Owl Chapman

North Shore, 1971

Sunset Beach is on its own trip. It’s Sunset and you are you, and you can’t lay your trip on it.

“Interview: Owl Chapman,” by Drew Kampion, ran in the October 1971 issue of SURFER Magazine. Chapman was 21. This version has been slightly edited and shortened.

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What’s it like riding big waves in the Islands?

It’s a totally different realm of surfing. It’s total desire. You’ve got to want to take off on the wave. When you see it coming, you’ve gotta say to yourself: “Wow, man, this is it! I’m gonna do it!” Its sort of like the male ego makes you do it. You’ve gotta prove yourself to...