Early 1930's Surfing
Surf History, 1930-35
Aloha and welcome to this chapter of LEGENDARY SURFERS.
Early 1930s Surfing covers the beginning of the modern era, when surfboards first began to undergo
technological changes -- in materials, construction and
design. It was the era after surfing's
revival and before World War II. It was the era of the Great Depression and
the rise of Fascism in Europe and imperial Japan in Asia.
World events would be reflected somewhat in surfing
lifestyles, but pretty much surfers became their own enclave, much as it was up until recently.
Photograph of John Heath "Doc" Ball, courtesy
of Doc Ball and the Ball Family.
AUSTRALIAN SURF CLUBS
LIFESAVING EQUIPMENT & CARNIVALS
PACIFIC COAST SURF RIDING CHAMPIONSHIPS, 1928-41
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, 1933-38
1935 SURF SAFARI
The period between the first and second wars marked the first technological
changes to surfboard design and construction of watercraft since the evolution
of the traditional Hawaiian surfboards -- the olo,
kiko`o, alaia and paipo. Tom Blake was
the first of the great innovators during this time. He was followed by
a notable list of others, including Chuck Allen with balsa/redwood combinations
on the Mainland, G.A. "Saxon" Crackenthorpe with the Australian surf ski,
and Hot Curl big wave surfers like John Kelly and Wally
Froiseth with the V tail on O`ahu.
Tom Blake's hollow boards played an
important part in the scenario between the world wars. From the early 1930s
on to the mid-1940s, hollow surfboards were extremely popular. This period
of time saw the stock market crash on October 24, 1929 and was dominated
by the problems caused by the Great Depression. It spanned the entire presidency
of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and saw the rise of the United States as the
greatest military and political power on the planet. The last days of hollow
board popularity coincided with the ending of the Second
Sometimes referred to as the "heyday of the hollow board," the 1930s
was a time when surfboards became longer, lighter, narrower, and -- in
many cases -- hollow. Lighter boards enabled more people to get into the
sport and these "kook boxes" were prevalent at surfing beaches on through
the 1940s. Even though the hollow board's popularity rose quickly and dramatically,
as a dominant form it was the board of choice for only the decade of the
'30s. Instead of veering off into the realm of hollow surfboards, surfboard
evolution stayed with and continued on from redwood planks. Eventually,
the hollow board found its resting place not amongst surfers for recreation,
but amongst lifeguards for lifesaving.
Australian Surf Clubs
Surfing and paddling competitions were a new thing on the Mainland
of North America at the beginning of the 1930s, but in Hawai`i, surfing
contests had an ancient history. Even Australia was ahead of California
when it came to organized ocean sports competition. By the time the Pacific
Coast Championships got started in California in 1928, Australian surfing
competition was already experiencing its first growing pains as an essential
ingredient to the life saving movement.
"From 1910 to the late 1950s," wrote Kent Pearson in Surfing Subcultures,
"Australian and New Zealand surfing was dominated by the Surf
Life Saving Association... " Surfing became, "for those who wanted
to become closely involved, synonymous with surf life saving. Very few
people who were not members of the SLSA used any type of equipment or craft
in the surf. For those more interested in surfing than the casual beachgoer,
the surf life saving clubs came to be operational bases, and often homes
away from home. The clubs provided the focus and framework for virtually
all their surfing activities."
This was in contrast to surfing in America, where there was no voluntary
surf life saving movement comparable to that in Australia and New Zealand.
American lifeguard services, instead, were professionally organized and
operated. Surfing was pursued as an individual sport, separate from life
Lifesaving Equipment & Carnivals
Australian and New Zealand competitions began with team rescues and
resuscitation demonstrations. These competitions became increasingly structured,
diverse, and organized as the years went on. In the early days especially,
there was much experimentation with boat types and surfboards for ocean
The Sly brothers first used a boat for life saving, at Manly Beach,
at the turn of the century. They continued making boat rescues well into
the first decade, while others used the reel, line and belt for surf life
saving. The Sly boat was an ordinary, double-ended lifeboat from an ocean-going
ship. Although the boat was heavy and slow, it served the Sly brothers
well because they could use it both for surf rescue and for fishing.
Bronte surf life saver Walter Biddell was the first person to re-design
and build a surf boat strictly for rescue work. He first experimented with
a catamaran-style craft, then a double-ended surf boat with buoyancy tanks
fore and aft.
