Tag: 2019

“STORM WAVE WIPES OUT CHAMP SURFER,” HONOLULU STAR-BULLETIN, DECEMBER 5, 1969

By Tomi Knaefler Star-Bulletin Writer Greg Noll, one of the best of the big wave riders, yesterday came uncomfortably close to being a victim of Oahu’s surf storm. Noll and six other big-league surfers were drawn to the challenge of the massive 25-foot waves at Makaha. About 1:30 pm, Noll chose his challenge which another surfing...

EXCERPT: “THE LAST WAVE,” FROM GREG NOLL’S “DA BULL: LIFE OVER THE EDGE” (1989)

This is the opening chapter from Greg Noll’s 1989 autobiography, Da Bull: Life Over the Edge. It has been shortened and lightly edited. *  *  * In many ways, the winter of ’69 was the peak of my life. I was 32. I had a built a successful career of surfing and making surfboards. Although...

“THE GREAT WAVES OF DECEMBER ‘SIXTY-NINE,” BY RICK GRIGG

This article was originally published in the August 1971 issue of SURFER. Photos of Waimea Bay, above, by Roger Sames.   *  *  *   At 11:30 p.m. on the night of Monday, December 1, 1969, Madeline Valentine awoke to the sounds of screaming sirens. A Sunset Beach fire truck was slowly moving down the road behind...

KIMO HOLLINGER: THE LAST BIG WAVE

Nothing about this job interests me more than throwing light into the ever-grinding tectonic-plate furrow where surfing meets the rest of life. All our heartfelt stories about learning to surf, about the thrills and adventures, the perfect waves, the hairball moments—don’t get me wrong, I love that stuff too. I gather and organize and deal...

AUWE! KIMO HOLLINGER’S ANTI-CONTEST MAGNUM OPUS

“An Alternative Viewpoint,” by Kimo Hollinger, ran in the September 1975 issue of SURFER. Hollinger at the time was one of Hawaii’s most respected old guard big-wave riders. In the mid-’60s he was a competitor in the Duke Kahanamoku Invitational, and later that decade he worked as a contest judge. By the early ’70s, however,...

THE 1986 OP PRO RIOT: AN ORAL HISTORY, BY BEN MARCUS

A shorter version of this oral history, compiled by Ben Marcus, ran in the February 2011 issue of Surfer’s Journal, and was titled “Flashpoint: the Op Pro Riot.”  *  *  * SAM GEORGE – SURF WRITER I was there all day but at some point I said to Matty Liu: “This crowd is turning ugly...

1986 BILLABONG PRO: BRYCE ELLIS JUST SAYS “NO” TO WAIMEA BAY

Bryce Ellis is mostly remembered, when he’s remembered at all, as one of two surfers who pulled out of the opening round of the 1986 Billabong Pro, held in monster conditions at Waimea Bay. What a shitty thing to be known for. Then again, not paddling out at Waimea is the most interesting thing on Ellis’...

THE ELEGANCE OF BRYCE ELLIS, BY MARA WOLFORD

Mara Wolford’s essay on Aussie pro surfer Bryce Ellis originally ran in the Spring 2016 issue of White Horses magazine. If you haven’t already done so, click here to read a companion piece on Ellis; it sets up the Wolford’s article nicely.  *  *  *  I met Bryce Ellis when I was 16. He came to...

READ: “DUKE’S ULCERS,” BY STEVE HAWK

Steve Hawk replaced me as the editor of SURFER in early 1991. I was kept on a small retainer that year, to advise as needed, but I don’t think Steve hit me up on business matters more than two or three times—he had it together from the get-go. Drew Kampion always springs to mind (my mind, anyway)...

WATCH: HOW COL SMITH INVENTED THE BACKHAND LIP-BASH

This week I posted a clip of Narrabeen Col Smith (not to be confused with Newcastle Col Smith), and the historian in me is frustrated at the complete lack of context. This happens all the time with EOS videos. Maybe one in a hundred people watching Smith will get how advanced his trip was. Everybody...