Dewey Weber, Hotdog Jesus

Dewey Weber, Malibu. Photo: LeRoy Grannis
Dewey Weber. Photo: LeRoy Grannis
Dewey Weber, Sunset. Photo: Don James
Dewey Weber
Dewey Weber, Hermosa. Photo: LeRoy Grannis

Surfing's performance standard in the mid-'50s was being reset almost month to month at Malibu, and the surfer doing the most to push things along was a flashy half-pint peroxide-blond high school wrestling star named Dewey Weber. Like Velzy, Weber came from a blue-collar Hermosa Beach family; his father drove a truck, and his mother was a factory worker. By the time he completed his first year of high school, Weber was already famous three times over—first as a pageboy-coiffed model for Bust...

At just 17 years of age, Dewey Weber became the show. Red trunks, bleached-white hair, blinding foot speed. “People stood on the beach and pointed,” Weber once said. “You could actually see them pointing."