here were all these wealthy, middle-aged men attempting to have a good time and talking about the good-old days, about what a good time they used to have, instead of dealing with today. That really registered, left an impression with me that you’ve got to make every day really count. You don’t want to end up down the road, looking back and saying, ‘Gee, remember the good ol’ days...’”22

“Greg and I...” Beverly began, then continued: “It seems we lived ten lifetimes in the time we were together. I look at other married couples and I realize that we did anything and everything that came along. There was always a new adventure in the works. I would never have embarked on half the things we did without Greg. Greg always made everything O.K. If he was there it was O.K.

“We built empires, tore them down and rebuilt them, then tore them down again. We fell down the big ladder so many times that it became no big deal. We’d just get up, brush ourselves off and say, ‘Here we go again.’”23

 

 

 

 

Search For Surf

 

Greg Noll was now shooting film footage of surfing, joining the tradition begun by Bud Browne at the beginning of the decade. Bruce Brown, who would go on to become surfing’s best-known filmmaker, recalled Noll’s movie making:

“Greg’s surf films were just as good or better than anyone else’s at that time. Beverly took a lot of the movies and stills while Greg was out surfing.

“When we were in Hawaii one winter, and both of us were making movies, I asked Greg what f-stop he was using. Greg said, ‘What’s that?’

“‘You know, the lens setting.’

“‘I don’t know,’ Greg said. ‘The guy at the store where I bought the camera set it up for me and I just left it there.’”24

“As a photographer,” Brown went on to say, “I’d feel a little reluctant to pump up a guy to go out in big waves at places like Waimea, Pipeline or Kaena Point, just so I could photograph him. What if he ended up maimed or killed? Since Greg’s movies often starred himself at these places, it was a perfect setup for him.

“I remember the time Greg came in at the end of the day with the first footage of Waimea Bay. We all gathered together at the Seaview Inn in Haleiwa and watched it, frame by frame, on Greg’s portable viewer. One sequence featured Mike Stange free-falling down the face of a gigantic wave. It was unbelievable to look at, but Greg thought it was great. He kept pounding Mike on the back, saying, ‘Unbelievable! Shit, Mike, how’d ya feel after that?’”25

“In 1965,” Brown went on to say, “the year after I released The Endless Summer, Greg stopped making movies to concentrate on his surfboard business. That’s when he built his fabulous surfboard factory on a dump site in Hermosa Beach.

The Endless Summer was my last movie [until its sequel, ES2, in the early 1990s]. I had made about six by then. People used to tell me, ‘Now that you’re making movies, you ought to move to Hollywood.’ I’d say, ‘Bullshit.’ Like many other surfers, I’d found something I was good at, something that earned me enough money to keep surfing.

“As kids, none of us would ever have imagined that we could make money surfing. Our goal was to find some way to make money so we could go surfing. Like Greg, many of us were able to make a business out of what we loved doing. And although there was an air of competitiveness among us, we also admired each other. There was no jealousy.”26

Buffalo Keaulana recalls Greg Noll‘s movies this way:

“Greg tell me, ‘Go to movies with me. We in movies. I take you.’ So I go. Movie come on. See me and Greg on wave. ‘Dere me!’ I shout. Me pau. ‘Dere Greg!’ I shout. Next wave, ‘Dere Greg!’ And next wave, dere Greg. Next wave, dere Greg, dere Greg, dere Greg. I no go to movies afta dat.”27

Beverly Noll spoke to the beginning of Greg’s and her movie making period, also mentioning Bud Browne:

“I remember many times, lying in bed in the middle of the night, listening to the surf building at Waimea. I knew Greg heard it, too, but I never said anything. It wasn’t a time to say anything. We would get up at the break of day and drive to Waimea Bay. He’d look and sometimes we’d make several dry runs, but there was never any conversation. The tension coming off Greg was extreme. He would ask me, ‘Do you have the cameras? Do you have extra film?’”28

“When it was time, we’d get situated,” Beverly continued. “I’d always go out on the point, next to Bud Browne. Bud would have his cameras there and I would have mine and we’d shoot film all day. I ran both the movie camera and the still camera. Greg always took the time to get me set up. Then he’d go back and get his board and it was like another person who would walk back by, on his way to the water. Everyone on the beach would ooh and aah. The crowd was there and I had all this confidence in this man.

“I knew that when he went out in the water that morning, it was going to be near dark before he came back in. Everyone else would be coming and going and Greg would sit out there. He would surf all day and never come out of the water. I watched him go under a couple of times on big wipeouts and I wondered if he was ever coming up. I would get nervous, pace a little. But Greg told me to never take my eye out of that camera, so, as nervous as I might have been, I was still ready to film whatever happened. I knew I’d get my butt chewed if I missed anything.”29

“The first time I joined Greg in Hawaii,” continued Beverly, “was when he came back from Australia [1956]. We lived in a van, cruised around to the different surf spots and camped out. We often camped out wherever we went and in whatever vehicle we had at the time. When we showed films, we traveled up and down the California coast and always slept in the back of our vehicle or crashed as somebody’s house. I’d sit for hours with Greg, going over his dialogue with him. Or I’d time him while he held his breath for two-and-a-half and three-minute stretches. He’d practice for hours.”30

LeRoy Grannis, surfer and surf photographer, also recalled Greg Noll‘s film making and stardom:

“You knew you were going to get some action whenever Greg went in the water. He pushed himself. He’d get as far back in the wave as possible. Maybe too far. He liked being on the edge.

“Greg and Jose Angel were alike in the way they approached riding big waves. They blew each other’s minds and the minds of the spectators on shore.

“I became a surf photographer in 1958. I had developed an ulcer and was told by my doctor to find an occupation less stressful than the one I was in. I’d been surfing in Southern California since the thirties, so the photography angle seemed a natural extension for me.

“I was down at the Manhattan Beach Pier in the early sixties, fooling around with a new camera that had a big, three-hundred-sixty-millimeter lens. Greg happened to be out surfing that day. The backwash hit the wave he was on and bounced Greg off his board and into the air, level with the top of the pier. It was a fantastic image and I had him in the viewfinder, but by the time the shutter went off, Greg had disappeared. That’s when I learned that a slow camera was going to be no good for surf photography.”31

“Greg did the same thing with Warren Miller,” Sonny Vardeman said, referring to the pioneer snow ski movie maker, “as he did with Dale Velzy. Greg got interested in making movies and hounded Miller to death, asking how he made these damn films, what kind of equipment did he use, how did the camera work?”32

“Bruce Brown actually became interested in making movies after watching Greg do his stuff in Mazatlan,” continued Vardeman. “John Severson also got into movie-making for a while. But the pioneer of the surf movie was Bud Browne. Bud was a lifeguard with us, too. For years, surfers would come from up and down the coast to congregate in Santa Monica a couple of times a year to see Bud Browne’s latest surf movie. You’d see all the people you’d meet that year at different surf spots along the coast.

“The turnout was tremendous. People cheering in the aisles, hooting and howling. Greg sees the light and decides to make his own surf films.”33

“Greg took films in Australia when he was there for the paddling contests, and also in Hawaii,” Vardeman went on. “When he went to Mazatlan in ‘58, that turned out to be another movie. The title and format of each movie became Search For Surf. Each year became a sequel to the previous year.

“When Greg told me and Rick Stoner about the surf in Mazatlan, we hitched up a teardrop trailer to my ‘47 Ford, strapped our surfboards on top and took off to join him. We spent nearly three months down there, traveling up and down the coast from Mazatlan, with Greg taking pictures. We went as far south as San Blas and Zihuatanejo. We had to go inland through Guadalajara and then back out to the coast to get there.

“Mexico turned out not to be a big-wave spot. There were a few days of twelve-to-fifteen foot waves, way outside. These were very rare, though. Most of the time the surf was small, two to four feet.

“When we can home, we all helped Greg edit his film. Greg designed his narration after Warren Miller‘s, which was done live. Greg rented the Pier Avenue Auditorium, which became the mecca of surf films for a while. Rick Stoner, Mike Stange, other friends and I helped pass out fliers, sell tickets, usher people...”34

“I mean to say, that first Search For Surf from the Australian and Mazatlan trips created a mob scene,” recalled Sonny Vardeman. The auditorium held three hundred people, but there were at least four hundred. The aisles were packed and the fire marshall was having a fit. Greg cranked up the Hawaiian music, got the film rolling and everyone quieted down to watch and listen. It was a hype job and it worked. He’d run the movie two or three nights in a row. Charged a buck a person and filled the auditorium to overflowing every night.”35

“One night,” told Vardeman, “people were lined up around the block, waiting to get in. I went outside and sold tickets to people who had exact change. My pockets were full of dollar bills. We had no idea how many tickets we were selling. The fire marshall would come and raise holy hell, threaten to close the place down.

“From the proceeds of that movie, Greg bought himself a new Volkswagen van. He was the talk of the town in his new van.

“A year or two later, Greg rented the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, which held about five thousand people. We had a pressure-packed, raucous crowd the first night. Greg had the music going before the film started. People got even more worked up. Prior to the film, Greg would usually go up on stage, introduce himself and tell a little about where the film was taken. This evening, the crowd was just going crazy, and Greg was up on stage, getting pelted by beer and soft drink caps. He finally retreated and turned on the film and, again, everyone settled down at once.

“Greg made surf movies for six or seven years. When he got into the big time with his surfboard factory [circa 1964], he stopped making movies and devoted all his time to the business.”36

 

 

 

 

Malibu Before the Hollywood Invasion

 

Back on the Mainland, the surf culture that emanated from Malibu that had begun in the mid-to-later 1940s, was now reaching its peak. Surfers like Mike Doyle were there as witnesses and participants...

 

 

Mike Doyle at Malibu

 

“The summer between my junior and senior years at Inglewood High,” wrote Mike Doyle, “my stepfather, Walt, started working at the Point Mugu Naval Air Station, way up the coast, halfway to Santa Barbara. He’d leave every morning at six and drive up Highway 1, passing right by Malibu. So every morning, a few minutes before six, I rolled out of bed, grabbed my surfboard, and rode along with Walt.

“I used to love passing through Venice in the morning. Not only was it interesting in an architectural sense, but there were so many strange characters coming out of the walls: winos waking up and blowing their snot on the sidewalk, women with tattoos, men with wigs and make-up, bikers, beatniks, artists, musicians -- weirdos of all kinds. The place looked kind of rough compared to my own neighborhood, and very rough compared to the clean, quiet, high-rent area around Malibu, but I was fascinated by Venice because it was a place where it was okay to be a little bit different from everybody else. I could see that being different in Venice wasn’t a liability, it was an asset.”37

“Walt would drop me off at Malibu at seven or so,” continued Doyle. “I’d collect enough Coke bottles to buy a quart of milk and a big package of Barbara Ann rolls. I’d eat the whole gooey dough ball, then I’d climb on my surfboard, paddle out, and stay out until almost dark. My feet would never touch dry sand for twelve hours. When Walt came to pick me up, I’d flop out in the back of the car and sleep all the way home. The next day I’d do it again.”38

“Malibu was a magical place in those days,” Doyle reminisced. “It was a beautiful beach, the wind blew side-offshore, the water had a crystal clarity, and it had the most ruler-perfect wave in California. It had the movie stars, and it had the surfing stars, and it was only a few minutes from downtown L.A., the center of wealth and power on the West Coast.

“There were guys living on the beach at Malibu, building shacks and collecting Coke bottles to buy food. Nobody hassled them. Malibu wasn’t that popular with beachgoers then, mostly just surfers, so the place was rarely crowded. When a good swell came up in the summer, there would be ten, twelve, maybe fifteen surfers out in the water.”39

“All the little surf grommets like me,” continued Doyle, “whose parents dropped them off at the beach, tried to make Malibu our own turf. We called ourselves ‘the judging panel,’ and we would lie there in the sand where we could see everybody who came down the stairs. To get by us, you had to pass our inspection, and it wasn’t easy getting by the panel. We called you a ‘valley kook,’ a ‘hodad,’ and a ‘cowboy,’ but if you took the roasting with good humor, eventually you were accepted into our club. We challenged you in the beginning -- out in the water we might even shove you off a few waves -- but if you hung in there and took it, you got in.

