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Surfing Lifestyle, Arts and Entertainment

pre 1910

  • Outside of Hawaii and Tahiti, Polynesians regard wave-riding as child’s play

  • British artist John Webber engraves the first Western images of surfing

  • With the end of the Hawaiian kapu (taboo) were allowed to freely participate in the sport of surfing

  • The end of the kapu system and the Makahiki festival weaken surfing in royal Hawaiian culture

  • Congregationalists arrive in Hawaii and put a damper on sex, gambling and ocean play

  • From 1837 to 1840, nearly 20,000 Hawaiians finally chose to accept Christianity, surfing suffers

  • Surfing featured briefly in Herman Melville’s novel Mardi

  • Surfing is reduced to an almost nonexistent sport. A small handful of Hawaiian surfers kept surfing alive

  • A description of surfing is published in New York’s The Knickerbocker magazine

  • Mark Twain writes about his failed attempt at surfing in Hawaii for The Sacramento Union

  • The National Police Gazette shows a “Sandwich Island Girl” surfing Asbury Park, NJ

  • Perhaps the most unusual article on surfing is Edward Townsend’s article, “Waikiki . . where . . laziness is an art”

  • The Bishop Museum is founded in Honolulu with surfboards among the artifacts

  • La Mer is released by the French inventors of the cinématographe, Auguste and Louis Lumière

  • Rough Sea at Dover provides images of waves on a beach at Australia’s first theatrical exhibition of movies

  • A main factor in the disappearance of surfing was that the number of true Hawaiians had dropped drastically


James Cook

South Sea Mackay Illustrated

Jacques Arago Artist Olo surfboard

Summer Cruising by South Sea Book Charles Warren Stoddard

It’s all about where your mind’s at

~ Kelly Slater


  • Heavy north swells caused the suspension of the local steamer services at Hilo Bay

  • Wilfred and his family were from Hawaii and left the Islands to Mainland

  • Edison Company produces a movie that is believed to be the first with people riding waves; Surf Board Riders

  • The Outrigger Club is a private club founded on the beach at Waikiki


Surfing at its lowest ebb

Wilfred Dole Point Grenville, Washington

George Freeth Venice, California

Outrigger Canoe Club


1.6 Billion

76 Million


Loaf of bread: 5 cents

thank god for a few free waves

~ Mickey Dora


  • Surf contests between Hui Nalu and the Outrigger Canoe Club are organized

  • A George Freeth surfing show is part of the Huntington Beach Pier opening ceremonies

  • Duke Kahanamoku takes part in a number of exhibitions in Australia to promote swimming and surfing

  • The Outrigger Canoe and Surfing Club in Hawaii reaches a membership of about 1,200 members

  • “Bobby Bumps, Surf Rider,” by Earl Hurd, is the first animated surfing cartoon

  • In Australia, wave-riding competitions are included in most ASLSA events

  • The earliest recorded surfing event that we can verify in South Africa took place in 1919 near Capetown


Surf Riders Waikiki logo

Duke at Olympic

Surfer Chic

Broken Surfer Illustration London News


1.86 billion

106 million


Loaf of bread: 9 cents
Gasoline: 22 cents per gallon

i try changing my surfing, which is the absolute worst thing you can do. everyone surfs their own way.

~ Andy Irons


  • Surfing makes its Hollywood feature film debut in The White Flower

  • The UK got its first surf club, founded by Nigel Oxenden, a British Army major and two-time Military cross winner

  • Surfing is featured in Aire Libre, a Peruvian sports magazine

  • Duke Kahanamoku begins his career as an actor in Hollywood with his debut performance in Adventure

  • Cornish surfers photographed holding square-nosed belly boards

  • The Durban Surf Life Saving Club and Pirates Surf Life Saving were founded in 1927 and 1928 respectively

  • Tom Blake rides a 15′, 110 lb. board to win the first Pacific Coast Surfriding Championships

  • Duke Kahanamoku gets one of the longest rides in Hawaiian surfing history during a huge summer south swell


The White Flower film

Nick Oxenden

Durban Surf Lifesaving Club logo

Point Conception Surfing Club


2.1 billion

123 million


Loaf of bread: 8 cents
Gasoline: 10 cents per gallon
Movie admission: 15 cents

What i love the most about surfing is that it’s my first love. it’s the first thing i can remember being consumed by.