After surf boats became established weapons in the surf life saving
arsenal, surfboards came along. "In the early 1900s," wrote Pearson, "there
had been spasmodic attempts by the Australians to use the surf board after
they had witnessed board riding in Hawaii... the first surf board of Hawaiian
design brought to Australia was imported by C.D. Patterson in 1912... various
persons had experimented with this board, but none had been able to master
Duke Kahanamoku's introduction of surfboard
riding to Australia, in 1915, dramatically changed the status of the surfboard
in Australian beach culture. After Duke left Australia, Claude West, "the
Hawaiian's star pupil" became Australia's first surf champ and ruled as
such from 1915 thru 1924. "West was also responsible for establishing the
board as a valuable piece of life saving equipment in Australia," wrote
Pearson. "He repeatedly used his surf board at Manly Beach to make rescues.
This was not looked upon favourably by the Australian Surf Life Saving
Association, which at this time warned members against board rescues."
"The reel, belt and boat were seen as proper life saving gear," recalled
Australian champion surfer Snowy McAlister, in 1975, of the years between
1915 and 1926. "... life savers were forbidden from departing from the
usual form of rescue, and of course, only a few could use boards whereas
all were trained in methods laid down by the Association."
According to Pearson, "Some Australian board paddlers were experimenting
with hollow boards as early as 1918." After Tom
Blake developed the first true hollow surfboard, from 1928 on, hollow
surfboards and paddleboards became widely accepted amongst surfers in Australia.
The same year Blake took out the patent on his chambered hollow design
(1934), the first hollow board was used in Australian competition by "the
heaviest board rider in Sydney" with success.
Important in the popularization of the surf lifesaving movement were
surf life saving carnivals. Over time, sprints, flag races, relays, chariot
races and pillow fights were all added to the carnival repertoire. Some
of these continue to present day.
So, by the 1930s, the distinctive pattern of today's Australasian
surf life saving competitions were well established. These are: 1) rescue
and resuscitation (including surf race swimming and surf belt racing);
2) beach events; 3) boat events; and 4) small craft events.
From the 1930s on, surf boat races were integral to the surf carnivals.
Boat design stayed the same for a number of years; similar to the first
one owned and operated as a fishing boat by the Sly
brothers at Manly. Eventually, the Manly Surf Club had a special rescue
boat built with added watertight bulkheads and a sawed-off stern. This
was the beginning of the first true surfboat. The surf boats cost clubs
quite a bit, but more importantly fostered team spirit. Used primarily
for racing, they were virtually useless for lifesaving. They were too slow
to get moving in an emergency and a challenge to get them beyond the impact
zone in heavy surf. As crowd-pullers at the surf carnivals, however, they
were major entertainment. The wipeouts were impressive.
Pacific Coast Surf Riding Championships, 1928-41
Thanks to the sport's introduction into Southern California by Duke
Kahanamoku and George Freeth prior to World
War I, there were enough surfers a decade or so later to hold the first
annual Pacific Coast Surfing Championship even before the 1930s had kicked-in.
The first annual Pacific Coast Surfing Championship took place in
1928, the same year the stock market crashed. In half-page advertisements
in The Santa Ana Daily Register, the contest was announced and the
public invited to bring picnic baskets and enjoy, "absolutely free," surfing
demonstrations by "world famous figures" such as Duke Kahanamoku, Tom Blake,
Gerrard and Art Vultee "of the Los Angeles Athletic Club," swimming coach
of the Hollywood Athletic Club Clyde Swedson, and "other experts" like
L. Jarvis, lifeguard captain Rusty
Williams and H. Hutchinson.
In addition to surf board races, the first PCSC featured canoe tilting
contests, paddling races and a surf board life-saving demonstration. The
1st Annual was hosted by the Corona Del Mar Surf Board Club, at that time
the biggest surf club in the country.
Held at Corona Del Mar, on the east side of Newport Bay, on August
5, 1928, the largest crowd, "that has visited the beach in the last five
years," witnessed the first surf riding contest in Southern California.
It was here that Tom Blake unveiled the first hollow board. Taken from
ancient Hawaiian olo board dimensions, Blake's board was much longer than
anyone else's. At 16 feet, it would have averaged approximately 150 pounds,
except for the fact that Blake had drilled holes in the deck and resealed
the edges to produce a board weighing "only" 120 pounds.
After the Pacific Coast Surfriding Championship trophy, was first
won by Tom Blake. Blake
donated the trophy, "to be the perpetual cup," wrote Doc, "for the above
mentioned event. Winners since 1928 are inscribed on the back of it." Doc
added that, "World War II precluded any possibilities of a contest from
1941 through 1946."
