Dotson, Ryan

Multi-talented hard-knock American surfer and shaper; a four-time Duke Invitational invitee; crafter of some of the finest big-wave guns of the early shortboard age; and convicted bank robber. "Ryan Dotson is a surfer of progression," Petersen's Surfing magazine noted in 1969. "His goal is to put the fastest boards in the most critical places."

Dotson was born (1945) in Long Beach, California, to a father who was both an accountant and chef. The family moved to La Jolla when Dotson was 11;...