Downing, George

Magisterial regularfoot surfer from Honolulu, Hawaii, often thought of as the first "complete" big-wave rider; winner of the Makaha International in 1954, 1961, and 1965; longtime competition director of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau event at Waimea Bay.

Downing was born (1930) and raised in Honolulu, the son of a marine machinist, and began surfing Waikiki at age nine. In the latter years of World War II, as a young teenager, Downing lived with Wally Froiseth, one of the sport's o...