Road to Santosha

"Santosha," 1973. Photo: Barbara Haynes
Bob Purvey, India, 1968. Photo: Ron Dahlquist
Rio, 1967. Photo: Greg MacGillivray
Movie handbill, 1974

Exotic travel and a professional surfing competition circuit—these topics never went out of style during the 1970s. Eventually the two would be reconciled, but for most of the decade they pulled the sport in opposing directions. Travel was the great unifier. All surfers loved to dream about it, plan it, do it, and tell the stories afterward. Pro surfing was divisive: you were for it or against it. Travel and competition had a geographic difference as well. Contests were focused on the surfing...

After Endless Summer, anyone with a few extra minutes and an atlas could figure out that a huge majority of the world’s breaks still waited to be discovered. Not until the shortboard revolution, however, did exotic surf become the sport’s holy grail.