“When we weren’t surfing, we used to sit there in the sand and work each other over, just to stay in practice: ‘You know something? You got a nose like an anteater.’

“‘Yeah, well, the bigger the nose, the bigger the hose.’

“‘Yeah, I’ve seen your hose. It looks like a little pink jellybean.’

“‘That’s not what your sister said.’

“‘I don’t even have a sister, you goofball.’

“Then we’d slobber all over our faces like idiots and roll in the sand like happy puppies.”40

Mike Doyle‘s recollections of the Malibu that existed prior to the release of the first Hollywood beach movie Gidget shows Malibu in the zenith of its purity as the ultimate California surf break and surf scene:

“Across the street from Malibu,” Doyle wrote, addressing the issue of basic substinance, “was a road that led up into the hills to a Catholic retreat. Along that road was a grove of orange trees with the best oranges any of us had ever tasted. Every now and then, one of the guys would say, ‘Let’s go make an orange run.’ We’d wait until there were no cars going up the road to the retreat, then we’d charge across the highway, hop over the gate, and sneak up the road a ways. There was a little cabin there where the caretaker lived, and the grove was kept perfectly manicured all the time. Under the trees, every leaf was kept raked, yet we never saw a soul. The place had a mystical quality about it -- we imagined that monks came down in the moonlight to care for the grove at night. We’d pull off our T-shirts, tie the sleeves in a knot, and fill them up with big ripe oranges. Then we’d run back to the beach to share the booty with our friends. After being out in the sun all day, and with salt water in our mouths, those juicy oranges tasted wonderful.”41

“Malibu was where I first started making a reputation for myself as a surfer,” Doyle went on. “I was a goofy foot when I first started there. Malibu, like a lot of the great surf spots in California, breaks from left to right (as viewed by the surfer facing the beach.) So a goofy footer at Malibu has his back to the wave -- a disadvantage. In my case, the wave kept hitting me in the butt over and over, until one day I decided I’d better switch my stance to left foot forward. From that day on, my surfing ability began to improve dramatically.”42

 

 

Matt Kivlin at Malibu

 

“Like all young surfers,” Mike Doyle admitted, “I began by imitating the style of the older surfers, and one of the older surfers I admired most was Matt Kivlin. He was a very handsome man, and in the water he had a very casual style, very polished, with his board always in perfect trim with the wave. He surfed like a dancer, and out of the water he carried himself the same way. He was an outstanding waterman, an intelligent guy, and very well respected.”43

 

 

Mickey “The Mongoose” Munoz at Malibu

 

“Another surfer I admired a lot,” Mike Doyle wrote, “was Mickey Muñoz, ‘the Mongoose.’ He was about three years older than I, short, dark, with a hatchet nose. Muñoz invented a lot of the stock poses we used in those days: El Teléfono, Quasimoto, El Spontanéo. They were sort of like compulsory exercises in gymnastics -- every surfer had to master them in order to prove he’d reached a minimum level of skill.

“Everybody was into nose riding in those days, and Muñoz had a board he called the duckbill. He’d extended the nose of the board with a piece of wood about a foot long; then he’d nailed a go-ahead (a rubber thong) onto it. Muñoz would walk all the way to the end of the board, then stick his foot out and slip it inside the go-ahead. That really impressed us.”44

 

 

Lance Carson at Malibu

 

“We were judged by our surfing ability,” MikeDoyle wrote, “-- nothing else -- and my surfing ability had improved to the point that I rated some respect.

“One of my buddies at Malibu in those days was Lance Carson. We called him ‘Jet Pilot‘ because he had a perfectly pointed nose. Lance was from a wealthy family in Pacific Palisades, and every winter his parents sent him back East to some private military school. But in the summer he spent all his time at the beach. He was at a big disadvantage in some ways, because every year by the time he got out of school, the rest of us were already tanned and surfing really well, while Lance would still be all white and educated. But by the end of summer Lance would be surfing as well, or better, than any of us.

“Besides having a very smooth, clean style of surfing, Lance became one of the greatest nose riders of all time. While most surfers could only run up to the nose and pose there for a few seconds, Lance could stand there almost indefinitely and in total control -- he could actually maneuver the board from the nose.”45

 

 

Kemp Aaberg at Malibu

 

“Another good friend in those days was Kemp Aaberg,” Mike Doyle wrote. “Kemp was a great surfer and was always in top shape. He also grew up in Pacific Palisades, and was the oldest of three boys. Kemp’s little brother, Denny, later wrote a fine novel about surfing, Big Wednesday. I mostly remember Denny as a little beach rat hanging around his big brother, but later, after I read his book, I realized he’d been paying attention to everything we said and did.”46

 

 

Tom Morey at Malibu

 

One of the not-so-regular surfers at Malibu in the late Fifties was a guy named Tom Morey,” recalled Mike Doyle. “I remember the first day I saw him at Malibu. He drove up to the beach in a new car and stepped out wearing a shirt and tie. He was very clean-cut but carried himself in a relaxed, slump-shouldered way. He pulled out a board he’d made himself, stripped off his suit and tie, and pulled on a pair of trunks. He was all white, like he didn’t get out in the sun enough, and we expected him to be a real kook in the water. But Morey surprised us. He was a very smooth surfer, with a relaxed style and a light touch. He did beautiful cutbacks and had perfected a move called the standing island pullout, which some of us had never seen before.

“We found out later that Morey worked for Douglas Aircraft as some kind of aeronautical engineer and he liked to play the drums in jazz bands on the side. He never really mixed with the crowd. He was kind of quiet and only showed up once in a while. But almost every time he came to the beach, Morey had a different surfboard -- always something experimental, always something we had never seen before.”47

 

 

Joey Cabell at Malibu

 

“Another surfer I used to see at Malibu from time to time,” wrote Mike Doyle, “was Joey Cabell. He would pull up in a Volkswagen van with several surfboards on top. He was about six feet tall, thin in his upper body, and very wiry. He had penetrating blue eyes, clear skin, and a surprisingly quiet voice, but was high-strung and difficult to talk to.

“Joey had been born in Hawaii and started surfing at Waikiki in 1946 when he was only seven. His first balsa board had been fashioned from an old army life raft. For spending money, he used to weave grass hats to sell to the tourists. Rabbit Kekai, a legendary surfer who had been the head beachboy at the Outrigger Canoe Club at Waikiki, recognized young Joey’s talent and took him surfing all over Oahu. When I first saw Joey, he was on the mainland going to school at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. He was a couple of years older than I, which was a lot at that age, so we weren’t close then. But I could see that he was a very talented athlete and a great waterman.”48

 

 

Tubesteak at Malibu

 

“One of the wonderful Malibu characters from that era was Tubesteak, who was in his early twenties. He lived on the beach with another guy, Harry Stonelake. Everybody else came and went, but those two were always right there, taking life easy, surfing every day, and collecting Coke bottles to buy food. Tubesteak always wore cutoff pants with his big gut hanging over the waist, and he ate roasted hot dogs for every meal, which is how he got his name. The beach life suited Tubesteak perfectly, and he was always fat and happy.”49

 

 

Mickey Dora at Malibu

 

“But the unrivaled king of Malibu in those days,” wrote Mike Doyle, “was Mickey Dora, ‘Da Cat.’ He was about seven years older than I, or twenty-five at this time. His full name, which he had printed on his business cards, was Miklos Sandor Dora III. His father was a wine importer, and Mickey always had bottles of fine wine with his father’s import label on them. Mickey’s parents divorced when he was six, and he’d spent a lot of his youth in military schools.

“It was Mickey’s stepfather, Gard Chapin, who started taking him to the beach, at San Onofre. Gard Chapin had been one of the great California surfers of the 1930s and ‘40s, and a regular at Malibu. I think Mickey idolized Gard, and for a long time he went by the name of Mickey Chapin. Gard was a great waterman, but his personality put people off because he was arrogant and cocky. Gard Chapin later died under mysterious circumstances: The way I heard the story, he and some other people were on a yacht in the harbor at Cabo San Lucas. There had been an argument, Gard left angrily in a small dinghy, it flipped over, and he drowned. But I’ve also heard people who knew Gard say that version is ridiculous because Gard could swim extremely well. At any rate, Gard Chapin disappeared during the night and was later found dead.

“Mickey used to say that his stepfather had been murdered, and when Mickey changed his last name back to Dora, he said it was for his own protection. I don’t know if all that was true, or if it was just part of the mystery Mickey liked to wrap himself in.”50

“One day,” continued Doyle, talking about Dora, “I happened to notice that when Matt Kivlin was out surfing, Dora watched him very carefully, studying every move Kivlin made. I realized then that Dora had imitated a lot of Kivlin’s surfing style. Later I heard Dora refer to Kivlin as a genius of style. Because so many surfers, including me, imitated Dora, and Dora imitated Matt Kivlin, I think Kivlin had a much greater influence on the direction surfing took than many people realize today.”51

“Dora had such charisma and style, and, like everyone else,” admitted Doyle, “I couldn’t help but be very impressed with him. He wore full-length trench coats and drove around in classic old Dusenbergs and Bentleys, as if he were some European playboy enjoying his leisure at the beach. He had graceful mannerisms and expressions -- the way he would touch his sunglasses with just his thumb and forefinger, like a movie star, and smile at you. Every kid on the beach was going around doing Mickey Dora imitations. We drew iron crosses on the bottoms of our surfboards, and scrawled ‘Kaboom!‘ and ‘Kazam!‘ across the front of them. We didn’t know what it meant, but we knew Mickey Dora did it, so it had to be cool.”52

“Dora was always troubled by the world situation. I think he paid too much attention to the news. One day when I was going up and down the beach collecting Coke bottles to get gas money, Dora told me, ‘Buy gold, Doyle. The entire world economy is going to collapse. Buy gold.’

“I didn’t have the vaguest idea what he was talking about. ‘Forget gold,’ I’d say. ‘Let’s go surfing.’”53

“And Dora hated surf contests,” Doyle continued. “He was always talking about how surfers were selling their souls for a few cheap trophies. One of his favorite tricks was to sign up to compete in a surf contest just to get everybody talking -- ‘Is Dora really gonna show?’ -- then he would never appear. Or else he’d show up at the contest with an 11’ 6” tandem board and just goof around on it while everybody else was competing, making a mockery of the whole thing.

“Looking back on it now, I can see that Dora was manipulating the system to bring attention to himself. Dora was a promo man, and his favorite promotion was Mickey Dora. But everybody who knew him when he was in his prime had to admit that Dora was a genius. He stimulated everybody’s imagination, and an awful lot of what became California surf culture was pure Dora.”54

 

 

Labor Day Weekend, Malibu

 

C.R. Stecyk tells this story of a Malibu party on Labor Day weekend:

“Another Malibu funraiser. The assembled dignitaries blast off at a borrowed house. On the dance floor all restraint has broken loose as the 16-year-old daughter of an Orange County politician is entertaining the troops. The word spreads as the party is being busted and the cops are at the door. The Malibu Matador quickly calculates, knowing that fifteen will get you twenty, and that naked underage politician’s daughters might even get you dead. An alternative scenario is quickly improvised as a matter of survival. With great bravado, the Matador procures a sheet and instructs Miss Jail Bait to get down on all fours. He covers the young girl with the sheet and places a bowl of soggy potato chips on her back. With that, the boys pull up chairs and begin playing poker upon the girl turned table at the exact instant that the sheriff enters the room. The heat, unable to prove any major crime, departs leaving the card players to their own devices.”55

 

 

 

 

The Guayule Kid

 

“The greatest surfer in the late Fifties and early Sixties,” credits Mike Doyle, “was Phil Edwards. He lived down in Oceanside and had grown up surfing at Terramar, where the power plant in Carlsbad is today. His nickname was the ‘Guayule Kid.’ (Guayule was the name of a nearby rubber manufacturing plant.) Edwards had seen Mickey Dora surfing at San Onofre and was so impressed with Mickey’s creativity and innovative style that he spent one whole summer surfing with Dora and copying every move Dora made. Later Edwards developed his own, totally original style.