~ Stephanie Gilmore


  • Bodysurfing ace Ron Drummond prints 500 copies of The Art of Wave Riding

  • The L.A. Times runs a full-page photo of surfers at Waikiki

  • Honolulu tailor Ellery Chun prints colorful tropical designs on silk

  • 19-year-old Pete Peterson wins the first of four Pacific Coast Surfriding Championships

  • Surfing makes the cover of The New Yorker magazine

  • The 16mm Bolex camera is released, comparable to professional cameras for the amateur filmmaker

  • National Geographic publishes a portfolio of Tom Blake surfing pictures

  • Tom Blake authors Hawaiian Surfboard, the first in-depth book about surfing

  • John “Doc” Ball founds Palos Verdes Surf Club

  • San Onofre becomes Ground Zero for the Southern California surf scene

  • Santa Cruz Surfing Club founded

  • Bing Crosby goes canoe surfing in Waikiki

  • Doc Ball produces The Weekly Spindrift News for the Palos Verdes Surf Club

  • American Robert Koke opens the Kuta Beach Hotel and imports two boards for “surf shooting”

  • Surfing makes the cover of Vogue Magazine

  • Mary Ann Hawkins featured surfing in Life Magazine

  • The film Riding the Crest by Frederick Ullman, Jr. documents surfing and music in Hawaii

  • Leroy Grannis rides fifteen-foot waves at Malibu from Third Point all the way to the Pier

  • California’s only recorded tropical storm, produced winds of nearly fifty knots and generated waves of fifty-plus feet


The Art of Wave Riding by Ron Drummond

The Phaetons

Skiing Surfer by Theodore G. Haupt

Vogue Magazine Cover


2.3 billion

132 million


Loaf of bread: 13 cents
Gasoline: 11 cents per gallon
Movie admission: 35 cents

it’s a culmination of your life of surfing when you turn and paddle in at mavericks.

~ Jeff Clark


  • Jim Bailey’s surfing dog, Rusty, photographed for National Geographic magazine

  • John “Doc” Ball’s California Surfriders is published

  • Carlos Dogny of Lima opens Club Waikiki, Peru’s first surf club

  • Australian Surf Board Association formed by Frank Alder

  • Jacques Heim and Louis Reard, of France, invent the bikini

  • George Downing, with fellow Honolulu surfer Russ Takaki, became the first to ride Laniakea on the North Shore

  • Los Angeles lifeguard-surfer Tommy Zahn dates Marilyn Monroe

  • John Larronde films Zahn, Kivlin, Quigg, Simmons, Peterson and Trent in California surf

  • George Downing, with fellow Honolulu surfer Russ Takaki, become the first to ride Maui’s Honolua Bay

  • Waikiki Surf Club founded in the basement of the Waikiki Tavern

  • Zahn and Joe Quigg among the first postwar Mainland surfers to ride Hawaii


Hula Luau Ticket Cliff Tucker Surfer


Louis Reard Invent the bikini

Surfer Tommy Zahn and Marilyn Monroe dated


2.5 billion

152 million


Loaf of bread: 16 cents
Gasoline: 29 cents per gallon
Movie admission: 55 cents

we’re all equal before a wave.

