Mike Eaton

San Diego, 1988

I shape a board in about an hour. If I spend much more time than that, it gets worse.

“The Long Run: Mike Eaton,” by Steve Barilotti, ran in the September 1988 issue of SURFER, when Eaton was 53. This version has been slightly edited and shortened. 

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Where would you put yourself, in the whole timeline of surfing?

The first wave were the guys on real heavy redwoods: Duke Kahanamoku, George Freeth—that crew. Tom Blake ushered in the second wave with the hollow board. A lot of the older guys didn’t accept them. Tom Blake’s boards were ridden by the beginners, mostly, becau...