“For years I’d heard about Edwards doing things on surfboards that were phenomenal, but I’d never seen him surf myself. Everything I knew about him was by word of mouth. Other surfers told me he was a brilliant style master. They said he had one old board he’d been riding for about six years, and he loved it so much that when it would get all beat up, he’d carefully peel off the old fiberglass and reglass it. Everybody knew he was the best surfer in California, and probably the best surfer in the world, but his entire reputation in the surfing world was based on the respect of his peers, because Edwards usually wouldn’t have anything to do with surf contests.”56

“Every now and then,” continued Doyle, “we would hear rumors: ‘Edwards is coming up to Malibu. He’s gonna show this weekend.’ I was always at Malibu, so I didn’t have to worry about missing him if he did show. But I was always disappointed.

“And then one day we got a huge summer swell at Malibu, and surfers from all up and down the coast showed up -- from La Jolla, Oceanside, San Onofre, and Dana Point. That was one day I stayed out of the water, just so I could watch all these guys. There was Joey Cabell, with his perfect timing and gazelle-like moves; Mickey Dora, with one arm in the air, nose-tweaking and side-slipping up and down the wave; Dewey Weber, now known as the ‘Little Man on Wheels,’ running to the nose, then frantically backpeddling to the tail, slicing right, then cutting back again to the left; Lance Carson posing forever on the nose with his arms outstretched like a crucified Christ.

“But the most impressive of all that day was Phil Edwards. What an inspiration it was to watch him at work! He’d do these totally original movements that weren’t always functional but were expressive. He’d run up to the nose and stand there posing; then he’d snap out of it and run back. When the wave would start to break, he’d lean forward to let it him on the chest. He’d counter-rotate his lower body, as if he were winding up for a turn. He’d change his pace, like syncopated dancing. I thought his style was so beautiful.”57

“One of Phil’s moves that day,” Doyle went on, “absolutely astonished me: He took off on a big wave, but instead of turning right, he turned left, then backpedaled, planted his rear foot on the rail, swung the board all the way around to a full right, and immediately walked to the nose. I had never even imagined doing anything like that -- but Edwards pulled it off so smoothly!

“After watching Phil Edwards surf for the first time, I realized that all of us at Malibu had been imitating each other for so long, we’d become inbred and a bit stifled. From then on, my mind was open to new possibilities of what you could do with a wave.”58

 

 

Cat On A Hot Foam Board

 

Phil Edwards was becoming so well known as a surf stylist that he now was recruited to star in a surf film. It was in this way that, Edwards made his second trip to the Islands -- this time in style and funded.

“Bud Browne was then the Matthew Jack Brady of surf photography,” wrote Edwards. “Browne planned an epic to be called Cat on a Hot Foam Board... By epic, I mean I was actually to get paid for it. My fee: plane fare to Hawaii. (Later, when the movie was exhibited on the great high school tour -- a pubescent Minsky’s Circuit for the underground movies of that day -- I was to collect a little more money from it. Nothing wildly profitable; Browne was kind enough to give me some of the action in a couple of small towns where he showed the film.)”59

“Still,” Edwards continued, “I was poised for a first starring role in a movie, with Dewey Weber, another surfer, which began to indicate that a life devoted to surfing was not exactly a misspent youth. Remember, youth spent in pool halls can only make a hustler of you. There is no way to hustle anyone on a surfboard...

“Hot Foam Surfboard under my arm -- everything I owned in a small suitcase -- I headed for Hawaii. But not by plane.

“I pocketed the money Browne had given me and signed on as a crewman aboard an 83-foot sloop that was to be delivered to Hawaii.”60

“There is something well-ordered about a yacht; everything is in its place,” Edwards went on, “and in moments of high wind and serenity, it lies bellied over in the water, slicing up perfect bow waves, and you can look out beyond the spinnaker and feel at peace with the world. The blue sky lies like a bowl all around you and the sloop has a bone in its teeth and bites along with a fine, clean hissing sound. Then, there are storms.

“Midway across the Pacific we found one. The sloop became a pitching, tossing prison. Dishes and utensils became flying weapons. The bilge backed up, the toilets overflowed. The crewmen were powerfully sick: throwing up, then working on in their stained clothes, trying to keep the ship under sail and on top of the ocean. There was the frightening snap! of canvas when the winds would change, and I remember sitting on the long bench in the wardroom, my legs braced out somewhere in the middle of the floor -- not sick, but thinking, ‘If anyone else aboard gets sick, I’m going to have to do everything myself and there is no way.’ Crash. Then a dish would come skittering by me and I would look at its pieces dancing on the floor and think, ‘Hot damn! We’ll be eating out of our hands by Hawaii.’

“But we ran clear of it. Sloops do. And we spent a few hurried days putting the thing back in order.

“Seventeen days after we had left California, I met Bud Browne on the dock, surfboard still intact, ready for the movie.”61

 

 

 

 

The Lure of the Islands

 

Starting their winter season in the Islands early, Greg Noll, Bill Stonebraker, Skipper Fats Harwood and Ricky Young arrived on O`ahu at Summer’s end, August 30th. With them came their latest experiments: short (for those times) 8-foot “Blob” boards. “Short, ugly and designed for maneuverability,” wrote C.R. Stecyk, “the boards are generally ignored.”62 While innovative, these boards did not work well in the Hawaiian conditions.

 

 

Ricky Grigg & Jim Caldwell: Out to Sea

 

After the Fall had passed and in a dramatic and almost fatal illustration of how bad the Waimea Bay rip tide can get, California surfer Jim Caldwell was swept out to sea behind the line of breakers, at the beginning of the winter season, 1958-59.63

Ricky Grigg went out to help him and suffered the same fate. Unable to negotiate either the currents or the heavy surf, the two were eventually rescued hours later by local firemen with an Air-Sea Rescue helicopter.64

 

 

Sheppard’s Loaner Trunks, December 14, 1958

 

On the lighter side, Greg Noll recalled an incident, on December 14, 1958, involving Bob Sheppard and his surf trunks:

“One day in December ‘58 a friend, Bob Sheppard, let me borrow a pair of his trunks while we were surfing at Haleiwa. I got hit by a board and broke two ribs. Buffalo had to bring me in. At first, Buff thought I was kidding. The board knocked the air out of me, and all I could do was say, in a squeaky voice, ‘Buff, help me.’ He finally came over to see what was wrong and paddled me in.

“They took me to the hospital. Sheppard was there, tugging at my trunks. ‘Give ‘em to me, you bastard, before you croak.’ I got my ribs taped up and decided to fly home that night, since the broken ribs ended my winter season.

“About three months went by, then I get this letter from Sheppard: ‘On December 14, 1958, you willfully and without permission, removed and donned one pair of blue trunks from Robert Sheppard’s car. You were unfortunately the victim of a slight accident while surfing that day and while being treated for the acquired injury, you undoubtedly saved much money as the doctor had at one time been an Outrigger Canoe Club member. Not wishing to inconvenience you more, you were allowed to keep the trunks only with the understanding that they would be left with Paul Swanson upon your departure to the Mainland. I have now been informed that you have ungratefully skipped out without returning those irreplaceable and highly valuable trunks. I am bringing this to your attention and I am sure you will immediately airmail the trunks to the above address, you kook.’

“I ignored the letter and wore the trunks for about five more months until they were just a pile of threads. Then I wrapped what was left of them with some bricks and put them in a box. Sent them airmail special delivery, C.O.D., to Sheppard in Hawaii. Probably cost him about $25.

“I’m sure that before he opened the package, Sheppard thought, ‘Well, Greg is going to be good-hearted and send me something really bitchin’ for the use of my trunks.’”65

 

 

                                                                  ENDIT

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 


1  Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History, [3rd revised edition], ©1991, Simon & Schuster Inc., New York, pp. 542-543.

2  Muirhead, Desmond. Surfing in Hawaii, A Personal Memoir, “With Notes on California, Australia, Peru, and Other Surfing Countries,” [1st edition], ©1962, Northland Press, Flagstaff, Arizona, pp. 118-119. Peter Cole quoted.

3  Muirhead, 1962, p. 119. Peter Cole quoted.

4  Muirhead, 1962, p. 119. Peter Cole quoted.

5  Muirhead, 1962, p. 118.

6  Surfer, Volume 33, Number 12. January 13-14, 1958 singled out for the waves that hit Makaha.

7  Van Dyke, Fred. Thirty Years Riding the World’s Biggest Waves, ©1989 by Joseph Grassadonia, Ocean Sports International Publishing Group, Inc. 204 Poo-Poo Place, Kailua, Hawai`i 96734, p. 74.

8  Van Dyke, 1989, p. 73.

9  Van Dyke, 1989, p. 75.

10  Van Dyke, 1989, p. 75.

11  Severson, John Hugh (1933- ). Modern Surfing Around The World, [1st edition], ©1964, Doubleday, Garden City, New York, p. 11. Fred Van Dyke quoted in the Introduction.

12  Van Dyke, 1989, p. 75.

13  Surfer, Volume 33, Number 12. Peter Cole quoted, refering to January 13-14, 1958

14  Edwards, Phil (1938- ). You Should Have Been Here an Hour Ago: The Stoked Side of Surfing; or, How to Hang Ten Through Life and Stay Happy, by Phil Edwards with Bob Ottum, ©1967 Harper & Row, New York, p. 106.

15  Edwards, 1967, pp. 105-106.

16  Noll, Greg. DA BULL: Life Over the Edge, ©1989 by Greg Noll and Andrea Gabbard, North Atlantic Books, 2800 Woolsey Street, Berkeley, California 94705, pp. 81-82. Beverly Noll quoted.

17  Noll, 1989, p. 80.

18  Noll, 1989, pp. 80-81.

19  Noll, 1989, p. 81.

20  Noll, 1989, p. 83-84. Bruce Brown quoted.

21  Noll, 1989, p. 80.

22  Noll, 1989, p. 82. Beverly Noll quoted.

23  Noll, 1989, p. 82-83. Beverly Noll quoted.

24  Noll, 1989, p. 89. Bruce Brown quoting Greg Noll.

25  Noll, 1989, p. 89. Bruce Brown quoting Greg Noll.

26  Noll, 1989, pp. 89-90. Bruce Brown quoted.

27  Noll, 1989, p. 84. Buffalo Kealauna quoted.

28  Noll, 1989, p. 88. Beverly Noll quoted.

29  Noll, 1989, p. 88. Beverly Noll quoted.

30  Noll, 1989, p. 88. Beverly Noll quoted.

31  Noll, 1989, p. 90. LeRoy Grannis quoted.

32  Noll, 1989, p. 86. Sonny Vardeman quoted.

33  Noll, 1989, p. 86. Sonny Vardeman quoted.

34  Noll, 1989, pp. 86-87. Sonny Vardeman quoted.

35  Noll, 1989, p. 87. Sonny Vardeman quoted.

36  Noll, 1989, p. 87. Sonny Vardeman quoted.

37  Doyle, Mike. Morning Glass, The Adventures of Legendary Waterman Mike Doyle, ©1993 by Mike Doyle and Steve Sorensen, Manzanita Press, PO Box 720, Three Rivers, California 93271, pp. 29-30.

