Mark Cunningham

Hawaii, 2005

We have the luxury and vanity to go dabble in the ocean. I can’t describe the sense of gratitude I have at this point in my life for that.

The SURFER Interview with Mark Cunningham, by Chris Mauro, ran in the November 2005 issue of SURFER, when Cunningham was 50 and newly retired as a North Shore lifeguard. This version has been slightly shortened and edited.

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With the renaissance we’re in right now in terms of design and experimentation, is interest in bodysurfing going up?

I think so. I can see where people are going, “Well, let’s check out bodysurfing too.” It’s just another way for people to experience waves and the...