Chapin, Gard

Innovative but prickly surfer from Hollywood, California; stepfather to surfing icon Mickey Dora; one of the most talented and least-liked surfers of the prewar era. "He ran circles around most guys up and down the California coast," boardmaker Joe Quigg said of Chapin, "because most surfers in his generation were laid back. To them, surfing was like going fishing. Gard was this wild, radical guy tearing up the ocean."

Chapin was born in Hollywood, probably in 1918, the son of a doctor, and ...