38  Doyle, 1993, p. 30.

39  Doyle, 1993, p. 30.

40  Doyle, 1993, p. 31.

41  Doyle, 1993, pp. 301-32.

42  Doyle, 1993, p. 32.

43  Doyle, 1993, p. 32.

44  Doyle, 1993, pp. 32-33.

45  Doyle, 1993, pp. 30-31.

46  Doyle, 1993, p. 31.

47  Doyle, 1993, p. 35.

48  Doyle, 1993, p. 35.

49  Doyle, 1993, p. 32.

50  Doyle, 1993, p. 33.

51  Doyle, 1993, pp. 33-34.

52  Doyle, 1993, p. 34.

53  Doyle, 1993, p. 34.

54  Doyle, 1993, p. 34.

55  The Surfer’s Journal, Volume 1, Number 3, p. 49. C.R. Stecyk notations on September 3, 1958.

56  Doyle, 1993, p. 39.

57  Doyle, 1993, pp. 39-40.

58  Doyle, 1993, p. 40. The day after, Doyle became a rider for Velzy and Jacobs. See Doyle, 1993, pp. 40-41.

59  Edwards, Phil (1938- ). You Should Have Been Here an Hour Ago: The Stoked Side of Surfing; or, How to Hang Ten Through Life and Stay Happy, by Phil Edwards with Bob Ottum, ©1967 Harper & Row, New York, p. 104.

60  Edwards, 1967, p. 104.

61  Edwards, 1967, pp. 104-105.

62  The Surfer’s Journal, Volume 1, Number 3. C.R. Stecyk notes, p. 52.

63  Muirhead, 1962, p. 118

64  Muirhead, 1962, p. 118

65   Noll, 1989, pp. 101-102.


Sunday, June 14, 2020

Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz (1921-2014)

 

 Aloha and Welcome to this LEGENDARY SURFERS chapter on Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz.



Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz. Image courtesy of TheInertia.com


Contents

Galveston to Southern California

Father of Israeli Surfing, 1956

The Alternative Family

Mental and Physical Fitness

Spirituality / Religion

Writings on Health

Surfing 4 Peace

“Surfwise,” 2007

Toward the End

Doc Quotes

 

 

Few surfers had the kind of longevity in the world of surfing that Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz had. He began surfing in 1931 when he was 10 and surfed all his life until passing in 2014 at the age of 93.

 

 

Galveston to Southern California

 

In 1921, Dorian was “Born and raised in Galveston, Texas,” he recalled at age 89. Of his beginnings on Galveston Island, on the Coastal Bend of the Texas Gulf Coast, “I stayed there until I was 13. And then a monumental thing happened in my life, something so striking it was incredulous. I learned to surf in the Gulf of Mexico [at age 10] with a contraption some guy made. By 13, I was a real surfer. It was April, I got bronchitis, I had terrible asthma. I just felt like it was the end of the world. One Sunday morning, I heard a thud on the porch. My mom brought in the [news] paper, I opened it, and the centerfold fell out. It was a Sunday magazine called Parade, I think. And so I opened it up to its centerfold. And there was a picture of something I had never even dreamed of. A magnificent wave that stretched across two pages, glistening, sparkling with sunlight, with three guys on the wave. Glassy water, sunlight, these beautifully shaped guys on these beautifully shaped boards. I’m not exaggerating – in an instant, my life changed. I felt like a million dollars. I said, ‘Momma! Momma! Look at that! You take me to where that wave is, I’ll get well tomorrow.’ She said: ‘You get well tomorrow, and I’ll take you the day after tomorrow.’

“Before the month of April was up, my entire family, with everything we owned, like the Joads of the Grapes of Wrath, had piled into a 1934 Ford Model A, and we headed toward that wave. And I found that wave, and not only that wave, but those three guys, too.”1

It was the Great Depression, and the Paskowitzes were struggling when they decided that if they were going to be poor in Texas, they might as well be poor in Mission Beach, California. “At the time, there were not many surfers there,” Dorian well remembers.2 In 1935, surfers and surfboards were rare. Somehow he located a board and because it weighed more than he did, he had to drag it to the beach.

“Pretty soon people started coming up to me and saying, ‘Hey, can I try that?’”3

Dorian was not only one of the first Jewish surfers ever, but went on to become “San Diego’s first Jewish surfer and probably the city’s first Jewish lifeguard, working as a San Diego City Lifeguard in Mission Beach in 1936 and in La Jolla the following year.”4

He was once got kicked out of Point Loma High School because of his lifeguard work.

“I have asthma,” Dorian prefaced. “And asthmatics very frequently in the early morning get asthma just from breathing in the cold air. I had the early morning gym class. And I got asthma every morning. I really suffered from it. So I got a gym excuse from a doctor. That all went well for about a month and a half. But I’d lied about my age to become a lifeguard. And so I was stationed, even before my graduation from Point Loma [high school], at La Jolla Shores, where nobody swam and nobody was around.

“A woman comes running down the beach the second day I was there, screaming: ‘Help me! Help me!’ It was desolate. You can’t imagine what La Jolla was when I was 16, it was desolate, just sand dunes. She says: ‘My husband fell off the cliffs on the other side of the pier! He’s dying!’ I had my paddle board. I paddled it around the pier, picked him up and paddled him back. When I got back, the ambulance was there, but so was a newspaper reporter. The next morning, in the paper – may I show you the kind of picture that was there? I wanted you to see this (He pulls out a picture of him as a svelte young man).

“So the coach called me and said: ‘You dirty dog. How dare you! Here you are supposed to be a sick weakling! Look at that! And he kicked me out of school, three weeks before graduation.”5

After high school, he enrolled at San Diego State, but his dream had always been to get to Hawai‘i. When he got there, his first stay was not long.

“I transferred to the University of Hawaii, where I met another fellow like me who was struggling to get enough fried shrimp to keep body and soul alive. He went to Stanford. I had never heard of the school, coming from a poor family, but he said I should go there because Stanford was a rich school and they had lots of jobs for poor kids.”

Paskowitz went back to the U.S. Mainland and enrolled at Stanford, where he tutored to make ends meet; receiving an undergraduate degree in biology.

Like everyone of his generation, he remembered well the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. He was at Stanford.

“I remember sitting in the Cellar, a place where everybody hung out to have doughnuts and coffee, tutoring two All-Americans so they could play in (college football’s) Rose Bowl, when a voice came over the radio and said that Pearl Harbor had been bombed.”

He enlisted in the Army Air Corps., but before he could report for duty, he learned that he had been accepted to Stanford’s medical school.

“So I joined the Navy and worked in the hospital and then aboard a ship,” he said. “I spent some time aboard the USS Ajax and went out to the atomic bomb experiments in the Pacific.”

Paskowitz continued his medical studies while in the Navy and received his degree from Stanford in 1946. When he got out of the Navy in 1948, he was already married and trying to start a family.6

He and his first wife relocated to Hawai‘i, where he became head of the territory’s branch of the American Medical Association. “Doc, who concludes every phone call, with a warm ‘Shalom-Aloha,’ seemingly had it all as a doctor: professional, financial and social high-standing, complete with a home servant.

“But Doc was miserable. His second wife was cheating on him, he was no longer surfing and he was suffering from insomnia and anxiety. His life was a lie.”7

During this time, Doc met Alfred Kumalai and told this story about his friend:

“I had a friend, who was so modest and so mild that he changed the destiny of the world in shorts, barefooted and without a shirt. And nobody knows his name. He was the inventor of the double-hulled canoe that became a catamaran. His name was Alfred Kumalae. He had the most marvelous disposition of peacefulness and humanity. One day, we were working on a new boat, and I said, ‘Alfred, let’s go get a drink.’ We put down our tools, walked across the sand to the yacht harbor. On the way, I looked down, and there in the sand, bright as a star, was a 50-cent piece. We were going to spend a nickel apiece to get soda. I said: ‘Alfred, look! Look! My God, we’re going to get pancakes.’ I showed it to him, and his face turned melancholy. I thought, he thinks I’m being selfish. I could see his whole demeanor had changed. I said, ‘Tell me, what’s wrong.’ He said, ‘Uncle Dorian’ – he called me ‘Uncle Dorian’ – ‘I know you’re happy about finding that 50-cent piece, and I am too, but have you given any thought to the person who lost it?’

Doc choked up at the memory of this moment.              

“Whew. It was no morality, no religion, no philosophy; it was just an expression of the human spirit that can become so powerful and so majestic as to think those thoughts. And I said, ‘No, Alfred, I haven’t thought about that. But if I live to be 1,000, I’ll never forget it.’ He was a great human being. That’s the kind of man I met.”8

 

 

Father of Israeli Surfing, 1956

 

In 1956, following two failed marriages, Dorian went to Israel to fight for that country during the Suez Canal Crisis.

“And they laughed at me,” he said simply.

“Being raised at Mission Beach, there was only one other Jewish family. Our raising was never a traditional Jewish raising. So life went on. I went to school, I decided I wanted to be a doctor, I became a doctor, I fell in love with a crazy woman, she began (expletive) my friends in Hawaii, I lost my mind, much of my hair, then I got married again to another woman. With one woman I lost one child, with the other I lost two children. And by 1955 I was a sad sack. I really felt that I had failed at perhaps some of the most important things in the world: Being a man, being a lover, being a husband, being a father. Because when you get kicked in the ass by a woman who’s (expletive) your friends, there’s hardly another blow – whether it’s to your ass or twixt the eyes – that hurts more.

“... I went to a gathering of Jews, a retreat. And I met the Jewish consul general of Israel. He told me that Israel was in trouble, and why didn’t I come to Israel. He said, ‘I can see you have some problems. But when you come to Israel, and you go home, you’ll take the problems back with you.’ He couldn’t have been more wrong. I lost every (expletive) problem I had.

“I went to Israel. I thought I’d become a paratrooper and get killed. So I took a surfboard with me. When the war broke out, I was teaching a surfing lesson in the ancient city of Ashkelon. I rushed back to Tel Aviv to volunteer. (The army didn’t want him.) I didn’t become a soldier of fortune. By the time I came back to America, I was a mensch. A man.”9

“When I left, I was a rather well-recovering psycho with panic spells, taking phenobarbitol when I had to. Living in my car. I was a resident doctor at a Jewish hospital, helping out. Then I got to Israel, and I began to meet people who were menschen, men. Great personalities, great warriors, great statesmen, great (expletive).

“I lived in the desert like a Bedouin. I got my fish from the sea. I ate properly, exercised, because I did nothing but walk miles and miles. Rest at night, right in the sand, in the open desert, with bombs falling between Aqaba and the Red Sea. The recreation, the re-creation of my body every day. In the desert, I learned a great phenomenal revelation. That you cannot fragment health. That diet, exercise, rest, recreation and attitudes of mind are all part of an amalgam you call health. And you can no more change that than you can take the steering wheel off a Cadillac (and expect it to work).10

“In 1956,” wrote reporter Rob Davis, “Doc gave up what he calls a life of ‘profiting from dying people’ and spent a year of self-realization in Israel. He introduced the sport of surfing there to a small group of zealous Tel Aviv lifeguards, and enjoyed an amorous liaison with an Israeli woman who taught him how to be a capable lover...”11

“And then, I came home an entirely new man,” Doc emphasized. “The consul general was wrong.”12

In the process of finding himself again, Dorian brought surfing to Isreal.

It all begun at the time of the ‘Kadesh operation’ – a.k.a. Suez Canal Crisis. Along with fighting for Israel, Doc had a dream to create an Israeli surfing team which would represent Israel in the world championships. So, he brought with him 6 Longboards, which were partly made from Balsa wood, each with drawings depicting the Israeli flag, a “Star of David” with blue lines on either side.

When the Israeli army wouldn’t take him, he started cruising the coast in the hope of finding someone who would help take responsibility for his dream project; somebody local. Eventually he came to ‘Frishman’ beach in Tel Aviv, where he bumped into local lifeguard Shamai ‘Topsi’ Kanzapolski. He told Topsi about his idea.

Nir Almog, Topsi’s son, said: ‘It was love at first sight, my father decided to take on the project and be responsible for getting it started.”

At that time the lifeguards only caught waves with the “Hasake,” a flat wide board that had been designed for near shore fishing by Arabs and later adopted as a vehicle for the lifeguards.

Dorian gave them lessons and slowly the locals who hung out by the lifeguard station started to surf.

At that time the waves on Tel Aviv’s beaches were very high and used to break right on the beach, curved like a real beach break. The reason for this was that the beach was open shore with no piers and the golden sand that came drifting up from the river Nile helped to shape the sea floor. To enter the water and go surfing then was thought of as pure madness and daring. The waves broke in sections, the first being a beach break, the second break was 500 meters away.

