“Career Move” was last week’s History of Surfing post, which takes us up to what I think of as a brilliant mistake of an event, the Tom Morey Invitational. Maybe you already knew that the 1965 version of Morey contest was the first surfing event with prize money, and that contestants were scored not by surfing form (turns, style, etc.) but by stopwatch-recorded time spent on the nose. Most aggregate time on the tip wins. Kinda crazy, right? The 1966 version of the Morey was a three-day fandango, with slightly different rules, and was maybe even a little crazier. A cool two large for the winner, though, which wasn’t chicken feed at the time. Read Bill Cleary’s SURFER coverage of the event here.
Noseriding got me thinking about Mimi Munro, who likely would have won the women’s division of the Morey event, had there been such a thing—which, of course, not a chance, you either swung a dick as a surfer in 1966 or were invisible, one or the other. Actually, not true, Joyce Hoffman was front and center. Joyce would have given Mimi a run for the cash in a noseriding contest (she was by far the better overall surfer), but I think Mimi would have edged her, with her tiny and twinkling-fast 14-year-old feet. I’ve been scrapping together bits and pieces of film to make a Mimi Munro clip, and I’ve got enough, but just barely. Here it is, and I hope that knockout Shangri-Las track makes up for the lack of footage.
I’ll be in Florida this week for the Florida Surf Film Festival, where I actually finally got to meet Mimi last year. Tough, quiet, no-bullshit woman, fit as hell, still surfing up a storm in her mid-60s. Chas Smith will also be in Florida, debuting Trouble: the Lisa Andersen Story, his new documentary, and I’ll be pumping him to do his next feature on Mimi—she’s definitely on my Top Five list of deserving not-yet-made surf-world documentary subjects. Here’s Mimi’s Above the Roar interview, see what you think.
Thanks, everybody, and catch you next week.
[Surf photo by Dick Graham]