Blake's "Hawaiian Hollow Board" would become better known as "Blake's
Cigar," due to its shape. Both he and his board were nearly laughed off
the beach until Blake easily won the day's grueling paddling competition.
Thereafter, almost every surfer in California and the budding East Coast
began turning in their old spruce pine and redwood planks for the lighter,
Blake-style boards. The trend in surfboards soon changed to hollow boards,
due mostly to lightness.
Delbert "Bud" Higgins, a Huntington Beach lifeguard of those times,
recalled of the redwood boards that the "redwoods were really too heavy,
about 125 pounds, plus another 10 pounds or so when they got wet." Yet,
Higgins, who was the first man to ride through the pilings of the Huntington
Beach Pier while standing on his head, swore by the old boards, saying
they were, "so big and stable [that] you could do almost anything."
"I remember one fella," recalled Bud, "who used to bring a little
folding camp stool and a parasol along with him when he'd paddle out. He'd
catch a good wave, unfold the seat, then sit down and enjoy the ride in
By the early 1930s, Blake helped reduce the average weight of a board
from between 125 to 150 pounds to a lighter 75 to 100 pounds. Steering
and stability were a problem, though, as the boards tended to "slide tail"
or "slide ass." Except for simple angle turns -- accomplished either by
dragging one's foot "Hawaiian style" off a board's inside rail, or by stepping
back and tilt-dancing the board around and out of its old course and into
a new one -- the hollow boards were still awkward and cumbersome.
Tom Blake was the one who came up with the solution to this problem,
too. Although it would take a decade to be completely embraced, keels on
surfboards eventually were universally accepted. The fixed fin or skeg
was invented by Blake in 1935 in an effort to solve the problem of the
hollow board's tendency to "slide ass." This innovation allowed surfers
to track and pivot more freely and gave the board more lateral stability.
As a result, terms like "dead ahead," "slide ass," "all together now, turn,"
and "straight off, Adolph," began to be heard less and less.
The technological advances in board design and construction not only
stoked the surfers, but benefited spectators, as well. The Pacific Coast
Surfing Championships became an annual event, dominated for 4 out of 9
years by ledendary waterman Preston "Pete" Peterson
of Santa Monica. Peterson reigned as California's recognized top surfer
during 1932, 1936, 1938 and 1941. Other early winners of the trophy included
Keller Watson (1929), Gardner Lippincott (1934), Lorrin
"Whitey" Harrison (1939) and Cliff Tucker (1940).
Cliff Tucker recalled the 1930s surfing days as a time, "when a man
could still be arrested at Santa Monica Beach for not wearing a top." As
for the contests, they were serious business. "If you were in a contest
situation and a guy took off in front of you, it was your obligation to
show no decency. You either went right through him or otherwise mowed him
Tucker said that in the 1940 PCS championship meet, held at San Onofre,
"I won by switching boards at the proper times. I rode an 'ultralight,'
a hollow, 50-pound plywood board, in the morning, and then when the chop
came up later in the day, I switched to a heavier, 120-pound spruce. Once
enough people were eliminated, and I didn't need the extra weight for personal
protection, I went back to the more maneuverable ultralight (known in surfing
circles as a 'Slantwise'). In those days, I could build myself a spruce
plywood 'ultralight' with about five dollars worth of materials."
Cliff Tucker was a member of the state's first and then most prestigious
surf club, the Palos Verdes Surfing Club, whose members rode the thick
wave break off Palos Verdes' Bluff Cove. Tucker recalled earlier days surfing
with Preston Peterson. Both 6th grade classmates, "would ditch school to
go surfing" near the old Crystal Pier Bathhouse at Santa Monica Beach.
The Peterson family owned the bathhouse at that time. "For years," Tucker
said, "surfing was the biggest thing in my life. I remember thinking that
if I couldn't ride a wave again, I couldn't live. I really thought that
there was nothing else in the world that I'd rather do."
Leonard Lueras interviewed Tucker for his book, Surfing, The Ultimate
Pleasure. Lueras asked Tucker if he had any regrets concerning his
days surfing. "I wish we had the equipment then that the kids have now,"
Tucker responded. "It's absolutely amazing what's being done on a surfboard
these days. I'm sure we were just as strong and capable then as athletes,
but we just didn't have the technology that's evolved in surfing since
Ball was surfing's first photographer. Although Tom Blake and others
had taken pictures of surfers and surfing well before Doc came along, it
was Doc Ball who got into it so much that he put out the first photo collection
of surfing, California Surfriders, 1946, and was the first surfer
to shoot 16mm film of our sport.
