Codgen, Claude

Cheerful, smooth-riding goofyfooter from Cocoa Beach; regarded by many as the best East Coast surfer of the mid- and late 1960s. "Claude was super cool, and graceful as a swan," fellow Cocoa Beach surfer Mike Tabeling said. "Plus he was just the best at everything he did—surfing, baseball, skateboarding, shooting pool, all of it."

Codgen was born (1948) and raised in Florida's Cape Canaveral area, and began surfing at age 11. He was the East Coast's juniors division ratings leader in 1966, a...