Nir Almog continued: “My father, who loved the sea, decided that I too, his first son, should learn to surf. He took me and put me on the board’s nose with him, while the surf was up. He instructed me to stand up, I did so, and that was the moment I caught the surf bug...”13

Dorian later returned to Israel and brought more boards with him that were distributed to the local surfers.14

 

 

The Alternative Family

 

“Returning to California,” wrote Kate Meyers for AARP Magazine, “he took a job running the hospital on Catalina Island, still concerned that a doctor shouldn’t prosper from others’ misery. One evening he followed two women into a restaurant. He asked the hostess to make an introduction, and when he felt the conversation was going nowhere announced, ‘It’s obvious that I’m making very little progress here.’ To this, the tall one, a stunning telephone operator named Juliette, remarked, ‘You may be making more progress than you think.’

“Before the evening’s end, Dorian declared she’d give birth to his seven sons. Juliette thought that was ‘the sexiest, most wonderful idea’ she’d ever heard. (Nine years later, with the arrival of Salvador, the prophecy came true.)

“Their adventures together began with a trip. ‘I told her I had just returned from Israel, and I don’t think I ever would have been a whole person had I not understood my roots,’ Doc recalls. He fixed up a ‘49 Studebaker with a water tank and platform bed and they drove 5,000 miles through Mexico.

“They lived off the sea and built bonfires at night. In a peaceful spot in Guaymas, with David already in Juliette’s belly, the couple were married by a justice of the peace. It was at this same spot that Doc had an epiphany: ‘A very charismatic caballero and his son galloped up on stallions and joined our campfire. This boy looked up at his father with such adoration, and I thought, “That’s what I want more than anything else.” His bag was the horse; mine was surfing. And when I took my kids out, I wanted them to look at me in the same way.’”15

It was 1958, and Doc “concluded that when you have your health you really do have everything. So off he went with his bride to pursue a vagabond life of surfing, lean eating, and (after a while) raising nine kids in a camper built for four… He has no regrets.”16

“We had a bunch of kids, eight boys and one girl, and spent most of the time in Hawaii,” he said. “My wife’s family was from Southern California, so from time to time we would go back there and visit. But most of the time we spent in the islands.”17

Juliette explained what she feels is the secret to staying happily married for so long: “You have to find someone you want to make love to for the rest of your life.”

“This would make Doc Paskowitz incredibly proud. In his half-century pursuit of the perfectly healthy life, there are three things he’s found that make life worth living—surfing, lovemaking, and parenting—and from the day he met Juliette, all three have been the objects of his outsize zeal. Dropping out of the traditional working world in 1958, this Stanford-educated Jewish doctor and his six-foot Mexican American bride raised an eight-boy, one-girl pack of water people, a wandering tribe of surfers swept up in their father’s obsessive experiment in achieving ‘superior well-being.’”18

“Talk to the Paskowitz progeny and they tell tales of their father’s iron will as well as their outlandish freedom growing up. ‘It was like the Lost Boys and Lord of the Flies combined,’ says Abraham, who treasures memories of ‘the greatest childhood that could ever be lived.’

“‘Every day we’d get in the camper and we’d go to some amazing place with a beautiful beach and great fishing, and you’d have all of your brothers with you and go exploring.’

“Given the dangers of the wild and the clan’s itinerant existence, ‘it was required that we follow certain rules,’ recalls David, who as eldest was saddled with herding his siblings. And Doc was unbending. ‘A lot of times he resorted to force. He would beat us all into one corner with a T-shirt or a bungee cord.’19

“It was a decidedly masculine scene. ‘My dad, God love him, is the most chauvinistic man that ever walked on the planet. I didn’t know I was a girl until I was, like, 16,’ says Navah, the only daughter, who got down to 7 percent body fat in her youth. ‘I’ve had eating disorders my whole life. Every single thing we put in our mouths he would scrutinize.’ Navah considers her robust father anorexic.

“There are only glimmers of awareness in Doc of the tyranny he imposed,” Kate Meyers surmised, “perhaps because he considers his precepts nature’s laws rather than his own. In Surfing and Health he dedicates a section called ‘Motivation’ to himself: ‘I don’t know anybody who WANTS TO BE HEALTHY more than I do. Or (is) more scared NOT to (be). When I skip a day of walking or when I gorge too much, I feel guilty—very guilty.’”20

“During their years in campers each child had a three-by-three-foot cubby for stowing belongings. Everybody had a chore. Jonathan (child number two) was in charge of tying surfboards to the top. Navah was on dish patrol. They surfed, they explored. Juliette sang Bach arias to the children, and they had projects—reading, drawing, fixing the car. This was homeschooling before the term existed. They survived on the seven-grain cereal—the kids called it quicksand—and peanut butter on whole-grain breads that Juliette baked in the camper’s tiny oven. They ate plenty of rice, beans, and fish. When they could afford it, there was chicken and challah on the Sabbath.”21

“Our life was so existential,” said Juliette. “We’d wake up to the sun. The waves are good, the waves are not so good. It’s not that we didn’t read books or listen to classical music. We had all of that. We didn’t have a beautiful home. We didn’t have a washer and dryer. But we had kids that were close to us, and they were our dream.”22

“It was the life Doc wanted, and society’s norms didn’t apply. ‘Our day-to-day job was to parent our children in a way that they emerged from childhood as strong, wonderful adults,’ he says.”23

“All the children except Abraham now live in California, with occupations that run from movie producer to rock singer to surf instructor. At the Paskowitz apartment the phone rings constantly, always one of the children checking in. But the passage to adulthood was often rocky, and their lack of formal education cost them. Only one of the kids went to college: Moses (number five) won a football scholarship but didn’t graduate.

“During my rebellious teenage years of course I cursed my dad for not sending me to school,” said Navah, a mother of three. “I would have been a great student. That, to me, was the only real thing that stands out as a negative.”24

Doc tried to ease their way into the world in 1972 by starting the Paskowitz Surf Camp in California, a summer surfing school over 40 years old. He says he hoped “the allure of money and a new board would keep the kids hanging around.”

But the plan backfired. “The summers gave us a peek into what we were missing, and that sparked a lot of brothers leaving the fold,” says Navah. Jonathan (a producer of Surfwise) was the first. He took off at 14 after getting a taste of freedom at 11, when he went to Israel to visit David, who was studying for his bar mitzvah there. Almost all the children left in their teens, usually staying with a friend or an older brother, working whatever jobs they could find to get by.

“‘We should have at least learned the basic strategies of walking out the front door,’ says David. ‘When I left, I still believed whatever adults said was true. I had never written a check or paid a bill. I didn’t have a Social Security card.’”25

“Doc’s strengths and limitations go hand in hand, says Doug Pray, the director of Surfwise, a surf film that tells the Paskowitz family story. “He’s the classic charismatic leader, somebody who’s very dominant and used to getting his way. And there’s always a price to be paid for that. He’s inspired thousands of surfers. I’ll go places and people just worship him. But it does have to be his way.”26

All during the time of raising his family with Juliette, Doc spent the years as a “missionary doctor” and charged few people for his services.

“I always felt bad taking money from sick people,” he said.27

His work has taken him from the South Pacific to the Middle East.

“I was there during Operation Desert Storm and saw Scuds flying over,” he said. “We took our gas masks, hung them on a tree and went surfing while those bombs were dropping.”28

Doc and his family had few material possessions. His kids were homeschooled, and the family often traveled throughout the United States in a motor home. He would work from time to time where other doctors didn’t want to go: Indian reservations, migrant camps and the emergency rooms of inner-city hospitals.

“I always felt that we had enough,” he said. “We had our surf boards and the fish in the sea. But even better, we had each other.”29

“… the feeling that I get when I am out on the water, that feeling of being part of something much bigger than myself, is the same feeling that I get when I look at all my children and grandchildren.”30

“My son summed it all up once. ‘Eat clean, live clean, surf clean.’”31

Most of his kids went on to pursue careers in various aspects of the entertainment industry. He was once asked about that.

“Well, I never sent my kids to school so they are not going to be able to argue a case in court or do a surgery or sit down as an architect and design a building. They have to choose a profession where personality [is] the profession.

“I always tell my wife that we have nine only children. They grew up to be personalities. In many ways, the entertainment business is like a magnet that draws such people like that. In the early days of the movies, the days of Clark Gable and Bill Holden, these guys really were what they portrayed themselves to be in the movies. They really were real personalities. Like Clark Gable, he was the King of Hollywood. When war broke out, he became a bomber pilot. My children grew up all together in the water without a formal education in an atmosphere of love and companionship. Because of this, their personalities grew very strong. And so now each one has followed his own persona and I’m all for it. I think it is easy to be a doctor. There are a hell of a lot more doctors than there are guys riding big Pipeline.”32

 

 

Mental and Physical Fitness

 

Through the years of working and raising a family, Doc consciously maintained a high level of fitness through surfing. “Outside of playing a little football at San Diego State, surfing has always been my one and only sport,” he said. “But you have to remember that in my day, surfing was much more than just surfing.”

He never failed to remind anyone that did not know, that the surfers of the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s prided themselves on being all-around watermen.

“The first thing was, you had to be a good body surfer, and you also had to be able to row a Nova Scotia surf dory out through the breakers. Then you had to not only race paddle boards but be able to play water polo one on one. You also had to be a good skin diver and, of course, surf.

“I wasn’t a great waterman. But I was a good one.”33

There was also another activity that Paskowitz said kept him “buff.”

“I used to love to stand around on my hands,” he said. “I would walk all over the place, stand on the edge of a 15-story building. I used to love that. I even got an offer to join the circus.”

In his prime, Paskowitz could stand on his hands and drop down to touch his nose to the ground 15 times. That skill came in handy, especially on the beach, where weightlifters congregated before there were fitness clubs.

“I remember seeing some big-city champion working out, and I went over and lifted the weight three times over my head as if it were nothing,” Paskowitz said. “I was strong because I was always working out with my own body weight.”34

Doc said many times that there is no secret to good health.

“If I were going to address a group of young people on the subject, I would tell them that you just can’t beat good nutrition. You can’t think that because the body will take anything, you can give it anything. A proper diet, day by day, for the rest of your life, has to be coupled with enough exercise to burn off the excess.

“Diet and exercise should give you a body fat percentage of 14 or 15 percent. You can’t be a tugboat and think that you are going to sail the seven seas gracefully and safely.”35

But that’s not the end of it. Doc was quick to emphasize not only the physical benefits of surfing, but the spiritual benefits, as well...

 

Spirituality / Religion

 

“I don’t have the vocabulary, nor am I that literary gifted, to even try to express in words the emotional or spiritual benefit of surfing. I think there is something primordial about it. All the great forces in the universe – heat, light, electro-magnetism – they all impinge upon the water to make waves.

“So when you ride a wave, you are tapping into something much bigger, something that is cosmic. It is like skiing down a mountain. Gravity takes hold, and the skier becomes part of that cosmic force. In surfing, the mountains move themselves.”36

“There’s something in the wave. I said in my book, there’s a wisdom in the wave, high-born and beautiful, for those who would but paddle out. When you understand what a wave is, and you understand that you can connect with that, you ask yourself, how does man and his emotional firmament hook into that? When it’s winter in the Bering Straits, giant storms arise that push waves as high as 80 to 90 feet between crest and trough. The powerful cosmic forces of gravity, light, electromagnetism come to bear on the surface of the earth and create, in their conflicts, storms. And those storms create an energy that goes down into the water. It’ll come up 80, 90 feet, and by the time it gets to Hawaii it’s 10 feet. And by the time it gets to Mission Beach, it’ll be 6 feet. Here’s 6 feet of star power. Is there something special when you grab onto that power and try to manage it? Something happens that gets into your system that absolutely captivates you. I have learned the beauty of dancing on a wave. If you’ve ever surfed, you know that feeling. For that instant you’re on the wave, you’re totally, instinctively, connected to the stars.”37

“I consider myself a religious man, but I have nothing to do with religion. I don’t go to a synagogue, but I pray every day, several times a day, in fact. I put on the tfillin, the phylacteries of the ancient Orthodox Jews, but I have no truck with that stuff.”38

Dorian said that through the sea, surfing and his relationship with the people of Hawaii, he forged his spiritual beliefs.