~ Laird Hamilton


  • Woodies/panel trucks/Willes Jeep popular modes of transportation due to roominess and inexpensive

  • President Harry Truman wears an aloha shirt on the cover of Life magazine

  • In Santa Monica, Bud Browne shows Hawaiian Surfing Movies, the first film of its kind

  • Huge west swell. Reportedly Mickey Muñoz gets a wave at Malibu that he rides past the end of the pier

  • Same swell in Santa Cruz, Peter Cole catches a wave at Steamer Lane that he rides past Cowell’s to the pier

  • Same swell at Rincon reaches twenty feet. A young Ricky Grigg, along with Joe Quigg, rides the huge point surf

  • Queen Elizabeth visits Bondi Beach to watch a surf carnival

  • The first Makaha International Surfing Championships is held

  • A group of Californians travels to Australia giving surfing exhibitions with their Malibu “Chip” surfboards

  • Buzzy Trent coins the phrase “elephant gun” for riding big waves

  • Eugene Burdick’s The Ninth Wave is published; contains prewar surfing scenes

  • Hollywood screenwriter Peter Viertel brought interest in surfing back to France, while filming The Sun Also Rises

  • Dewey Weber’s first visit to Hawaii is chronicled in surf filmmaker Bud Browne’s 1957 release, The Big Surf

  • Waimea Bay in Hawaii is ridden by a group of visiting Californians

  • Crowds are moving in; as many as 75 people at a time fill the Malibu lineup

  • Cheap and roomy, the woody wagon becomes the American surfer’s vehicle of choice

  • Frederick Kohner’s novel about his surf stoked daughter, Gidget, became a popular book

  • Aloha… Bleeding Madras shirts and pendleton shirts start to become part of surfer dress code

  • California’s Bruce Brown releases his debut film, Slippery When Wet

  • John Severson – the eventual founder of Surfer Magazine – released his debut film, Surf

  • Mickey Dora’s pranks and scams help create the “rebel surfer” image

  • Surfing begins to take off in Newquay, England

  • Surf movies are all the rage, as film makers tour up and down the coast

  • Columbia Studios releases Gidget, the first Hollywood surf film. Gidget lights the fuse of the surf culture explosion

  • Brian Wilson gets a C grade for a high school composition called Surfin’

  • Dick Dale and the Rhythm Wranglers become the Del Tones and play “Surfer Stomps”

  • Dick Dale plays his first show at the Rendezvous Ballroom at Newport Beach, to a total audience of 17 people

  • Long Beach City College student Pete Beltran presents idea for West Coast Surfboard Championships


San Onofre Surfing Club logo

Surf Livesaving Carnival Bondi Beach Queen Elizabeth

Bruce Brown debut film ‘Slippery When Wet’

Kathy Kohner ‘Gidget’


3 billion

177 million


Loaf of bread: 25 cents
Gasoline: 32 cents per gallon
Movie admission: 75 cents

Eddie would go.

~ Unknown


  • First issue of John Severson’s The Surfer magazine hits the stands

  • Playing to crowds of 4,000 every night, Dick Dale is crowned “King of the Surf Guitar” at the Rendezvous Ballroom

  • Flipflops and Harachis (tire treated sandals) become part of surfer footware

  • The Western Surfing Association (WSA) is established to help organize surf contests on the West Coast

  • Australia’s Surfing World magazine debuts

  • Hevs McCelland founds the United States Surfing Association (USSA)

  • Beach blanket movies bring hordes of gremmies, hodads, wannabes, neophytes, and posers to Malibu

  • USSA – United States Surfing Association was surfing first nationwide organization. Hoppy Swarts becomes President and Hobie Alter – Vice President

  • ABC televises the Makaha International Surfing Contest in Hawaii

  • Saturday Evening Post reports that many surfers are “roughnecks who drink, and go on rampages”

  • Surfing magazine publishes its first issue

  • Frankie Avalon stars in the Hollywood movie, Beach Party. Miki Da Cat Dora is his stunt double

  • Jan and Dean out of Torrance, California, soar to #1 on the music charts with their hit single “Surf City”

  • While filming the South African segment of The Endless Summer, the crew discovers Cape St. Francis

  • The Beach Boys have hits with Surfin’ Safari, Surfin USA, and Surfer Girl

  • Filmed in 16mm, The Endless Summer is released on the beach city surf circuit, two years prior to general release

  • Eduardo Arena founds the International Surfing Federation (ISF)

  • Legendary Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku is honored as an official guest at the Tokyo Olympics

  • G&S introduces the Mike Hynson Model. Shaped by Hynson himself this board is affectionately called the Red Fin

