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8/25/18

This week I posted a clip of Narrabeen Col Smith (not to be confused with Newcastle Col Smith), and the historian in me is frustrated at the complete lack of context. This happens all the time with EOS videos. Maybe one in a hundred people watching Smith will get how advanced his trip was. Everybody...

8/17/18

This 1968 Surfing magazine article by Margo Godfrey might be the saddest piece of surf writing ever published. Godfrey, 16, was the newly-crowned world champ. She didn’t yet have the big-wave chops that would define her career as a professional in years to come, but was already a mile ahead of her contemporaries nonetheless, and...

7/28/18

Two weeks ago I introduced my eight-year-old son to Kookslams. Together we laughed as kooks of every description were slammed in various and sundry ways. Teddy noticed that Kookslams has 1.1 million Instagram followers, and his enjoyment shot up. (My enjoyment dipped as I felt Teddy’s unspoken judgment against Encyclopedia of Surfing’s paltry 15.3K followers. Click...

7/15/18

Art Brewer was the hottest teenage surf photographer in the world in 1970—or forget the “teenage” bit, Art was the best photog in the game, full stop—when he piled into a battered camouflage-green bus for a SURFER-directed trip to the Ranch. A few days earlier, in a vacant lot in San Juan Capistrano, Brewer photographed...

7/15/18

Drew Kampion’s “Almondeyes No. 2” originally ran in the September 1970 issue of SURFER. This version is slightly edited and shortened. *  *  * The Ranch is a thing that happens to your mind. It covers you and moves into you and changes you. The Ranch is California at its best. It is clean and...

7/15/18

Brad Barrett was the unsung hero of SURFER Magazine’s High Renaissance (I like my double-entendres the way I like my Twitter victims: easy and weak), from 1968 to 1972. Most of Brad’s contribution was photo-related. He and Ron Stoner were the only two masthead-listed staff photographers in 1968 and ’69, and a year or so...

7/15/18

This art-project-slash-surf-trip took place in January 1970, lasted three days, and was filled with good vibes, small waves, and soft drugs. You can read more about it here and here, and see some fantastic Art Brewer pix of the trip here. John Severson and Spyder Wills filmed the sequence above for Pacific Vibrations, Severson’s last surf movie,...

6/20/18

I believe it is Genesis 4:20 in which John Severson damns the head dip as a “completely useless” maneuver whose only point is to demonstrate a surfer’s “complete domination of the curl.” And yea, John spaketh the truth. The head dip is completely useless. That “complete domination” bit, though . . . . Is it...

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...

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