Category: eos-blog

SUNDAY JOINT, 11-22-2020: 18,000 THANK-YOUS, GIVE OR TAKE

Hey All, Looking at the week ahead, I am grateful for Tom Carroll’s continued smiling and ever-viral presence in the world of surf, and happy to note that this year his birthday (59) falls on Thanksgiving. Which means nothing to Tom, of course, because Aussies don’t celebrate Thanksgiving and because on Thursday he and brother...

“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...

SUNDAY JOINT, 11-8-2020: MIKE PURPUS, ANGIE RENO, PLAYGIRL CAPERS

Hey All, Mike Purpus is our only blue-chip surfer better known for his accoutrements than his wave-riding. All you old salts know the Purp-approved checklist as well as I do: XXL puka-shell necklace, Tom Selleck mustache, Katin trunks year-round (snugly layered atop his fullsuit in winter), Aqualid, wide-brim Ladero hat. Mike strapped Velcro-soled “Claws” to his...

SUNDAY JOINT, 11-1-2020: LASERS, BAKED DOG, AND A SIDE OF WHITE WHALE

Hey All, Surfing has a knack for fragging itself with embarrassment. Always has. Cheap canvas Duke Kahanamoku signature tennies. Soul surfing. Garrett McNamara. The Surf Ranch Pro. I may roll my eyes and complain a little, but none of these misdirected surf-world outgrowths really bother me, for a couple of reasons. First, gorgeous as it...

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...

SUNDAY JOINT, 10-25-2020: FELIPE POMAR’S SURF HISTORY BUN FIGHT

Hey All, In 2007, as I began researching History of Surfing, I got an email from 1965 world champion Felipe Pomar, of Peru. I’ve known Felipe since the late ’80s when he revealed to the SURFER staff and the sport at large that Peruvian fishermen were riding waves 3,000 years ago on small and incredibly cool-looking dagger-shaped reed...

SUNDAY JOINT, 10-18-2020

Hey All, Sydney surf-industry pioneer Barry Bennett, 89, dropped through the ceiling of his Bennett Surfboards factory last month, broke his fall on an unfinished longboard, and apparently is going to be okay. It was an uncharacteristically spectacular move for Bennett, who has spent the better part of seven decades (not a typo) producing high-quality...

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...

SUNDAY JOINT, 10-11-2020: GIDGET, “NINTH WAVE,” HERMAN MELVILLE

Hey All, There’s a lot of surf fiction out there, short and long, and damned if I can recall a single passage that gets anywhere close to a bullseye in terms of actual wave-riding. Tim Winton’s Breath, maybe—the early chapters, before it all goes big-wave-life-or-death-psycho-sexual-triangle. But as a rule, you will sooner lasso a cat with...

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,...

SUNDAY JOINT, 10-4-2020: RIP SURFER MAGAZINE

Hey All, In 1972, at age 12, I wanted to grow up and be Jeff Hakman or Jerry West, flip a coin. Instead, I grew up to be the editor of SURFER, which is one of those consolation prizes that turns out to be better than the thing you wanted in the first place. I was hired...

“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...

SUNDAY JOINT, 9-27-2020: DUKE BOYD, HANG TEN, JACKIE K, SOFIA MULANOVICH

Hey All, Hang Ten beachwear cofounder Duke Boyd died last week at age 85. I never met Duke, but from the photos you can tell that his former business partner was on the money when she called him a “handsome California surfer,” and by all accounts Boyd was a smart, creative, generous, good-humored man. His...

1971: EXCERPT FROM “A NATIVE SON OF THE GOLDEN WEST,” BY JAMES HOUSTON

A Native Son of the Golden West, California writer James Houston’s first novel, was published in 1971; he went on to write several other well-received fiction and nonfiction books, and his essays appeared in the New Yorker and the New York Times. Native Son is set in the mid-1950s, and opens with California surfer Hooper...

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...

“JOCK’S NIGHT TRIP,” BY ALLAN WEISBECKER. 1969, BIG WAVES, SHORT BOARDS, ORANGE SUNSHINE

New York-born writer Allan Weisbecker was a screenwriter for NBC’s Miami Vice, and later wrote articles for Men’s Journal, Smithsonian, and Popular Photography. “In Search of Captain Zero” (2001), Weisbecker’s second book, details his life as a 1970s hardcore surfer and oceangoing pot smuggler. “Jock’s Night Trip” was originally published in a 1992 issue of...

SUNDAY JOINT, 9-20-2020: MURF THE SURF, ’84 J-BAY, TEENAGE OCCY

Hey All, Jack Murphy, the handsome surfer-playboy jewel thief—that’s what Nora Ephron would have you think, anyway—died last week at age 83, from heart failure. Murphy was born in L.A. but belongs to Florida. That’s where he made his mark as a surfer, winning the ’62 Daytona Championships and briefly running Murf’s Surf Shop in Indialantic....

1957: EXCERPT FROM “GIDGET,” BY FREDERICK KOHNER

Frederick Kohner (1905–86) studied at the Sorbonne, received a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Vienna, worked as a screenwriter in Berlin, then fled Europe just ahead of the Nazis. He arrived in Southern California and began working in Hollywood, and his screenplay for 1938’s Mad About Music was nominated for an Academy Award....

1849: “RARE SPORT AT OHONOO,” BY HERMAN MELVILLE

American novelist Herman Melville (1819–1891) went to sea at age 18 as a merchant marine, worked on a whaler, served with the U.S. Navy, lived with a native tribe in the Marquesas, and was jailed in Tahiti as a mutineer. He began writing after his return to New York. “Mardi: and a Voyage Thither” was...

SUNDAY JOINT, 9-13-2020: GEORGE FREETH AND MAE WEST, TOGETHER AT LAST

Hey All, Fire and plague and a dozen other gloom-inducing recent events have led me to George Freeth, just as surely as romantic heartbreak used to lead me to Otis Redding’s ballads. Sometimes you fight the sadness, other times you melt into it, and I’ve always viewed Freeth as our sport’s top-ranked melancholic—or possibly #2,...

“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...

1867: “A GREAT SEA CAUGHT ME,” BY JAMES CHALMERS

Scottish-born missionary and adventurer James Chalmers was posted to the South Pacific in 1866. The following year, while on the island Niue James, Chalmers tried his hand at surfing. He continued throughout his life to explore, colonize, and proselytize, and gained fame in Europe as “The Livingston of New Guinea. In 1901, however, Chalmers and...

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...

“GEORGE FREETH: KING OF THE SURFERS AND CALIFORNIA’S FORGOTTEN HERO,” by ARTHUR C. VERGE

Arthur Verge is a history professor and a former lifeguard from Southern California. This article first ran in the Summer-Fall 2001 issue of California History magazine.   *  *  *  Not far from the crowded shoreline of Waikiki Beach is the final resting place of a native Hawaiian who forever changed California and its image to the...