Author: Matt Warshaw

SAM REID: THE ORIGINAL GRUMPY OLD SURFER

New Jersey’s Sam Reid learned to surf in 1912, at age seven, after watching Duke Kahanamoku give a wave-riding demonstration in Atlantic City. Reid later moved to California, then Hawaii, surfing and socializing with Tom Blake and the Kahanamoku brothers. Blake and Reid are credited as the first surfers to ride Malibu, in 1927. Reid...

“GOODBYE SUNSHINE SUPERMAN,” JOCK SUTHERLAND PROFILE, BY MATT WARSHAW

“Goodbye Sunshine Superman” ran in the Winter 1994 issue of Surfer’s Journal. This version has been slightly shortened and edited.  *  *  *  There is great appeal, maybe even cosmic justice, in the idea that Jock Sutherland, master of critical positioning, rode deeper and cleaner than anybody during Our Holy Year of Gigantic Surf, 1969....

“BEN” – BEN AIPA PROFILE BY BILL HAMILTON AND GERRY LOPEZ

“Ben,” a two-part profile written by Bill Hamilton and Gerry Lopez, ran in the September 1972 issue of SURFER. This version has been slightly edited and shortened.  *  *  * He’s a big, heavy-set guy, weighing somewhere between 225 and 250 pounds. Amazingly enough, this isn’t a detriment to his surfing, which is remarkably smooth,...

U-TURN ON THE “NIGHT TRIP”? JOCK SUTHERLAND ANSWERS ALLAN WEISBECKER

In August 2020, EOS posted “Jock’s Night Trip,” by Allan Weisbecker, an article that originally ran in a 1992 issue of Surfing. “Night Trip” is possibly the most 1969 story on the whole site, flitting about from the Apollo moonwalk to the Mets to Woodstock and beyond, then zeroing in on the North Shore for...

BURNING MAN ’64: DROPPING INTO THE WORLD TITLES at MANLY BEACH

And lo the story has been handed down through time, nigh on three score years now, one surf historian to the next—that Joey Cabell bunged himself out a world title in 1964 because he dropped in on other competitors like Tom Carroll on a six-shot espresso high. There was a new “sportsmanship” rule in place...

“BOBBY BROWN, THE SURFER TREND-SETTER,” BY MIDGET FARRELLY

Midget Farrelly’s tribute to Bobby Brown ran in the August 27, 1967, edition of the Sydney Morning Herald. A week earlier, Brown had been killed in a bar fight not far from his home in Cronulla. This version has been slightly edited and shortened.   *  *  *  Australian surfing suffered a great loss this week...

ORAL HISTORY: THE QUIET, BRILLIANT, TRAGIC BOBBY BROWN

Bobby Brown of Cronulla, a smooth-surfing teenage finalist in the 1964 world titles, was as quiet and unassuming as he was talented. In 1967, just after filming what would be a star turn in Paul Witzig’s Hot Generation, Brown was killed in a bar fight. He was 20. The following quotes are from various sources,...

1975: “THE WISA HAPPENING AT MALIBU,” BY KEVIN NAUGHTON

Kevin Naughton’s article about the debut Women’s International Surfing Association pro contest at Malibu, with photos by longtime travel partner Craig Peterson, ran in the December 1975 issue of SURFER. This version has been slightly edited and shortened.   *  *  *  Craig’s plan was ingenious, maybe even brilliant, but I still felt uneasy. In fact,...

“SEVENTIES PRO GENESIS,” BY PATTI PANICCIA – THE ORIGINS OF WOMEN’S PRO SURFING

This article was published in the Spring 2003 issue of Surfer’s Journal. This version has been slightly edited.  *  *  *  There’s a photo hanging on my wall that always attracts people’s attention. It’s not a particularly wonderful shot. It’s black and white, and barely in focus, and it’s aged so much over the years...

ORAL HISTORY: REMEMBERING AUSSIE TEEN-TERROR KEVIN BRENNAN

Kevin Brennan was a tough freckle-faced kid from Bondi Beach who won both the junior and senior divisions of the 1965 New South Wales State Championships. He was just 15. Two years later, filmmaker Paul Witzig captured Brennan and pal Bobby Brown surfing Noosa, and the resulting sequence was a highlight of Witzig’s 1967 film...

“FAITHLESS LOVER TURNED TO STONE,” ANCIENT HAWAIIAN LOVE-GONE-BAD SURFING LEGEND

This surf-themed legend was recounted by Honolulu Star-Bulletin writer Clarice B. Taylor in her “Tales About Hawaii” column on November 26, 1958. This version has been slightly edited.  *  *  *  As you travel along Kamehameha Highway on the western end of Oahu Island, you pass Waialee and come to a barren ridge above Paumalu...

1977: “BROADS WHO RIDE BOARDS,” BY PHIL JARRATT, TRACKS MAGAZINE

Phil Jarratt’s feature on women’s surfing ran in the June 1977 issue of Tracks. As surf historian Geoff Cater noted on his website surfresearch.com, “While the use of ‘Broads’ in the article title was even then disparaging, in the same issue the editor [Jarratt] inaugurated a new page for kneeboarders, under the header ‘Cripples Corner’.”...

1969: EXCERPT FROM “HANG DEAD HAWAIIAN STYLE”

Patrick Morgan was one of several pen names used by durable American-born pulp-fiction novelist George Snyder. Hang Dead Hawaiian Style was the first novel in Morgan’s nine-book “Operation Hang Ten series,” published from 1969 to 1973, featuring surfer-swinger-undercover CIA agent Bill Cartwright.  *  *  *  Jim Dana, head of West Coast Headquarters of Operation Hang...