“I talk to God personally. I don’t want to sound like a kook, but I get out on my surf board and sit alone atop the deep blue sea and look around and just give thanks for being part of God’s great world.”

For Doc, taking care of one’s spirit is every bit as important as diet and exercise in relation to overall health.39

“Every morning,” wrote Kate Meyers, who spent a good deal of time interviewing Dorian, “Doc spends an hour and a quarter doing deep breathing, squats, flexibility exercises, balance and agility exercises, and some work with a ten-pound barbell. Every morning he prays and converses with those no longer here—Jews who died in the Holocaust, fellow surfers he loved. ‘I pray for wisdom every day. I pray for the ability to be a good doctor.’”40

“The first thing I do when I get up is to honor my [departed] Hawaiian friends, who were great men. After I say a prayer for them, I put on tefellin –leather straps that observant Jews wrap around their arms – and I say my prayers, but I wouldn’t call myself religious.”41

“When I say my prayers in the morning, I stretch out my arms, like a person gathering in wheat, I grab all the sunshine and fresh air. I try to fill myself with good things. Everything I do is an effort to align myself with the great vitality of life.”42

Doc said that he feels at home praying with Catholics or kneeling with Muslims.

“The God that I have found is in all those churches. I have no sense of fraternity when it comes to God.”43

Doc once told the story of how he started wearing the teffelin:

“After surfing one day, I realized two of my boys, Abraham and Jonathan weren’t bar mitzvahed. So I went to the Fairfax area of L.A. and found a little hole-in-the-wall Bnet Knesset [synagogue], barely bigger than a hot dog stand run by a Russian rabbi, a man by the name of Naftali. I told him I had no money.”

“‘Bring in a nice bottle of schnapps, then I’ll bar-mitzvah your boys.’

“During the bar mitzvah, I was dovening [rhythmic praying; rocking back and forth] and out of the corner of my eye I could see a dapper-looking man coming closer. He wore a straw hat, a hounds-tooth coat, white pants and shiny black and white shoes, and of course a tallis [prayer shawl] and yarmulke.

“‘Do you put tefellin on?’

“‘No I don’t. I’m sorry.’”44

“After chanting ‘Baruch Ata Odenai Elohainu…,’ the dapper worshipper said to Doc, ‘I’ll make you a deal. If you put on tefellin, I’ll pay you $25 a month for the rest of your life.’

“‘You’re going to give me $25 a month for the rest of my life for putting teffelin on?’

“‘Okay … I’ll make it $35,’ countered the dapper one.

“‘I’ll make you a deal,’ Doc counter-offered. ‘I don’t want your money but there must be Jews that were killed in the Holocaust who never got a chance to wear tefellin. In your name, for their honor, I’m going to put on tefellin for the rest of my life.’

“For the last 40 years, Doc has put on tefellin every morning, in addition to performing deep-breathing exercises he learned from surf icon, wind-gliding innovator and former San Diego resident and trailblazer Woody Brown.”45

Later on, “In the depths of Mexico,” Doc recalled, “I’m riding waves too big for me. I was getting nervous and thought about paddling in, but all of a sudden, I saw somebody knee paddling on a longboard coming towards me. It was the guy who offered to pay me. His sheitel (wig)-wearing wife was on the beach waiting for him. I couldn’t believe it!”46

 

 

Writings on Health

 

A family practitioner for more than half his life, Dorian Paskowitz also specialized in sports medicine. He had a keen interest in asthma and wrote a book titled The Air Beneath Your Nose.

“I am a very bad asthmatic, and my whole life has been spent trying to prevent asthma attacks,” he said. “The book has nothing to do with treating attacks but everything about keeping them from happening.”

Paskowitz applied that philosophy to another book, Surfing and Health, which he considered his best. The book “offers advice and philosophy in equal doses,” wrote Kate Meyers. “Weaving in surf-soaked parables and tales from his life, he makes the case that care of the body is not merely the key to physical happiness but a moral imperative, the foundation of ethical conduct and love.”47

“‘Health is more than just not being sick. In fact, it is more than just preventing disease,’ he said. ‘All healthy men are fit, but not all fit men are healthy.’

“‘Diet, exercise, rest, recreation and attitude of mind, all working together, can make the human body superior in form and as a result, better enable it to fight disease naturally. Your immune system can be in top form and so will the mental and spiritual aspects of your life.’”48

Doc does not advocate radical diets for good heath and is not even a vegetarian. Instead, he eats what he considers to be a variety of wholesome, whole foods.

“Kooky diets are very dangerous. Man is a hunter-gatherer. That is how I live my life.”49

“Doc’s way is unsparing,” wrote Kate Meyers for AARP Magazine. “As self-help gurus go, he’s Old Testament. You reap what you sow. Eating fat begets fat. His five pillars of health are nothing you haven’t heard: diet (lots of fruits and vegetables and a little meat, what he calls the universal meal), exercise (to burn off what we eat), rest (eight hours daily), recreation (joyful play that re-creates you), and positive attitudes of mind. But his passionate advocacy for making health your first concern is extraordinary.

“‘Can I tell you something,’ he not so much asks as commands. He is sitting at the breakfast table of his one-bedroom apartment in Honolulu, surrounded by photos of ancestors and offspring. Bare-chested, he’s staring down at the plastic tray, a replica of a Gauguin painting that holds his unvarying breakfast of fruit and seven-grain cereal. Then he looks up. ‘People are digging their own graves with their knives and forks. If a bird is 50 percent overweight, do you think it can fly?’

“Our biggest enemy, he never tires of saying, is fat. ‘Eighty-five percent of all life-threatening diseases come from eating too much fat,’ he pronounces. ‘The richer a society is, the more difficulty we have staying lean.’

“Men should work to be around 17 percent fat, Doc believes; women, around 22 percent. ‘If you ground up the average American, you wouldn’t be able to sell him over the counter for hamburger,’ he notes. ‘He’d be far fatter than the law allows.’ Then there are the standard charts of healthy weight, which allow us to gain a bit as we age. Paskowitz calls them malarkey. ‘Show me one wild animal that as it gets older, it gets fatter,’ he says. ‘If an animal gets fatter, he’ll get eaten.’”50

“Doc was before his time in his observations, and everyone else is catching up,” said Honolulu neurologist Tom Drazin, a friend and fellow surfer. “He lives what he preaches. He practices it every day. Doc’s cholesterol is 170—lower than mine at age 48.”

By all accounts, Doc didn’t have a candy bar or butter in 50 years. He usually consumed two meals a day, cooked and served by his wife Juliette. Although a hip replacement in January 2006 marked a hiatus in his 74 years of surfing, in six weeks he was back standing on his board, riding waist-high curls at Waikiki. For five years before that, he had surfed on his knees.

“Doc’s proud because even though he’s got complaints (an enlarged prostate, can’t hear all that well), unlike most 86-year-olds he takes no medication, can swim a mile, and can hold his breath for a minute. And, he’ll be very happy to tell you, he’s making love three times a week. ‘You can be a very old car and still be in the race,’ he says smiling, looking a bit like Gandhi.”51

“Surfing, of course, is Doc’s preferred fourth pillar,” wrote Kate Meyers for AARP Magazine. “It was literally how he re-created himself in the 1950s after two marriages had failed and the feeling that he wasn’t helping his patients enough left him rudderless. Weekends surfing with boyhood chums on the California coast at San Onofre was his only joy. Even when he went to Israel in 1956, still grappling with how to turn himself, at 35, from “a spoiled, pampered, over-protected boy” into a man, he brought a surfboard and stowed it on the coast before going on a walkabout in his ancestral desert.

“What began as a soul-searching last resort became his chosen lifestyle. ‘He lived as a nomad,’ says Abraham Paskowitz, Doc and Juliette’s thirdborn. ‘He traded fish for drinking water. He believed money was the root of all evil.’ And when he got back to surfing, he got enough locals excited about the sport that he’s now known as the father of Israeli surfing.”52

 

 

Surfing 4 Peace

 

In the summer of 2007, “Surfing 4 Peace” was founded by Doc, Israeli surfer Arthur Rashkovan, Dorian’s son David Paskowitz and world surfing champion Kelly Slater,53 who is of Syrian descent. The project is aimed at bringing Middle East surfers closer together through surfing.54

The group’s first project was the donation of fourteen surfboards to Palestinians following a July 27, 2007 Los Angeles Times article entitled “Gaza Surfers Find Freedom in the Sea,” which pointed out the difficulties of Palestinian surfers on the Gaza strip.

“The Paskowitzes masterminded a plan to get 12 surfboards to Gaza through the famously secure Erez Crossing. They put together a team of supporters that included surfing legend Kelly Slater, pro-peace organization OneVoice, and Tel Aviv surfing activist Arthur Rashkovan, who convinced Israeli surfing companies to donate the boards. They then managed to garner the approval of the Israeli military to secure safe passage.”55

An Associated Press article of August 21, 200756 described then-86-year-old Dorian in-action: “An 86-year-old Jewish surfing guru from Hawaii donated… 12 surfboards to Gaza’s small surfing community, in a gesture he hoped would get Israelis and Palestinians catching the same peace wave.

“‘God will surf with the devil, if the waves are good,’ retired doctor Dorian Paskowitz said... ‘When a surfer sees another surfer with a board, he can’t help but say something that brings them together.’

“Paskowitz emerged shirtless at the Israel-Gaza crossing after handing over the dozen boards to Gazan surfers waiting on the other side. He said he was spurred into action after reading a story about two Gaza surfers who couldn’t enjoy the wild waves off the coast because they had only one board to share between them.”57

What the AP article didn’t mention was that it took Doc “two-hours of cajoling an Israeli border guard at Gaza’s Erez crossing” to be able to to take “the surfing t-shirt off his back” and hand it over the fence, along with the dozen surfboards.58

Doc considered the boards a kind of seeding in Gaza.

“From a board comes a group of guys who ride. From the group comes a business, then an industry, then a fantastic amount of money. I’m talking about billions, all from one board.”59

“Upon transferring the boards to the Palestinian surfers, Paskowitz reported: ‘There were tears in their eyes.’ And we know that passion promotes possibility, which is what peace is all about.”60

Several months later, in October 2007, Kelly Slater gave surfing lessons in Israel and a benefit concert was planned: “Slater… spent one day helping others into waves, and then spent the evening jamming with a local band all in an effort to raise the level of ‘peace consciousness.’

“‘My father (Dorian) asked him if he was ready to be not only a great surfer but a great man as well,’ David Paskowitz said…

“Kudos to Kelly Slater for following his heart and using the power of his stature to pursue a cause that promotes peace,” wrote Scott Bass for Surfer. “In an era in which larger than life sports champions walk the marketing tight rope and rarely take a social stand, Slater’s actions are refreshing and have the stamp of true world champion – in the greatest sense of the phrase.”61

“With several members of the Paskowitz family themselves experienced musicians, it was clear that with the addition of Kelly Slater and Big-Wave rider Makua Rothman, both of whom are also musicians, the S4P Concert could be a real hit,” described the Surfing 4 Peace website. “The S4P crew teamed up with One Voice for a concert on October 19, 2007 that would be held the day after the planned One Voice peace concerts in Jericho and Tel Aviv.”62 Surfing 4 Peace felt it had great momentum, as the surfboards donation several months before had had international coverage.

“When the One Voice Concert was cancelled just 48 hours before its scheduled opening due to security concerns, the Surfing 4 Peace Concert became the only show in town and the pressure was on. Kelly arrived just in time to fit in a surfing clinic for young Israeli Jewish and Arab children in the town of Hertzilia before heading down to Tel Aviv to kick off the concert. Before the music began, the S4P team led a paddle out and surfer’s circle in the waters off of the Dolphinarium beach in Tel Aviv, with hundreds of supporters joining them in the water.

