The Last Chapter: “Tarzan” Smith

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A reader-supported surf publication founded in 1992, The Surfer’s Journal is vivid, authoritative, and independent. The goal of each 132-page bimonthly edition? A completely resolved composition. Balance. Color. Story. And purist surf energy from Page One to close-of-book.

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A tribute to Gene Smith, who is considered by many to be the greatest ocean paddler of the 20th Century. This piece recognizes his accomplishments paddling to the unknown, riding tandem with Mary Ann Hawkins–the first female California surfer/paddler to win Pacific Coast National Surfing and Paddling events–various long distance paddle missions, victorious contests, and his mysterious disappearance into the desert. It’s clear Gene Smith was a tough specimen based on his accomplishments and this article emphasizes his influences on surfing even more.