Revolution is not a Dinner Party

Gerry Lopez. Photo: Art Brewer
Nat Young. Photo: John Witzig
Jackie Baxter. Photo: Alan Rich
Bruce Valluzzi. Photo: Doug Fiske
Windansea. Photo: Jeff Divine

It may seem a bit grandiose that anything having to do with surfing should be called a “revolution,” but the late-'60s shortboard revolution was just that—in miniature, at least. Old ways and ideas were thrown over in a furious rush. Young leaders ground their bare feet into the backs of their predecessors as they charged forward. Like most revolutions, this one had an exciting, necessary, even righteous urgency that could, from other angles, also appear excessive, wasteful, and even silly. N...

Surfing did its best to abdicate from the world of sport. Other athletes—everyone from Joe Namath to Joe Frazier—were getting high, growing their hair, and listening to the Beatles’ White Album. But surfers practically melted into the counterculture.