  • Bud Browne’s “Locked In” is released. Surfer Mag later chose it as one of the top three surf films of all time

  • “Rennie” Yater introduces the Yater Spoon. Very popular, they are most visible at California’s right points

  • ABC’s Wide World of Sports nationally televises the US Championships at the Huntington Beach for the first time

  • Chuck Dent Surfboard Shop opens in Huntington Beach, California

  • Dale Davis’ Strictly Hot is released; it was one of the first surf films to use a prerecorded narration

  • H.A.S.A. Hawaiian Amateur Surfing Association formed to promote organized surfing competitions

  • Author Peter L. Dixon releases the book The Complete Book of Surfing

  • The ECSC makes Virginia Beach, Virginia, the championship’s official home, where it is held to this day

  • The first Duke Kahanamoku Invitational is held on Oahu’s North Shore

  • Skateboarding, or “sidewalk surfing,” featured on ABC’s Wide World of Sports

  • The 2nd World Surfing Championships were held in Peru

  • The national TV show Gidget, starring Sally Field, airs the first of twenty-six episodes in fall 1965

  • Martin “Pottz” Potter was born on 10/28/65 in England. Potter would become the ASP World Champ in 1989

  • Sherman Poppen invented the “Snurfer,” the first snowboard, by screwing together two pairs of children’s skis

  • Bruce Brown’s The Endless Summer plays in theaters across the country

  • Nat Young wins the World Surfing Championships in San Diego

  • Newsweek estimates the American surfing population to be 500,000

  • Big Wave surfspot Mavericks is surfed for the first time by Alex Matienzo, Jim Thompson, and Dick Knottmeyer

  • Cecil Lear, Rudy Huber, and USSA director Hoppy Swarts (California) form the Eastern Surfing Association (ESA)

  • The United States Surfing Championships at Huntington Beach is won by Hobie’s Corky Carroll and Joyce Hoffman

  • The Makaha International surf contest is won by Joey Cabell and Martha Sunn

  • Jock Sutherland wins the Duke Kahanamoku Invitational in Hawaii

  • ESA Eastern Surfing Association founded by Cecil Lear and Rudy Hober for competition and other surf related activities

  • Paul Witzig’s film The Hot Generation introduces the Aussie “total involvement” school of surfing

  • Joe Roland and Janice Domorski are crowned the champions of the ESA’s first full competitive season (6 events)

  • The United States Surfing Championships in Huntington Beach are won by David Nuuhiwa and Linda Benson

  • Englishman Rodney Sumpter wins the 1968 Irish National Championships and goes to Puerto Rico

  • Margo Oberg and Fred Hemmings win the World Championships, held in Puerto Rico

  • The Makaha International is won by Joey Cabell and Margo Godfrey (Oberg)

  • While filming the large surf at Hawaii’s Waimea Bay Dale Davis falls 40-feet from a helicopter, breaking his back

  • The Duke Kahanamoku Invitational is won by Mike Doyle

  • W.S.A. Western Surfing Association formed with Hoppy Swarts becoming first President

  • Bob Evens releases the Australian surf movie “The Way We Like It”

  • Tom Wolfe and Andy Warhol report on the La Jolla surf scene for the outside world

  • Wayne Lynch denounces competition in “Gaudy Metal and Ego Trips” article for Surfer magazine

  • Eric and Lowell Blum release The Fantastic Plastic Machine, two years after production finishes

  • Paul Witzig’s Evolution, a film starring Nat Young, Wayne Lynch, and other top Australian surfers, is released

  • The Australian National Titles are won by Nat Young and Josette Lagardere. Wayne Lynch again wins the juniors

  • The ESA’s six event contest season is won by Claude Codgen and Barbara Bellyea

  • The film “The Natural Art”, by Fred Windisch, is released

  • The United States Surfing Championships are won by Corky Carroll and Sharon Weber

  • The Makaha International surf contest is won by Paul Strauch and Martha Sunn

  • George Greenough’s film The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun is released in Australia

  • The Duke Kahanamoku Invitational is won by Joey Cabell

  • The Smirnoff World Champions were Corky Carroll, USA, and Margo Godfrey, USA


James Darren flirts with Sandra Dee, ‘Gidget’

John Severson Big Wednesday Surf Movie

The Beach Boys The Lost Concert

Search For Surf poster


3.7 billion

203 million


Loaf of bread: 25 cents
Gasoline: 59 cents per gallon
Movie admission: $1.50

sometimes in the morning, when it’s a good surf, i go out there, and i don’t feel like it’s a bad world.