In his limited-edition photo collection published as California
Surfriders, 1946, Doc documented "'How All This Started.'" Below the
title, the photo shows Doc Ball, "snapping one in the good old days when
the camera was carried out by holding it between his teeth. Towel was there
just in case. He has since devised a waterproof job which he calls the
'Waterbox.' It's a stripdown Graflex in a watertight case." The photo below
it, entitled "Straight Off," explained that "Paddleboards, hats and paddles,
constituted the cove surfing gear back in 1934."
Doc's book of photos with captions has been reprinted twice since
it came out following World War II. He, himself,
was a major influence in Southern California in the 1930s. His photographic
work stoked up friends and fellow surfers alike, both when the surf was
flat and when it was pumping. To this day, Doc's work provides the best
view of 1930s California surfing and is liberally quoted throughout this
got together with Adie Bayer to found the Palos Verdes Surfing Club in
1935. Adolph "Adie" Bayer was born March 13, 1912, in Brooklyn, N.Y., but
soon moved to California where he spent the rest of his life. Adie was
a stoked and highly regarded surfer, swimmer, tennis player, champion platform
diver, and painter of watercolors.
"He was one of the big ones," Doc told me, referring to Adie Bayer
glowingly. "He was real energetic and everything. He helped do organizings,
During World War II, Adie joined the Coast Guard. During that time
he met his wife, Alzora. After the war Adie resided in Oakland where he
pursued a career in sales. The couple moved to the Central Coast of California
in 1978. They spent many happy years exploring the area and traveled abroad
extensively. Adie won his first art award at the Palos Verdes Art Show
at the age of 27. He renewed his passion for watercolor painting while
living on the Central Coast and traveling with his wife. His art is featured
at the Watercolors Gallery in Morro Bay.
By the 1930s, Mainland USA surfing was no longer confined to California.
Following Duke's introduction of the sport to the East Coast, surfing got
underway in Florida around 1932. Gauldin Reed and Dudley and Bill Whitman
were three of Florida's first surfers.
"My brother Bill," recalled Dudley Whitman in an interview in 1994,
"who is five years older than me, and I started surfing in Miami Beach
in about 1932 on bellyboards. My brother's quite a craftsman, and we made
some bellyboards that were quite beautiful. John Smith and Babe Braithwait
of Virginia Beach came to Miami Beach with the typical, 10-foot redwood
Hawaiian surfboard about that time. My brother and I, being bellyboarders,
were totally amazed, so my brother built the first Hawaiian surfboard that
was ever built in Florida. It was 10 feet long, and made out of sugar pine.
A year later, I followed... I was only about 13 years old at that time."
"I was just finishing that Hawaiian surfboard when along came this
chap, Tom Blake, paddling in the ocean on the famous Tom
Blake hollow board. It was well-introduced into Hawaii back in 1933-34,
and fairly well accepted at that time. Of course, eventually it became
the most popular board in Hawaii. As a kid finishing my first Hawaiian
surfboard, it was outdated before I finished."
In Tom Blake's book Hawaiian Surfriders 1935, he named a number
of well-known East Coast surfers who started-up in the beginning of the
1930s. Prominent among them were Dudley and Bill Whitman, Florida's first
surfers, who took to the waves in 1933. Later, as members of the Outrigger
Canoe Club, the Whitmans went on to patent the underwater camera, make
movies and pioneer the sport of slalom water-skiing.
The brothers started out by surfing Miami Beach on bellyboards in
1932. A year later, Bill and Dudley were making their own 10 foot redwood
surfboards of the type introduced into Florida by John Smith and Babe Braithwait.
"When I was 14 years old, in 1934, I built my first hollow Blake surfboard,"
Dudley Whitman told an interviewer of his progression. "We were the first
people [in Florida] who ever built the Blake-type hollow board and rounded
it off a little bit more like the modern boards of today. They were put
together with wooden pegs instead of screws like everybody else had."
Dudley Whitman was asked where the surf spots were back then. "We
probably surfed more up in Daytona than in Miami Beach, especially when
Bill and I went to college. We went to the University of Florida, so every
weekend -- bam! -- we were over in Daytona surfing. We introduced the sport
there, and I think we started a lot of people surfing. Some of our friends
are still surfing there, like Gauldin Reed."
