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6/04/18

The Tom Morey Invitational, held on 4th of July weekend, 1965, in Ventura, was the first surfing contest to offer prizemoney. The total purse was $1,500, and Mickey Munoz banked $750 for the win. In 1966, the contest was renamed the United States Professional Surfing Championships, and was again held in Ventura, with the pot...

5/23/18

The ivory tower of surf academia has long been filled with soft-voiced argument as to who exactly is the 1965 American men’s division champ. Mark Martinson won the United States Surfing Championships that September at Huntington Pier. But Rusty Miller was the United States Surfing Association rating’s leader, meaning he out-pointed the field over a...

5/03/18

The footage in this little remix is lifted from Follow Me, a failed Endless Summer Hollywood knockoff from 1969. The howling surf track is “Escape” by the Mustangs, a college town garage band from what was then called Madras (now Chennai), who were thrilling local clubgoers at the same time the Follow Me crew was in town....

4/23/18

“Thunder from the Sea,” by longtime motor sports writer Sam Moses, was Sports Illustrated’s cover story for the week of March 8, 1982. It’s a long article, probably close to 7,000 words, on the history and mythos of what SI editors anachronistically call The Banzai Pipeline. Moses gives us the full dose of hyperbole. A...

4/19/18

Famous surfers used to write letters to the surf magazines. The hand-addressed envelopes arrived at the offices, sometimes weeks after being stamped and sealed, from around the world. Surf magazines were a big deal in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s—before the internet, before cheap international phone rates, mostly before VCRs. You read the mags, studied...

4/04/18

“22 Street” was the bare bones title of a feature piece in the June 1963 issue of SURFER. Eight full pages on a negligible little piece of Hermosa Beach, holding down the middle of an issue that’s just 60 pages front to back. If you don’t know Hermosa, you are baffled. If you do know Hermosa—you are...

4/02/18

We’re going the Full Larry here on this beautiful Monday. “The Rubberman Cometh” is the title of the video you see above, as well as Bertlemann’s History of Surfing chapter. And here’s a taste of Phil Jarratt’s 1979 interview with Larry, which posted on Above the Roar. Rubberman was not shy: If your phone’s plugged back...

3/29/18

“Surf Chimp” was the insider’s nickname for Jeff Hakman, and the man was so easygoing he probably laughed right along. But “Surf Muscle” is the tag that stuck. Of course it did. Run your cursor over 00:37 and 1:18, above, then stack-rank Hakman, Michel Bourez, and Channing Tatum, for shredded male hotness. (Spoiler alert: Tatum wins,...

3/27/18

This video was three very enjoyable days in the making, and clocks in at just under 4:00, which is double the length, give or take, of most EOS clips. It was hard to stop at 4:00, in fact. Barry Kanaiaupuni intrigues and fascinates me more today than ever. Two things to geek out about here,...

3/23/18

A few thoughts on  “Forgotten Island of Santosha,” SURFER Magazine’s cover story for April 1974.  *  *  *  “Probably the most perfect wave in the world,” the article said, and because it was printed in SURFER, and because I was 13 and surf-mad, this was a statement of fact, pure and simple. The rest of the...

3/15/18

“Mister X,” a Glen Winton profile written by Sam George, originally ran in the January 1987 issue of Surfing magazine. This version below has been shortened and edited. *  *  * The first time I saw “Mr. X” was at the Bells Beach contest in Victoria, Australia. I was standing in the chilly parking lot...

3/13/18

Matt George took this 1985 shot of Tom Curren at Dorney Park’s Wildwater Kingdom wavepool, just prior to what was billed as the Inland World Surfing Championships. Surfer’s Journal ran the photo in 1993, with a great caption by Matt, which I’ll reprint here in full. *  *  * This was Tommy’s first wave at...

3/09/18

Longtime EOS viewers will recall a version of this post from 2014. It was the first thing I put on the site that brought out the haters. One or two haters, anyway . . . who were actually polite, and merely disagreed, in reasoned fashion, with my premise. But haters gotta hate, am I right?...