~ Kary Mullis


  • The film “Waves of Change” by MacGillivray/Freeman films is released

  • The Australian National Titles are won by Peter Drouyn and Judy Trim. Wayne Lynch, takes the junior title

  • Australia’s Tracks magazine debuts, and becomes a counterculture hit

  • George Greenough’s Innermost Limits of Pure Fun shows in California. The photography is mind-blowing

  • Surfer Magazine publisher, John Severson’s epic film Pacific Vibrations is released

  • The Eastern Surfing Championships are cancelled due to lack of surf. No season champions are crowned

  • The United States Surfing Championships in Huntington Beach, CA are won by Brad McCaul and Jerico Poppler

  • The Makaha International surf contest is won by Peter Drouyn and Martha Sunn. Craig Wilson won the juniors

  • The Smirnoff World Pro-Am Surfing Championships at Sunset Beach in Hawaii is won by Australia’s Nat Young

  • The Duke Kahanamoku Invitational at Sunset Beach is won by Hawaii’s Jeff Hakman

  • A.S.A American Surfing Association began by controversial Dr. Gary Filosa had Olympic aspirations

  • The Australian National Titles are won by Paul Neilsen and Gail Couper. The juniors is won by Simon Anderson

  • “Sea Dreams”, a film by Curt Mastalka and Peter French is released. The film focuses on Hawaii

  • John Severson sells Surfer magazine; Steve Pezman takes over as publisher

  • Filmmaker Alby Falzon of Australia discovers perfect waves in Uluwatu, Bali

  • At the East Coast Championships in Cape Hatteras NC, Charley Baldwin and Linda Davoli take the season titles

  • The Wave Hunters, a film by Dewey Weber and Guy Motil, is completed and tours the United States

  • The United States Surfing Championships in Huntington Beach are won by David Nuuhiwa and Joyce Hoffman

  • The Makaha International is won by Mark Sedlack and Becky Benson. Larry Bertlemann takes the junior’s

  • The Smirnoff World Pro-Am Surfing Championships is won by Gavin Rudolph of South Africa

  • The inaugural Pipeline Masters is held at Oahu’s Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii. Jeff Hakman wins the event

  • The Duke Kahanamoku Invitational is won by Jeff Hakman

  • Surf author and historican Paul Holmes of Australia and Great Britain founds Surf Insight and author, Hobie along with other publications and articles

  • Five Summer Stories debuts at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

  • The Australian Titles are won by Michael Peterson and Gail Couper. Simon Anderson again wins the Junior’s title

  • Morning of the Earth by Alby Falzon is released. The film shows the new Australian style

  • The long hollow lefts of Grajagan, Java, are surfed for the first time

  • Longshot Carmen Irving and returning ’71 women’s ESA champ Linda Davoli take the ESA East Coast season titles

  • The World Contest was considered by many a definitive low point in competitive surfing history

  • The Duke Kahanamoku Invitational is won by James Jones

  • The Smirnoff World Pro-Am Surfing Championships is won by Paul Neilsen of Australia

  • Surfing legend Gerry Lopez wins the second annual Pipeline Masters at the Banzai Pipeline on Oahu in Hawaii

  • Marina High School has 145 surfer’s try out for team

  • Alby Falzon releases a documentary on George Greenough, Crystal Voyager

  • Shaun Tomson wins his first international event, the Gunston 500 in his native South Africa

  • Kevin Naughton and Craig Peterson publish their first travelogue in Surfer magazine

  • Mike “Oppy” Oppenheimer and Tony Bryant win the ESA season titles

  • At the USSF Championships at Malibu. Larry Bertlemann wins the men’s title and Laura Powers wins the women’s

