“Can You Handle the Penetrator?” is the not-sly-poke-in-the-ribs title to last week’s History of Surfing post. I casually mentioned in a comments thread somewhere that I myself found the John Peck Penetrator signature model surfboard, with its non-existent nose rocker, totally unrideable. Men of goodwill stood up and politely disagreed. If any of you out there have Penetrator experience, hit me back with your thoughts. I’ve ridden (and enjoyed) a Da Cat model, and a Gary Propper model, and a few other period boards, so it’s not a longboard thing.
It was pretty much John Peck week all the way through. His Above the Roar interview, filed by Bill Cleary for Surf Guide in 1963, is one of my favorite Roar posts to date, and this three-minute Peck video reminded me all over again just how deep and broad his talent ran. The Pipe waves at the end of the clip—some of those body mechanics are as useful today as they were when John, a cocky-ass 18-year-old, was making them up. Squint your eyes at this pic. That was 54 years ago! Mason Ho’s biting that style today!
Stand by for a HOS post on the wonderful and overwhelming Joyce Hoffman, with some fairly insane counterpoint action by Buzzy Trent.
Thanks again, everybody, for supporting Encyclopedia of Surfing. I love hearing back from you, so please fire away: comments, suggestions, typos, anything at all. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org, or use this contact page.
PS: One last Peck shot. Malibu, 1967, on the Penetrator. Clearly the board worked fine for John . . .
[Photos: John Severson, Ron Stoner]