“Shortly thereafter, Israeli Surf Band Malka Baya kicked off the show, which included performances by Josh and David Paskowitz, Kelly Slater, and Makua Rothman. With over 3000 people in attendance, Doc used the opportunity to greet the crowd and remind them what Surfing 4 Peace was all about and, as anticipated, was warmly received as the Godfather of surfing in Israel. It was a spectacular night of music with a message of peace, and hopefully the beginning of an annual event that will help to change hearts and minds throughout the Middle East.”63

“Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Seweryn “Sev” Sztalkoper was busy gathering a massive donation of brand new surfboards and equipment to send to Gaza. Sev had read the same LA Times article as the S4P crew and answered it by starting a project called Gaza Surf Relief. With Sev’s dedication to the cause, the donations quickly began to roll in. In Gaza, a team from Explore Corps, led by Matthew Olsen, an old friend of Arthur’s, was meeting the locals and working on setting up a Gaza Surf Club.

“A partnership was quickly formed between Gaza Surf Relief, Surfing 4 Peace, and Explore Corps to insure the successful transport, import, and distribution of the donated equipment from Gaza Surf Relief, based in Santa Monica, California to the waiting surfers in Gaza. With S4P handling shipping and Explore Corps working on local distribution, the donations eventually made their way, free of charge, to Israel, courtesy of DHL, Flying Cargo and The Peres Center for Peace. During the summer of 2008, the majority of the shipment was delivered and distributed to the surfers in Gaza but a ban on the import of surfboards to Gaza by the Israeli army meant that only 4 of the surfboards could be delivered.”64

“In August of 2010, after two years of negotiations, Explore Corps was able to secure permission for the boards to enter Gaza. With shipping into Gaza provided by the UN, the surfboards were delivered in late August to the grateful members of The Gaza Surf Club. For the first time, every surfer in Gaza now has his own surfboard, including the newest addition to the Club, Gaza’s first female surfer.”65

“In 2010,” the group’s website added, “S4P and its partners delivered a surfboard to every surfer in Gaza, or so we thought. It turns out that a small group of girls had begun to surf, with the approval of their parents and the other surfers, and were in need of equipment and support. In order to get these girls the equipment and special “Islamic Swimwear” that they would need to surf in Gaza, S4P launched the Gaza Surfer Girl Project. S4P partnered with a team of young designers from Parsons The New School For Design and set about designing and manufacturing custom swimwear for the girls that meets Gaza’s standards for modesty. S4P also secured board donations for the girls as well as wetsuits, donated by The Quiksilver Foundation. The icing on the cake came courtesy of The Wahine Project, a California-based organization that promotes surfing for girls who may not otherwise have the resources to paddle out. The Wahines joined the effort and sent a care package to Gaza filled with equipment and treats for the girls, including custom letters and greeting cards expressing their support. The delivery of these goods was overseen by Explore Corps during the summer of 2011.”66

One of Doc’s interviewers remarked that “One of the ironies in your life is that you went to the Middle East to fight, and now you go back for the opposite reason, to plant the seeds for peace.” Dorian’s response was this:

“Sometimes we talk about things that we imagine, that we dream of, that are still just tiny thoughts. And then they become empires. We started with the idea that these two Hamas Arabs in Gaza we’d seen featured in the Los Angeles Times, these two lifeguards with one (beat-up) surfboard between them needed new boards. We just took (new surfboards) to the Arabs, not making any big fuss over it. But when we came back from the Arab-Israeli border, waiting for us was every major news outlet in the world. From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to Al Jazeera. A billion people saw us do that.

“… There is no peace in the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict. There’s no peace between hot and cold, slow and fast, husband and wife. It’s all one big fight. But there is one human condition called peacefulness. You don’t say, ‘These bastards have been fighting for 6,000 years, let’s get them together.’ Peacefulness is not tranquility of spirit, it’s streets that are not muddy, it’s enough to eat on, it’s enough clothing to wear or covers at night. It’s a little clinic to take your kids to. It’s the mechanics of survival we all want. That’s peacefulness. And surfing is peacefulness. When you go out in the water with your enemies, they are peaceful.

“When you guide your commitment, your resources and your skills to peacefulness, the seeds of peace are there. When you start the other way around, it’s bullshit. You cannot have the Arabs walking around like poverty-stricken bag ladies and Israelis driving around in a Porsche. You can’t have that. Because there’s no peacefulness in that. It showed me that that’s what we have to offer in our surfing. The merest snippet of peacefulness.”67

 

 

“Surfwise,” 2007

 

The same year that Surfing 4 Peace got going, the documentary film Surfwise was released, based on Doc, his beliefs and his family. However, his status as portrayed in the film was a farce, he told an interviewer.

“I’m no icon. It was the people and personalities that shaped me into who I am and molded my reputation; I’m just a nice little Jewish boy from Galveston, Texas that fell in love with surfing and lifeguarding… Rabbit Kekai is a legend. Woody Brown is a legend. Duke Kahanamoku is a legend.”68

“Doc’s desire to not be treated as a surfing icon is true and well-intentioned,” Doug Pray, documentarian of Surfwise, said.

“He’d be the first to tell you that he’s not a world-class athletic surfer and hasn’t ridden any giants. Instead he is known and loved for being a surfing advocate and a great doctor to surfers everywhere.”69

Pray said that when he began putting the film together, Doc was mortified that Surfwise would be a tribute film, placing him on a pedestal that would seem self-aggrandizing to his peers, the ones he looked up to.70

“Well, to tell you the truth,” Doc told Surfer magazine in 2011, “I didn’t want anything to do with the movie. In fact, I was so pissed about it that I still haven’t even seen it, and I will never see it. I don’t want a movie about me – I mean I’m Hawaiian.

“The idea of being Hawaiian reminds me of when this interviewer asked Makua Rothman why was he so hesitant to talk to people and be interviewed. He said because he was ‘Hawaiian.’ He said that being Hawaiian made him very low key and unlike anything other people made him out to be when he was interviewed. It was wonderful the humble way he put it. And you know, I grew up and lived my whole life in Hawaii, and I have learned that Hawaiian style of just saying ‘It is US – not me.’ So when this guy asked to make a movie about me I said, ‘Buzz off.’

“But then my son Jonathan and wife Juliet said, ‘Please do this.’ Jonathan said ‘This is my chance to get into the movie racket’ and my wife said, ‘This is my chance to have a chronicle about my family.’ But once I got on it then it was go for broke. There was nothing in it that I wouldn’t do.”71

For instance, at one point Doc was asked, “How do you exercise?”

“… and so I got myself stark naked and got on my exercise bicycle. I hear that’s in the movie.”72

About the movie, Doc was asked: “What would the one message you would like people to have after observing your family and the decisions you have made?”

His response:

“That love really makes the world go round, but sex makes love go round. That would be my mark on the movie.”73

He added: “I wanted so much, as a surfing doctor, to speak to my surfing audience as well as the audience of the film about the book that I wrote, which was the basis of the film. Not many people know that my book ‘Surfing and Health’ is the basis of the film. I wanted it to have its play because the book can save lives.”74

 

 

Toward the End

 

Shaun Tomson, 1977 World Surfing Champ and author of several books on the surfing lifestyle said that when it comes to money and surfing, “Certain people would rather chase waves than a dollar, and Doc is one of those people.”75

A perfect illustration of this was the time Doc “turned down a $40,000 inheritance from an aunt for fear that the money would ruin the family’s nomadic odyssey and stress-free lifestyle. He truly believed money was the root of all evil.”76

The money Dorian scraped together wandering with his family does not come along so easily or casually anymore. He used to work in emergency rooms for a few days and make enough to provide for his family for a month. Or he’d spend a few months as the on-set physician for TV’s ‘Gunsmoke,’ the camper parked nearby. Today, he and Juliette mostly get money from the surf camp, run by their fourth child Israel, their monthly Social Security checks, and a few of their other kids who can afford to help.

For years Doc didn’t worry about the future. On their travels in Mexico he was the “orange doctor,” so named for the only form of payment he took. Somehow they always got by. But now he would like to have a cushion to leave his wife, which was part of the motivation for his writing Surfing and Health and going along with the Surfwise project.77

In 2007 and $50,000 in debt, Doc referred to himself simply as “one of the few dumb Jewish doctors.”78

One interviewer candidly asked Doc if he regrets not having strived for financial success.

“It’s been very hard,” he replied. “No matter what, though, I have no regrets that I’m stone broke. At the end of the day only one thing matters: That I’m happy I did not have to make my living out of charging other people while they are in misery.”79

Yet, “As his kids point out in the movie so clearly, the great irony,” said Surfwise’s Pray, “is Doc’s self-avowed hatred of money and insistence on leading a poor lifestyle forced his family to constantly worry about money.” Not only that, Pray said, now “Doc is consumed by the need to acquire money so that he doesn’t leave Juliette – who for 10 years straight was either pregnant or breast feeding – in poverty.”80

Their daily life is as Doc wants it to be:

“Nearly every afternoon he and Juliette visit the sea. Juliette attends to ‘Poppa,’ takes digital photos of him in the surf, and sends them off to friends and family. ‘She’s the real hero of the story,’ Doc says, worried that perhaps the listener didn’t get that, didn’t realize that she is the calm to his storm, and that her love and devotion made it all work. And sometimes, when he’s talking, she will just stand and walk over and plant a kiss on her man. It’s clear she’s still pretty mad about the Doc. ‘I’ll pencil him in,’ she explains of their afternoon romps. ‘He’ll allow me a little champagne, and we’ll have a lot of fun.’”81

“Forty-eight years – all for him. Sometimes I get a little claustrophobic and think ‘What if?’ But then I think of my children. I have no regrets. I would do it again in a second.”82

 

 

Doc Quotes

 

“Sex was such a primordial part of our lives. As the years went by, I began to analyze sex and I wrote a book about it. It is 500 pages and no one has ever read it. It is a very, very pornographic, x-rated piece of work. The title is How To Choose A Mistress. The reason that I haven’t ever let anyone read it is because when you do read it is very racy.”83

Death is merely the absence of life, Doc said.

“I think as long as a person keeps living, they stop dying,” he said. “And I think that when a person stops living, they start dying.”84

“Good waves, good food and good lovin’,” keep him young, he said.85

 

“When I say my prayers in the morning, I stretch out my arms, like a person gathering in wheat, I grab all the sunshine and fresh air. I try to fill myself with good things. Everything I do is an effort to align myself with the great vitality of life.”

“So when you ride a wave, you are tapping into something much bigger, something that is cosmic. It is like skiing down a mountain. Gravity takes hold, and the skier becomes part of that cosmic force. In surfing, the mountains move themselves.”

“I talk to God personally. I don’t want to sound like a kook, but I get out on my surf board and sit alone atop the deep blue sea and look around and just give thanks for being part of God’s great world.”

“I consider myself a religious man, but I have nothing to do with religion. I don’t go to a synagogue, but I pray every day, several times a day, in fact. I put on the tfillin, the phylacteries of the ancient Orthodox Jews, but I have no truck with that stuff.”

“I was there [in Tel Aviv] during Operation Desert Storm and saw Scuds flying over. We took our gas masks, hung them on a tree and went surfing while those bombs were dropping.”

“God will surf with the devil if the waves are good. When a surfer sees another surfer with a board, he can’t help but say something that brings them together.”

“I’m 86 years old. I can’t stand up very well, I have a piece of titanium in my hip. But I still love it.”

“I always felt that we had enough. We had our surf boards and the fish in the sea. But even better, we had each other.”

‘People are digging their own graves with their knives and forks,’ says Doc.

“There is a Jewish saying that applies to the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, and it goes like this “As Israel has kept the Sabbath so the Sabbath has kept Israel.” And our family motto was “As the Paskowitz’s has kept surfing so surfing has kept the Paskowitz’s.”86

“Health must be earned every day of your life.”

 

 

 

 

 


1  Davis, Rob. “Aloha, Doc: Questions for Dorian ‘Doc’ Paskowitz,” Voice of San Diego, April 18, 2008. http://voiceofsandiego.org/2008/04/18/aloha-doc-questions-for-dorian-doc-paskowitz-2/. Doc partially quoted.