  • Gerry Lopez wins his second consecutive Pipe Masters title

  • The Smirnoff World Pro-Am became known as the de facto World Surfing Championship

  • The groundbreaking surf travel film, The Forgotten Island of Santosha was released by Larry Yates

  • Scott Dittrich’s Fluid Drive is released and is best remembered for its soundtrack

  • After an exceptionally well run season, the ESA crowns Greg Loehr the East Coast men’s champion

  • British “Surf” magazine is launched in England

  • Rick Rasmussen, from N.Y. wins the U.S. Championships at age 18, becoming the first East Coast surfer to do so

  • The Smirnoff World Pro-Am Surfing Championships is won by Reno Abellira of Hawaii

  • Florida’s Jeff Crawford wins the Pipe Masters, becoming the first non-Hawaiian to do so

  • Shaun Tomson, 19, wins the Hang Ten Pro in twelve foot Sunset Beach on Oahu

  • WISA – Womens International Surfing Association began by Jerico Poppler and Mary Setterholm to promote and improve womens surfing competition

  • Jack McCoy and Dick Hoole make Tubular Swells and jump-starts McCoy’s long career

  • Mike “Oppy” Oppenhiemer becomes the first two-time ESA mens season champion

  • The Smirnoff World Pro-Am Surfing Championships is won by Mark Richards of Australia

  • Surfing backside Shaun Tomson wins the Pipeline Masters at a spot once only a goofy footer’s domain

  • New York’s Ricky Rasmussen takes the men’s ESA season titles, while Annette Frasure wins the women’s division

  • Bill Delaney’s “Free Ride” is released. The movie is considered by some to be “the last great surf movie”

  • Chris Bystrom’s first film “Room to Move” is released in 8 mm. Chris would go on to produce a record 29 surf films

  • The US Surfing Championships are held at San Onofre for the only time. Duane Wong and Karen McKay win titles

  • The Smirnoff World Pro-Am Surfing Championships are won by Mark Warren, Australia, and Jericho Poppler, USA

  • Bill Delaney’s Free Ride is the hottest surf film of the year

  • Peter Drouyn invents surfing’s man-on-man competition format

  • Skateboarders doing aerials inspire Matt Kechele and Kevin Reed to try the move on surfboards

  • Vic Morris’ The Weather Surfer, the first book on wave forecasting, is published

  • South Carolina’s Mark McDandel wins 1st in one and only American Surfing Association (ASA) surfing championship in Huntington Beach, CA

  • The Smirnoff World Pro-Am Surfing Championships are won by Reno Abellira, Hawaii, and Jericho Poppler, USA

  • Surfer magazine doubles its publication frequency from six to twelve issues a year

  • Warner Brothers’ Big Wednesday, directed by John Milius, is released

  • The National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) is founded and headquartered in Huntington Beach, California

  • Maury McCoy and Mary Ann Hayes repeat their 1977 results as ESA season champions at The Easterns

  • Larry Blair becomes the first Australian to win the Pipeline Masters. He repeats in 1979

  • N.S.S.A – National Scholastic Surfing Association form by Tom Gibbons and five other to bring together surfing and education to improve surfings image

  • X-Files creator Chris Carter becomes first editor at N.S.S.A. Newsletter Surflines

  • Mark McDandel from South Carolina wins 1st NSSA National Surf Championship in Huntington Beach, Bud Llamas, Rick Fig, Pat Allen and Sean McNaulty

  • Long Beach States Ruben Chappins awarded the NSSA first Nancy Katin Scholarship at $500.00

  • United States Surfing Federation is founded

  • John Millius’ Apocalypse Now coins the phrase “Charlie don’t surf!” Robert Duvall wins an Oscar

  • Breakout, an underground California Surf magazine based out of Carlsbad, publishes its first issue

  • David Nuckles in the men’s division and Susan Hogan in the women’s, are crowned the ESA season champions

  • Surfers in Florida and California begin attempting aerials and other skateboard-influenced maneuvers in earnest

