Dudley Whitman

Miami, 1994, 2000

Back in those days [1930s], Miami was just starting to develop. There were crocodiles all over the place.

“Dudley Whitman: a Visit with Florida’s First Surfer,” by Amy Vansant, ran in the April 1994 issue of SURFER, when Whitman was 72. This version has been slightly edited and shortened.

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How long have you been surfing?

My brother Bill, who is five years older than me, and I started surfing in Miami Beach in about 1932, on bellyboards. My brother’s quite a craftsman, and we made some bellyboards that were beautiful.

When did you make the switch from bellyboards to surfboards?

John Smith...