I think it was 1966 when they built a coffer-dam around the harbor area-to-be at Dana Point and pumped the sea water out leaving fish flopping and abalone and lobster high and dry. The sea birds were dive-bombing the dying sea life, and surfers were crying. Next they used bull-dozers to scrape the natural sea bottom and rock reefs into a smooth basin, then let the sea water back in and built a break wall around it. Every point break in Southern California, including Malibu, has been the target of just such a travesty. Area-waterman legend Ron Drummond had waged a passionate single-handed campaign to stop the death of Killer Dana but those were different times and he was largely ignored. Decades later Craig Lockwood would write a short story to form the basis of surfing musical, “Surf Story”, that wove a parody of surf culture around the destruction of Killer Dana and the end of an era. –S.P. Top Photo: Ron Stoner/Surfer Bottom Photo: Dave Dash.
Some like 'em flat, some like 'em round, some like 'em big, some like 'em small. And like that we're starting to sound a whole like like Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back"... which is not a good thing. Anyway, here's to whatever rear you prefer to ride. Photo: Moonwalker
Shot with Bond's bow-tie camera, top secret scribbles from inside the bay at Harbour. Now all you have to do is mow foam for the next 50 years and you'll know what to do with them. Photo: S. Whisper
"So wait, what you're telling me is that you put a third fin back here on the tail? I don't know Simon, that seems kinda crazy." Crazy like a fox. Simon Anderson dropping his Thruster on the Trestles audience circa 1981. Photo: Jeff Divine
There are so many cliches about photos like this. "It's like G-land for Lilliputians." You know, that kind of thing. But given how crowded and hectic our lives get, and how little perfect surf some of us are privy too, there's solace in flawless ankle-snappers like this...especially when it's six inches and roping without a drop of water out of place...as the cliche goes. Photo: Scott Carter
Who says the finless alaia thing is for small surf? Naturally a free-thinker, Dave Rastovich took exception to convention when he paddled out into the Sunset lineup au naturale this winter. Harkening back to a more ancient time on Oahu, he bravely hangs in there and waits for the edge to bite. Photo: Pat Stacy
Circa-mid-1930s Paddleboard Cove. From Preston Peterson's private collection of photos. Early in the Cove's use by surfers, the regulars cleared a channel in the rocks, from the beach to waist-deep, so they could walk their heavy boards out a few yards and begin paddling rather than carry them over the rocks. This fellow wore swimming goggles, which can be seen hanging around his neck, to shallow dive for the abalone on deck. The shellfish were rampant by then. Sea otters had long before been exterminated which had been the abalone's natural predator, resulting in an un-natural level of propagation. The first day Lorrin Harrison fished abs commercially, at Abalone Cove in Laguna, he claims to have taken seven hundred dozen!
Corky Carroll at Surfside Water Tower circa-1963. Corky grew up in that small community on “B” row, “A” row being oceanfront, his home being across the street from the sand, and “C” row facing Coast Highway behind them. It was a quaint and rustic collection of beach structures and equally interesting inhabitants. His bodacious style fit into the mix. I met him about the time this picture was taken while I was working for Mickey Munoz who managed Ole Surfboards on Bay Blvd. in Seal Beach. At the time, Mickey was Corky’s mentor as a competitive surfer and paddler. Corky was smoking everyone right then- the epitome of a precocious, obnoxious kid, absolutely driven to rip. It wasn’t pretty but he was radical and flashy, thus a contest winner, and ultimately became the first seriously recompensed pro-surfer when Catalina paid him thirty-grand a year to represent their attempt at authentic surf wear. Today, you can stay in Corky’s beachfront casa at Saladita, Mexico, and talk story and surf with him (he’s mellowed considerably in his mature years), for $1,500 a week. If you can afford that kind of thing, it’s a surf experience worth having. -- Pez Photo: Ron Stoner
Scratch any given Santa Cruz surfer, and you'll find an Angeleño living under the skin. Originally from Santa Monica (where he attended St. Monica High with C.R. Stecyk), Michel Junod is most well know for his arch-traditional nose riding. That said, his personal surf iceberg has plenty of mass beneath the surface, as evidenced by this 1974 shot of him on a balls-out speed run at maxing Rocky Rights. Photo: Divine
Where it is isn't so much as important as the fact that yes, wonderful little pullouts like this still exist. An empty lineup, A-frame peaks, offshore winds, scenery that'll knock your booties off. Sign us up. The lonesome Kiwi road awaits. Photo: Anthony Ghiglia
"I had this whole batch of photos that I thought were a lost cause, but it's amazing what I was able to do digitally to help this shot out," explains Jeff Divine of this little South African gem he polished. Taken in '78 at the Bay of Plenty, "these photos of Shaun Tomson have just been sitting collecting dust," continues Divine. "I don't know why I held on to them for so long, but I'm glad I did. I wonder what other images are out that there we could bring back to life." Photo: Divine
It always appears so casual, but backside tube riding is so much harder than it looks. Take this lonesome New Zealand silhouette for example: First, just to stuff yourself in a hole like this the wave has to be of proper size. Then, when you consider how tricky it can be grabbing rail and butt dragging until you're properly slotted, that knocks up the difficulty factor a few pegs. And finally, if you're over 35 chances are your knees will barely hold up and you'll need to have your ACL scoped when you return to civilization. All this for a room with a view. Photo: Andrew Shield
Skip Frye strikes a familiar pose in familiar country. La Jolla Shores during the summer of '67. Photo: Jeff Divine
Guaranteed all three of these guys are standing there, staring off into the lineup, mentally putting themselves deep in the eye of this backlit Tazzy peeler. The regular-footers in the group are probably thinking about all the frontside bliss they're going to enjoy, speed runs into backdoored sections, plunging their arms deep into the wall to hang behind the curtain as long as possible. While the goofy guy envisions rail-grabs and foamball postures. Whichever way they're going, all this trio has to do is slip past a strand of barbed wire and they're out there ... alone. Photo: Stuart Gibson
You've just hiked in, there's nobody around for miles, no sense that the wind's going to switch any time soon, and absolutely no need to rush. Take your time setting up your little spot on the beach, take a couple pulls off your water bottle before paddling out, and after that, the day is yours to waste on a flawless little four-foot roper. The Tasmanian outback does have its upsides. Photo: Juan Fernandez