Always click on the LEGENDARY SURFERS icon to return to this homepage. LEGENDARY SURFERS
A Definitive History of Surfing's Culture and Heroes
By  Malcolm Gault-Williams

This Chapter Updated:  3 October 2004
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Early 1930's Surfing

Surf History, 1930-35

John 'Doc' Ball

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.


Contents

  • HOLLOW BOARDS
  • AUSTRALIAN SURF CLUBS
  • LIFESAVING EQUIPMENT & CARNIVALS
  • PACIFIC COAST SURF RIDING CHAMPIONSHIPS, 1928-41
  • DOC BALL
  • ADIE BAYER
  • FLORIDA, 1932-36
  • SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, 1933-38
  • 1935 SURF SAFARI
  • SAN ONOFRE


  • 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.


    Hollow Boards

    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 World War.

    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 saving."


    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 rescue.

    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 it."

    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 the shade."

    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 down."

    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 then."


    Doc Ball

    Doc 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 chapter.


    Adie Bayer

    Doc 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, too."

    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.


    Florida, 1932-36

    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 the days."


    San Onofre

    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."


    Some sources

  • Australian Surf Life Saving Association
  • BudBrowne
  • C.D. Patterson
  • California Surfriders, 1946
  • Charles "Chuck A Luck" Ehlers
  • Claude West
  • Cliff Tucker
  • Doc Ball
  • Gerrard and Art Vultee
  • Hawaiian Surfriders 1935
  • Kent Pearson
  • L.A. Times
  • Leonard Lueras
  • LeRoy Grannis
  • Lorrin "Whitey" Harrison
  • Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine
  • Modern Surfing Around The World
  • "Pasqual" Pascowitz
  • Reynolds "Rennie" Yater
  • Santa Barbara magazine
  • Snowy McAlister
  • Surfer magazine
  • Surfing Subcultures
  • Surfing, The Ultimate Pleasure
  • The Santa Ana Daily Register
  • Tom Blake
  • Wally Froiseth

  • Related Resources



    TOM BLAKE: The Journey of A Pioneer Waterman

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