Williams, Les

Pioneering high-performance surfer from Santa Monica, California; remembered for his banked turns at Malibu in the early 1950s, and as a senior competitive ace from the mid-'60s to the late '90s. "He was perfectly built," boardmaker and inventor Tom Morey later recalled. "Totally handsome. But with an engineer's personality."

Williams was born (1931) and raised in Utica, New York, moved with his family to Santa Monica in 1944, and began surfing the following year. In the summer of 1950, he b...