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Enlightenment at Honolua Bay

Nat Young, Honolua, 1967. Photo: John Witzig
Dick Brewer, right.
Honolua Bay. Photo: Leo Hetzel
Brewer-shaped Bing Surfboards, early 1968
Bob McTavish, Honolua, 1967. Photo: John Witzig

For the most part, Hawaii didn’t get involved in the verbal shoving match between California and Australia, immediately after the 1966 World Championships. Jock Sutherland of Haleiwa had placed runner-up to Nat Young in San Diego, and earned his fellow islanders a nice piece of competition glory. Except they didn’t really need or want it—at least not the way the Aussies and US mainlanders did. Hawaii had a different ranking system. Outperforming the beachbreak heroes in San Diego or Sydney wa...

By 1967, Dick Brewer, a former machinist and hot-rodder from Long Beach, was a boardmaking holy man inspiring cult-like devotion among many of the world’s best surfers. In a pre-ironic age,  he was known as the Guru.