  • USSF – United States Surfing Federation was formed to solve regional and national surfing problems. Olympic status was the goal

  • NSSA Founding President Tom Gibbons seek recognition from C.I.F., N.C.A.A., A.A.U., and US Olympic Committee


Smirnoff World Pro-AM Surfing Championship Sunset Beach Hawaii

Five Summer Stories debuts

The Forgotten Island

National Scholastic Surfing Association USA logo


4.4 billion

227 million


Loaf of bread: 85 cents
Gasoline: $1.25 per gallon
Movie admission: $2.60

honest to goodness it’s the absolute ultimate!

~ On surfing, Gidget


  • Breakout, California’s surf magazine, goes from black and white to color

  • Basil Lomberg, president of the ISA dies. He is replaced by Reg Prytherch, a Britisher and former waterski official

  • Bill Curry wins the ESA men’s season title while Adele Faba takes the first of two consecutive women’s titles

  • Australian Mark Scott wins the world amateur title in France. A kid from California, Tom Curren wins the juniors’ title

  • Shaun Tomson wins the Katin, Tom Curren is second, both riding twin-fins

  • Longboarding reignites with the Dewey Weber Invitational Longboard Classic at Manhattan Beach

  • My Beach, the Surf Punks debut album featuring Punchout at Malibu, sells 100,000 copies

  • Coastal construction forms sandbars at Salt Creek that quickly become the “photo studio” for California’s surf media

  • At the ESA championships Jimbo Sampson takes the men’s title while Adele Faba wins her second women’s title

  • Padang Padang and Grajagan make Surfing Magazines list of the 10 Best Waves in the World

  • Tom Curren wins the Katin Pro-Am in Huntington Beach on a tri-fin

  • The surf movie Storm Riders premieres in Sydney, hoping to capture a broad theater market

  • Gerry Lopez becomes a movie star and plays Schwarzenegger’s sidekick in the film Conan the Barbarian

  • Charlie Kuhn wins the East Coast championship title at the ESA’s while Sharon Wolfe takes the women’s crown

  • Future surf legend Kelly Slater (only ten years old at the time) wins his first of four ESA menehune titles

  • Tom Curren wins the ISA amateur world championship and then turns pro

  • Publisher Larry Balma publishes the first issue of Transworld Skateboarding Magazine

  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High introduces the Spicolian “Tasty waves and a cool buzz”

  • Surfers encounter El Niño, a complex weather pattern that brings massive swells to the entire Pacific

  • Incredible surf is found on a small island off the west coast of Baja. The first flight reveals 20-foot surf

  • Charlie Hajek takes the ESA men’s title at – The Easterns – in North Carolina

  • At the OP Pro, Tom Curren and Joey Buran, put on a show, with Curren winning thanks to his “hail Mary” reentry

  • Kim Mearig wins the women’s pro division to complete the California sweep at the OP Pro

  • 1970s Australian star Michael Peterson is arrested by police after a high-speed chase

  • 450 surfers compete at the ESA Championships – The Easterns – where Rich Rudolph wins the men’s title

  • USA’s Scott Farnsworth wins the world amateurs, knocking off the highly-fancied Aussie team almost single handed

  • Surfing Magazine publishes the first issues of Body Boarding Magazine

  • The 1985-86 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) kicks off with a wave-pool event in Allentown, Pennsylvania

  • Tom Carroll beats Derek Ho at the World Inland Surfing Championship in Allentown, PA

  • Sean Collins accurately predicts a spring “southern hemi” swell, and legitimizes surf forecasting

  • Sean Collins launches Surfline, a surf forecasting and reporting service

  • USA East Coaster Wes Laine wins the Spur Steak Ranch Surfabout in a close final with Australian Glen Winton

  • “The Barrels of Fun Championships”, the Easterns, are won by Bill Johnson (men’s) and Sean Mattison (juniors)

  • Carroll, Potter, Curren and Horan lead anti-apartheid protests against South African contests

  • The non-profit environmental group Surfrider Foundation, is formed in Malibu, California

