Mark Liddell

Dana Point, California, 1981

I don’t know how we got that small-wave reputation. (Pause) Well, do stand out more in small waves.

“Conversations: Buttons and Liddell,” by Chris Carter, ran in the October 1981 issue of Surfing magazine. This version has been edited and shortened. The interview took place at a Dana Point seafood restaurant. Liddell was 24.

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Buttons: (Looking at the menu) Let’s see here, Pacific Red Snapper. Oh, mahi-mahi! That’s what I’m going to have.

Carter: How about swordfish?

Buttons: I like, but I think I’ll have mahi. Swordfish betta? No way!

Liddell: Wha? Mahi is good, but swordfish is unre...