Career Move

1966 Morey Invitational winners, with checks (L to R) Skip Frye, Terry Jones, Bob Purvey
Joyce Hoffman, 1966 Laguna Masters, Redondo Beach
Corky Carroll. Photo: Jim Driver
1968 Duke contest winner Mike Doyle. Photo: Ron Stoner
1968 Duke finalists. Photo: Grannis

In early 1977, Southern California photographer Bill Delaney released Free Ride, and it instantly became the year’s runaway hit surf movie. The best part of the film was the knockout slow-motion camera work shot by Surfing staffer Dan Merkel, a bearded Santa Barbara hardass who cardio-trained by taping weights to his ankles and wrists and running through soft sand. Merkel figured out how to swim a 21-pound camera into the lineup at Backdoor Pipeline, where he’d float in the impact zone, track...

Corky Carroll at age 18 put “professional surfer” on his 1965 tax return. Two years later, thanks to board royalties, product endorsements, and a bonus check from Hobie Surfboards for his appearances on The Tonight Show and What’s My Line, Carroll earned something in the neighborhood of $40,000.