Whitmore, John

Gruff and industrious surfer-boardmaker-organizer from Cape Town, South Africa; often described as the "father of South African surfing." Whitmore was born (1929) and raised in the beachfront suburb of Sea Point, near Cape Town, and began bodysurfing as a teenager.

In 1949, the 19-year-old Whitmore, having seen photographs of surfers, began to make hollow plywood boards for himself and a few friends, and they started riding breaks near his Sea Point home. Whitmore continued to build boards a...