"I was surfing before the Whitman brothers came up from Miami and
joined us in the mid-'30s," recalled Gauldin Reed, in his home at Daytona
Beach. "We had a pretty strong group early on. I have a picture with 25
boards on the beach that we built ourselves. The boards were hollow and
weighed about 40 pounds. We built nose and tail blocks and side strip bulkheads
every foot and then nailed the plywood down on top of it. Of course, this
was providing we could save $3 to buy all the materials."
"Nobody knew what we were doing," retold Dudley Whitman. "We carried
our boards on the cars, these hollow Tom Blake boards that were 12 feet
long, and people just didn't understand it. Daytona was the focal point
in Florida for surfing in 1936. Every time we surfed we had a crowd watch
us, but it didn't really take off until after World War II."
Southern California, 1933-38
Between World War I and World War II, surfing really got going in
California -- especially Southern California. Compared to the rest of the
United States mainland, the West Coast provided the best waves and a sustainable
temperature. With the popularity of the automobile, surfers drove further
and further out in search of waves. The gathering spots in Southern California
were places like San Onofre, Long Beach, and Palos Verdes.
From the start, surfers tended to be individualistic, non-conformist
and in great physical shape. Long days were spent at the beach free surfing
and also in friendly competition. On weekends, groups of surfers would
ride the waves during the day and party at night on the beach. The pioneers
of Southern California surfing successfully combined normal working-class
lives with the excitement of being the first group of Mainland surfers.
Fourteen years after the death of George Freeth
-- "The Father of Southern California Surfing" -- the year 1933 marked
the beginning of organized surfing in Southern California.
"This year," retold Charles "Chuck A Luck" Ehlers, "the Hermosa
Beach Surfing Club was formed. They had about 18 members. The old ones
plus Don Grannis, Ted Davies, and others."
The following year was "A banner year," Chuck A Luck recalled of
1934, when, to the north, "the Palos Verdes Surfing Club was formed --
with Tule Clark, 'Doc' Ball, Hoppy Swarts, LeRoy Grannis, along with transferred
surfers Matt Davies, Jim Bailey, Johnny Gates, Tom Blake, Gard
Chapin and others."
Doc Ball remembers that, at this time, just north of Lunada Bay,
Bluff Cove -- near the Palos Verdes Estates -- was known as "California's
Little Waikiki," and was "one of the Southland's favorite surfing spots."
It was "This year," continued Chuck A Luck of 1934, that "the first
hollow board came out with a light frame work covered with water proof
canvas made by Jim Bailey, about 10' long. Jim said it was too slow and
sluggish. A dream gone bad. Not so, at least six surfers made hollow 12'
plywood paddle boards and Jim rode on his new paddle board with his dog
on the nose."
That year, Chuck A Luck and friends "Held a tandem contest at Hermosa
Beach Pier with Hoppy Swarts/Mary Kerwin coming in first; Chuck Ehlers/Marion
Cook -- 2nd; John Dale/Lucille McCarron -- 3rd; Tule Clark/Mary Anderson,
Spud Moorman/(Mullard) Mildred Neelands and others had a fun day using
long boards. The surfing population had grown to about 80 by now and Fred
Alkire and Spud said this was the year of the long boards 9' to 12' --
97 lbs. to 117 lbs. -- a lot of tandem riding with movie starlets, and
a line of beach beauties."
"Tom Blake's fin," made its appearance along the beaches close to
Los Angeles also in 1934 -- the year of its invention. Chuck A Luck first
saw it, "on the tail of a paddle board. Made of spruce, it was about 1"
thick X 4" high X 6" long and started a whole new way to hold a board from
slipping. It also made you lean instead of using your feet to turn."
1935 Surf Safari
Charles "Chuck A Luck" Ehlers, a noted surfer of the 1930s, told
of a 1935 surf safari when "three vagabonds and a long holiday let us travel
south. We went by Long Beach Flood Control for a few 6' rides. On to Huntington
Flats -- small breaking surf and slept on the beach. Next stop found a
lot of surfers at Corona del Mar. Good surfing 8' to 12' swells outside
of a cement jetty -- the best all-day surfing in sometime. Our ride started
just inside of a bell buoy along the jetty and around the rocks to a bath
house about 3/8 mile distance. Next morning we met (Whitey) Harrison from
Hawaii now living in Corona del Mar, Tom Blake, Jim Bailey, (Pasqual) Pascowitz,
Ray Tucker and others."