2  Tomalin, Terry, “Sound in Body and Spirit,” St. Petersburg Times, April 29, 2003; http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/29/Seniority/Sound_in_body_and_spi.shtml. Doc partially quoted.

3  Tomalin, Terry, “Sound in Body and Spirit,” St. Petersburg Times, April 29, 2003; http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/29/Seniority/Sound_in_body_and_spi.shtml. Doc partially quoted.

4  Surf Diary 26: Hanging out with Surf Icon Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, M.D., 2007. http://www.divinesurfdesign.com/surf_diary_26

5  Davis, Rob. “Aloha, Doc: Questions for Dorian ‘Doc’ Paskowitz,” Voice of San Diego, April 18, 2008. http://voiceofsandiego.org/2008/04/18/aloha-doc-questions-for-dorian-doc-paskowitz-2/. Doc quoted.

6  Tomalin, Terry, “Sound in Body and Spirit,” St. Petersburg Times, April 29, 2003; http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/29/Seniority/Sound_in_body_and_spi.shtml. Doc partially quoted.

7  Surf Diary 26: Hanging out with Surf Icon Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, M.D., 2007. http://www.divinesurfdesign.com/surf_diary_26

8  Davis, Rob. “Aloha, Doc: Questions for Dorian ‘Doc’ Paskowitz,” Voice of San Diego, April 18, 2008. http://voiceofsandiego.org/2008/04/18/aloha-doc-questions-for-dorian-doc-paskowitz-2/. Doc quoted. Woody Brown was actually the one behind the modern catamaran developed from the outrigger canoe design. Alfred and Woody worked together on cats through the 1940s and ‘50s.

9  Davis, Rob. “Aloha, Doc: Questions for Dorian ‘Doc’ Paskowitz,” Voice of San Diego, April 18, 2008. http://voiceofsandiego.org/2008/04/18/aloha-doc-questions-for-dorian-doc-paskowitz-2/. Doc quoted.

10  Davis, Rob. “Aloha, Doc: Questions for Dorian ‘Doc’ Paskowitz,” Voice of San Diego, April 18, 2008. http://voiceofsandiego.org/2008/04/18/aloha-doc-questions-for-dorian-doc-paskowitz-2/. Doc quoted.

11  Surf Diary 26: Hanging out with Surf Icon Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, M.D., 2007. http://www.divinesurfdesign.com/surf_diary_26

12  Davis, Rob. “Aloha, Doc: Questions for Dorian ‘Doc’ Paskowitz,” Voice of San Diego, April 18, 2008. http://voiceofsandiego.org/2008/04/18/aloha-doc-questions-for-dorian-doc-paskowitz-2/. Doc quoted.

13  “History of the Israeli surfing scene,” TOPSEA website (with great images): http://www.topsea.co.il/historye.htm. Nir Almog quoted.

14  “History of the Israeli surfing scene,” TOPSEA website (with great images): http://www.topsea.co.il/historye.htm.

15  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html. Doc quoted.

16  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html

17  Tomalin, Terry, “Sound in Body and Spirit,” St. Petersburg Times, April 29, 2003; http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/29/Seniority/Sound_in_body_and_spi.shtml. Doc quoted.

18  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html. Juliette quoted.

19  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html. Abraham partially quoted.

20  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html. Navah and Doc partially quoted.

21  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html

22  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html. Juliette quoted.

23  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html. Doc quoted.

24  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html. Navah quoted.

25  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html. Navah and David quoted.

26  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html. Doug Pray quoted.

27  Tomalin, Terry, “Sound in Body and Spirit,” St. Petersburg Times, April 29, 2003; http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/29/Seniority/Sound_in_body_and_spi.shtml. Doc quoted.

28  Tomalin, Terry, “Sound in Body and Spirit,” St. Petersburg Times, April 29, 2003; http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/29/Seniority/Sound_in_body_and_spi.shtml. Doc quoted.

29  Tomalin, Terry, “Sound in Body and Spirit,” St. Petersburg Times, April 29, 2003; http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/29/Seniority/Sound_in_body_and_spi.shtml. Doc quoted.

30  Tomalin, Terry, “Sound in Body and Spirit,” St. Petersburg Times, April 29, 2003; http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/29/Seniority/Sound_in_body_and_spi.shtml. Doc quoted.

31  Tomalin, Terry, “Sound in Body and Spirit,” St. Petersburg Times, April 29, 2003; http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/29/Seniority/Sound_in_body_and_spi.shtml. Doc quoted, quoting one of his sons.

32  “Appointment with Doc,” Surfer, July 22, 2010. http://www.surfermag.com/features/doc-dorian-paskowitz-surfwise-health/. Doc quoted.

33  Tomalin, Terry, “Sound in Body and Spirit,” St. Petersburg Times, April 29, 2003; http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/29/Seniority/Sound_in_body_and_spi.shtml. Doc quoted.

34  Tomalin, Terry, “Sound in Body and Spirit,” St. Petersburg Times, April 29, 2003; http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/29/Seniority/Sound_in_body_and_spi.shtml. Doc quoted.

35  Tomalin, Terry, “Sound in Body and Spirit,” St. Petersburg Times, April 29, 2003; http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/29/Seniority/Sound_in_body_and_spi.shtml. Doc quoted.

36  Tomalin, Terry, “Sound in Body and Spirit,” St. Petersburg Times, April 29, 2003; http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/29/Seniority/Sound_in_body_and_spi.shtml. Doc quoted.

37  Davis, Rob. “Aloha, Doc: Questions for Dorian ‘Doc’ Paskowitz,” Voice of San Diego, April 18, 2008. http://voiceofsandiego.org/2008/04/18/aloha-doc-questions-for-dorian-doc-paskowitz-2/. Doc quoted.

38  Tomalin, Terry, “Sound in Body and Spirit,” St. Petersburg Times, April 29, 2003; http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/29/Seniority/Sound_in_body_and_spi.shtml, Doc quoted.

39  Tomalin, Terry, “Sound in Body and Spirit,” St. Petersburg Times, April 29, 2003; http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/29/Seniority/Sound_in_body_and_spi.shtml. Doc quoted.

40  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html

41  Surf Diary 26: Hanging out with Surf Icon Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, M.D., 2007. http://www.divinesurfdesign.com/surf_diary_26. Doc quoted.

42  Tomalin, Terry, “Sound in Body and Spirit,” St. Petersburg Times, April 29, 2003; http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/29/Seniority/Sound_in_body_and_spi.shtml. Doc quoted.

43  Tomalin, Terry, “Sound in Body and Spirit,” St. Petersburg Times, April 29, 2003; http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/29/Seniority/Sound_in_body_and_spi.shtml. Doc quoted.

44  Surf Diary 26: Hanging out with Surf Icon Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, M.D., 2007. http://www.divinesurfdesign.com/surf_diary_26

45  Surf Diary 26: Hanging out with Surf Icon Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, M.D., 2007. http://www.divinesurfdesign.com/surf_diary_26

46  Surf Diary 26: Hanging out with Surf Icon Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, M.D., 2007. http://www.divinesurfdesign.com/surf_diary_26. Doc quoted. Not sure who this was. The author leads one to believe it was Woody Brown, but Woody was never that orthodox in his religion and the timing doesn’t match.

47  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html. Doc quoted.

48  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html. Doc quoted.

49  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. Doc quoted. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html. Doc quoted.

50  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html

51  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html

52  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html. Abraham Paskowitz partially quoted.

53  http://www.surfing4peace.org/s4pindex/Welcome.html

54  “Jewish-Hawaiian surfing guru donates surfboards to Gazans,” Associated Press, August 21, 2007.

55  http://thenewjew.wordpress.com/2007/08/22/gaza-giving-surfing-for-peace-with-dr-dorian-paskowitz. Surfboards were 14 in number, actually.

56  “Jewish-Hawaiian surfing guru donates surfboards to Gazans,” Associated Press, August 21, 2007.

57  “Jewish-Hawaiian surfing guru donates surfboards to Gazans,” Associated Press, August 21, 2007.

58  Surf Diary 26: Hanging out with Surf Icon Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, M.D., 2007. http://www.divinesurfdesign.com/surf_diary_26

59  http://thenewjew.wordpress.com/2007/08/22/gaza-giving-surfing-for-peace-with-dr-dorian-paskowitz. Doc quoted.

60  http://thenewjew.wordpress.com/2007/08/22/gaza-giving-surfing-for-peace-with-dr-dorian-paskowitz. Doc partially quoted.

61  Bass, Scott. “Kelly Slater in True Championship Form,” Surfer magazine, October 20, 2007. http://surfermag.com/features/onlineexclusives/slater-surfforpeace/

62  http://www.surfing4peace.org/s4pindex/Welcome.html

63  http://www.surfing4peace.org/s4pindex/Welcome.html

64  http://www.surfing4peace.org/s4pindex/Welcome.html

65  http://www.surfing4peace.org/s4pindex/Welcome.html

66  http://www.surfing4peace.org/s4pindex/Welcome.html

67  Davis, Rob. “Aloha, Doc: Questions for Dorian ‘Doc’ Paskowitz,” Voice of San Diego, April 18, 2008. http://voiceofsandiego.org/2008/04/18/aloha-doc-questions-for-dorian-doc-paskowitz-2/. Doc quoted.

68  Surf Diary 26: Hanging out with Surf Icon Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, M.D., 2007. http://www.divinesurfdesign.com/surf_diary_26. Doc quoted.

69  Surf Diary 26: Hanging out with Surf Icon Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, M.D., 2007. http://www.divinesurfdesign.com/surf_diary_26

70  Surf Diary 26: Hanging out with Surf Icon Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, M.D., 2007. http://www.divinesurfdesign.com/surf_diary_26

71  “Appointment with Doc,” Surfer, July 22, 2010. http://www.surfermag.com/features/doc-dorian-paskowitz-surfwise-health/. Doc quoted.

72  “Appointment with Doc,” Surfer, July 22, 2010. http://www.surfermag.com/features/doc-dorian-paskowitz-surfwise-health/. Doc quoted.

73  “Appointment with Doc,” Surfer, July 22, 2010. http://www.surfermag.com/features/doc-dorian-paskowitz-surfwise-health/. Doc quoted.

74  “Appointment with Doc,” Surfer, July 22, 2010. http://www.surfermag.com/features/doc-dorian-paskowitz-surfwise-health/. Doc quoted.

75  Surf Diary 26: Hanging out with Surf Icon Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, M.D., 2007. http://www.divinesurfdesign.com/surf_diary_26. Shaun Tomson quoted.

76  Surf Diary 26: Hanging out with Surf Icon Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, M.D., 2007. http://www.divinesurfdesign.com/surf_diary_26

77  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html

78  Surf Diary 26: Hanging out with Surf Icon Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, M.D., 2007. http://www.divinesurfdesign.com/surf_diary_26

79  Surf Diary 26: Hanging out with Surf Icon Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, M.D., 2007. http://www.divinesurfdesign.com/surf_diary_26. Doc quoted.

80  Surf Diary 26: Hanging out with Surf Icon Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, M.D., 2007. http://www.divinesurfdesign.com/surf_diary_26

81  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html

82  Meyers, Kate. “Health Nut,” AARP Magazine, March & April 2007. http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/doc_paskowitz_healthnut.html

83  “Appointment with Doc,” Surfer, July 22, 2010. http://www.surfermag.com/features/doc-dorian-paskowitz-surfwise-health/. Doc quoted.

84  Tomalin, Terry, “Sound in Body and Spirit,” St. Petersburg Times, April 29, 2003; http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/29/Seniority/Sound_in_body_and_spi.shtml

85  Tomalin, Terry, “Sound in Body and Spirit,” St. Petersburg Times, April 29, 2003; http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/29/Seniority/Sound_in_body_and_spi.shtml

86  “Appointment with Doc,” Surfer, July 22, 2010. http://www.surfermag.com/features/doc-dorian-paskowitz-surfwise-health/. Doc quoted.