3/07/18

George Downing didn’t keep every surfboard he ever own, but he kept a lot of them. His very first, a horrifying crayon-shaped solid redwood plank, purchased for $4.80—George held onto that one. Same with “Pepe,” the hot curl Downing took with him when he sailed from Honolulu to California in 1947. Same with “Rocket,” a...

3/07/18

George Downing was a private person. He wasn’t shy, and enjoyed people’s company, but he never opened his life up to journalists or reporters. In 2000 and 2001, while researching the book version of Encyclopedia of Surfing, I found almost no biographic information on Downing, and just a cursory interview or two. I’d talked to...

2/27/18

David “Baddy” Treloar is the bearded giant in Morning of the Earth, Alby Falzon’s shimmering 1972 jewel of a surf movie. Or rather, Baddy’s the other bearded giant—the one who isn’t Nat Young. You’ll be glad to hear Baddy is very much still alive and surfing Angourie, on New South Wales’ North Coast, which is a pleasant...

2/23/18

By the time I arrived in Venice Beach, in 1966, Jackie Baxter had just departed south to Huntington. But from the photos and film I’ve seen, he looks like one of those friendly older roughnecks I grew up around, some of them surfers, but mostly dudes riding heavily customized bikes loud and low on Pacific...

2/22/18

Last year I re-read “Space Boards,” Tom Morey’s 1971 SURFER article. The first words of Morey’s six-page Age of Aquarius backyard board-design dialectic go like this: “Hello. I am a spaceman. I am the spirits of Einstein, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and Bob Simmons, taken possession, temporarily, of the innocent body known here on earth...

2/20/18

For a couple of years there, starting around 1973, nobody knew what direction the newly-revived sport of skateboarding was going to go. Or nobody cared, is the better way to put it. We were just ridiculously stoked on urethane wheels, and making it up as we went. That comes through clear as a bell in the...

2/16/18

“To Leash or Not to Leash, That is the Question,” by Corky Carroll, ran in the December 1972 issue of Surfing. The first commercially-sold leashes were introduced about 18 months earlier, and while the device was fast gaining acceptance, in ’72 it remained a red-hot topic.  *  *  * There is a lot of controversy...

2/12/18

“Shaping a Life: The True Saga of a Surfing Bank Robber,” by Richard Dowdy, originally ran in the December 2014 issue of Ocean Magazine. It was excerpted from a Ryan Dotson biography that was never published. The version below has been further edited and shortened. Dowdy and Dotson worked together at Hansen Surfboards in the...

2/08/18

Tiger Espere of Hawaii is a hard surfer to appreciate in 2018, nearly five decades after his peak, when he stood proudly shoulder-to-shoulder with the best of the North Shore Thunder Gods. Tiger’s trip was subtle. Subtle . . . maybe to the point of obscure. A sensitive young WCT fan wandering onto this post will...

2/02/18

Keith Paull of Queensland, as graceful as he was handsome, won the 1968 Australian National Titles, rode “Swell of the Century” Makaha in 1969, and in general was regarded throughout the surf world as the “good Aussie”—as opposed to those louder, more demanding fellows like Nat Young and John Witzig. Everybody liked Keith. By the...

1/30/18

Delving a little deeper into our collective up-down-sideways relationship with surf contests. Here, collected, are some of the finest, most piquant anti-contest quotes from the past 80-something years. But keep in mind: not only was every person here a competitor, most of them went on to compete after denouncing competition. Never trust a surfer.  *  *  * “On...

1/30/18

Surfing competition had always had it’s detractors—Miki Dora and Phil Edwards being the best examples—but not until the late ’60s did anti-contest sentiment expand into something that could be called a movement. Yes, the whole thing was splattered in hypocrisy. A lot of surfers tried to have it both ways; fly the anti-contest banner on...

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