It was the era of the big bands and surfers of the day were into
big band music, big time. The surfari "Moved on to Dana Point -- 8' super
glassy right cuts," continued Chuck A Luck. "Met another 6 plus surfers,
'Peanuts' Larsen, George Brignell, Johnny Gates and others. Heard of a
good band playing Green Gardens in San Clemente. We danced every number
Benny Goodman could throw at us. Lots of single girls, so we slept overnight
on the beach. On to San Onofre's big 10' to 12' swells and waves. Met several
surfers and slept with their gang under an open palm leaf roof held up
by railroad ties. They told us about a surfing contest to be held in 1936.
After two days of surfing, we started for home along narrow tar roads,
stopped at Dana Point and caught some more good rides and then spent the
night on the beach at Corona del Mar after surfing there again, too. The
next day, we passed up Hungtington and Flood Control and made our way home
along Highway 1."
Later, Doc Ball would eulogize the Corona del Mar bell bouys and
jetty in "In Memoriam Corona del Mar" -- Famous 'Bell Buoy Rides' and 'Jetty
Surf'... are now become a treasured memory. "We who knew it will never
forget buzzing the end of that slippery, slimy jetty, just barely missing
the crushing impact as the sea mashed into the concrete. Nor will we forget
the squeeze act when 18 to 20 guys all tried to take off on the same fringing
hook. And do you remember the days when you waited near that clanging bellbuoy
for the next set to arrive? Corona Del Mar's zero surf was hell on the
yachtsmen but -- holy cow -- what stuff for the Kamaainas. Yes! Those were
By this time, San Onofre had become the center of Southern California
wave riding. Some sources say the sandy beach below sheer sandstone cliffs
was named after the Egyptian Saint Onuphrius. By the early 1930s, it was
unquestionably "the meeting place for surfers up and down the California
coast -- from Tijuana Sloughs to Steamers
Lane in Santa Cruz," wrote Dorian Paskowitz,
who has been there since the late 1930s. "Friday and Saturday nights were
gay 'ole times, with Hawaiian guitar, Tahitian dances and no small amount
of boozing. But come Sunday morning, it was serious surfing for the true
beach rats -- like us guys from Mission Beach. The Second World War, the
take over by the Marine Corps and not being able to sleep on the beach
anymore changed much of that. What hasn't changed is surfing. San Onofre
to this day is one of the most consistent surf spots in the United States."
"It's just a giant family," declared Bill Vetter, one of San Onofre
Surfing Club's elder statesmen, talking about San O's tradition that carries
to present day. Since the 1930s, comraderie has been the mainstay at Nofre,
"even before the San Onofre Surfing Club was founded," wrote Andrew Cowell.
"For this extended family, communication is paramount, activism a must,
stewardship of the land and sea a responsibility, and fun and recreation
the first order of each day."
What exactly the name San Onofre means is a subject of some debate.
It appears in the papers of the Santa Margarita Land Grant of 1836 and
1841. It is also in the official records of the Mission San Juan Capistrano,
dating back to 1828. Besides the Onuphrius supposition, it has been suggested
that the name is a Spanish adaptation of a local native American place
name. Whatever its origin, the San Clemente Public Library documents the
Sante Fe railroad as erecting the first San Onofre sign in the late 1880s.
The "golden years" at San Onofre are generally considered by 'Nofre
veterans to have been between 1936 and 1943, when the area was owned by
Rancho Santa Margarita and leased as a fishing camp. "Back then it was
part of Rancho Santa Margarita," Stan King recalled, "and a guy named Frank
at the Texaco station charged us a quarter to get in. We usually snuck
in, and he'd swipe our clothes while we were out surfing and hold them
until we paid the two bits."
"I was almost born here at San Onofre," declared Bill Vetter. "My
dad was a surf fisherman. I've spent every summer down here, as long as
it was open. From 1931 on, I can remember getting up in the morning and
seeing half a dozen guys sitting out (in the line-up) at 6:00 in the morning."
Australian Surf Life Saving Association
California Surfriders, 1946
Charles "Chuck A Luck" Ehlers
Gerrard and Art Vultee
Hawaiian Surfriders 1935
Lorrin "Whitey" Harrison
Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine
Modern Surfing Around The World
Reynolds "Rennie" Yater
Santa Barbara magazine
Surfing, The Ultimate Pleasure
The Santa Ana Daily Register
TOM BLAKE: The Journey of A Pioneer Waterman
Return to LEGENDARY SURFERS Homepage