HOT SURF PULP! ALL 10 BOOKS FROM “OPERATION HANG TEN”

George Snyder, writing under the name Patrick Morgan, produced his 10-book hardboiled surf-pulp Operation Hang Ten series between 1969 and 1973. Surfer-playboy-spy Bill Cartwright is the Hang Ten headliner. None of the books were reviewed in newspapers or magazines but pop-culture enthusiast Joe Kenney, on his website Glorious Trash, had this to say about the...

1967: “PULPS AND POT: SURFING PROBLEMS,” BY PATRICK MCNULTY

“Pulps and Pot: Surfing Problems,” by Patrick McNulty (above), ran on SURFER’s editorial page in the September 1967 issue. McNulty was SURFER’s editor from 1965 until 1968 when he was replaced by Drew Kampion.   *  *  *  The changing problems facing the sport of surfing are reflected in mail crossing the editor’s desk. A few...

“QUIET TRIUMPH,” THE PAM BURRIDGE STORY, BY DC GREEN

“Quiet Triumph: the Remarkable Journey of Pam Burridge,” by DC Green, ran in the Summer 1998 issue of Deep magazine. This version has been slightly shortened and edited.  *  *  *  Consider this: at the time of writing, Pam Burridge and Trudy Todd were the sixth- and third-highest rated surfers, respectively, on the ASP world...

“IN TRIM: DONALD TAKAYAMA,” BY SCOTT HULET

Scott Hulet’s profile on Donald Takayama ran in the Summer 1993 issue of Longboard magazine. The version below has been shortened and slightly edited. *  *  * Donald Takayama, aka “Fuzzy,”  “Bird’s-nest,” and, naturally, “DT,” led what was probably the most idyllic childhood a surfer could possibly envision. Surrounded by the High Council of Hawaiian...

HANG TIME WITH MIKE PURPUS AND ANGIE RENO: THE 1974 PLAYGIRL CAPER

California surfers Mike Purpus and Angie Reno were both in their mid-20s prime in 1974, when Playgirl magazine came calling. Both had star turns in Five Summer Stories. Purpus had just won the Malibu AAAA contest and was second runner-up in the Smirnoff. Reno was regarded among the most fearless North Shore surfers, and would...

1958 MAKAHA INTERNATIONAL SURFING CHAMPIONSHIPS PROGRAM

Here is a cover-to-cover scan of the 1958 Makaha International Surfing Championships. It was edited and produced by the OB and Dick Patterson, both of whom were members of the Waikiki Surf Club, who sponsored the event. Thanks to David Beaver for donating this program to Encyclopedia of Surfing.  *  *  *  [Thanks to David Beaver...

RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES: THE SURFIE-ROCKER WARS, SYDNEY, 1962-’64

The Surfie-Rocker Wars, as named by the Sydney press, were a series of scrapes between the local middle-class suburban kids, most of whom either surfed or were in surf lifesaving clubs (Surfies), and working-class day-trippers from a few miles inland (Rockers). Nobody was killed or badly injured in the Surfie-Rocker Wars. But the fighting, on...

1956: EXCERPT FROM “THE NINTH WAVE,” BY EUGENE BURDICK

Iowa-born Eugene Burdick (1918-1965) was an Oxford-educated Rhodes scholar teaching political theory at UC Berkeley in 1956 when The Ninth Wave, his noir-tinged first novel, was published. Burdick’s other fiction and nonfiction books include The Ugly American, a best-seller from 1958, and 1962’s Cold War thriller Fail-Safe; both were made into movies. In this excerpt,...

“ACCELERATOR: THE TERRY FITZGERALD STORY,” BY PHIL JARRATT

This article ran in the Spring 2000 issue of Surfer’s Journal. It has been slightly edited and shortened.  *  *  *  Coledale, 1960. A collection of miner’s cottages hung like a string of imitation pearls around the neck of a coal-rich cliff that falls away to the sea. Dominating the village on the south coast...

1964: HANG TEN SURFWEAR IN A “MAD RACE TO KEEP UP WITH ORDERS”

“Plant Run by L.B. Couple Scores Scores with Special Suits for Surf Riders: Idea Suggested by Surfer.” This Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram article by Ken Chilcote ran on February 23, 1964.   *  *  *  Thanks to the Jackie Kennedy look in fashions, a Long Beach firm has become the leading manufacturer of surf wear! When...

“THE FATHER OF SURFING,” GEORGE FREETH PROFILE by IAN WHITCOMB

A shorter version article ran in the August 2000 issue of American Heritage Magazine, under the title “The Beach Boy.” Whitcomb was a semi-novelty British Invasion rock-and-roller, who later became a producer, actor, and history writer.   *  *  *  I was hurrying down an endless corridor in San Francisco’s International Airport, in a swirl of...

SURF LESSONS FROM GEORGE FREETH, 1912: “IT REQUIRES UNLIMITED NERVE”

This uncredited article ran in the Los Angeles Times on July 14, 1912, with a five-tiered title: “Through the Combers – Riding Surf Board Thrills – George Freeth is Teaching Girls at Redondo – Hawaiian Swimmer Performs Hair-raising Stunts – Pretty Miss Says it is the Best Sport in the World.” This version has been...