  • James Jones, Mark Foo, JP Paterson, and Alec Cooke are cleaned up by a 40 foot plus wave at Waimea Bay

  • Surfers ride waves on Snake River, Wyoming

  • Responding to an ad, 13 surf enthusiasts establish the California Surf Museum in Oceanside, CA

  • The surf movie classic, The Endless Summer, is released on video

  • The inaugural in Memory of Eddie Aikau big-wave contest is held at Waimea Bay Eddie’s brother Clyde Aikau wins

  • Bill johnson takes the ESA men’s season title at the – Easterns – in Hatteras

  • Out-of-towners drawn to Huntington Beach for the Op Pro (and by the Op Bikini Contest) get out of control

  • Santa Cruz Surf Museum located in a lighthouse and founded by Santa Cruz Longboard Union Surf Club

  • Publisher Larry Balma teams Kevin Kinnear and Guy Motil to create the first 30 issues of TW Snowboarding magazine

  • North Shore: The Movie is an expose on the tragedy of haole speaking pidgin

  • The emergent longboard renaissance makes San Onofre once again an increasingly popular surfing beach

  • In a letter to editors, Gary Elkerton declares his former nickname (KONG) and persona and it shall not be used

  • Developers threaten Kirra Point with a marina that would block all surf from one of the world’s best waves

  • For the Easterns – Chris Makris takes the season title. Kelly Slater takes the boys division, his 6th ESA season title

  • Realtor Natalie Kotsch and volunteers found the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum

  • Huntington Beach Pier is destroyed by huge storm surf

  • Rumors surround Occy’s continued presence in Hawaii

  • Richie Collins wins the O’Neill Coldwater Classic in Santa Cruz. Weeks later he is battered in a street brawl

  • Long Beach, Long Island, New York, surfers turn back a City Hall threat to close down a local surfing area

  • Local realtor Natalie Kotsch and a team of volunteers found the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum

  • Nat Young nabs ASP longboard title

  • Former World Amateur Champ Janice Aragon welcome Executive Director at NSSA

  • NBC launches “Baywatch,” the worldwide hit television show about the day-to-day dramas of Malibu lifeguards

  • A benefit contest is held at Oceanside, CA for Rell Sunn, undergoing treatment for skin cancer. The event raises $20,000

  • The Easterns at Cape Hatteras, NC crowns Justin Carver ESA season men’s champ

  • Janice Aragon wins the Women’s ISA World Surfing Championship


Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Kim Mearing

Body Boarding Magazine

Surf Movie Classic released on video


5.3 billion

249 million


Loaf of bread: $1.57
Gasoline: $1.34 per gallon
Movie admission: $4.59

charlie don’t surf.

~ Lt. Col. William Kilgore


  • The Huntington Beach International Surf Museum moves into city-donated facilities at 411 Olive Street, Huntington Beach

  • Paul “Rhino” Reinecke wins the Men’s division at – The Easterns – and becomes the ESA season champion

  • Heifera Tahutini becomes the first Tahitian surfer to win an ISA World Championship

  • Gotcha spends $400,000 on Bill Delaney’s Surfers: The Movie, but video is taking over

  • Hollywood surf movie “Point Break” released by 20th Century Fox

  • Eddie Crawford takes the ESA men’s season title at – the Easterns

  • The landmark surf movie Momentum is released. The film features Kelly Slater, Rob Machado and Shane Dorian

  • Former Surfer publisher Steve Pezman introduces first quarterly issue of The Surfer’s Journal

  • Taylor Steele releases Momentum, which features the “new school” of short board performance

  • Laird Hamilton, Darrick Doerner and Buzzy Kerbox are witnessed being towed into Outside Backyards on Oahu

  • Photo-journalist Guy Motil and editor Scott Hulet create and publish the first issue of Longboard Quarterly

  • An Apology Resolution was passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton, for the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893

  • The Beach Boys release “Good Vibrations,” a four-CD boxed set documenting their 30-year musical history

  • La Jolla, California surfer Kary Mullis wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

  • Chad Hopkins wins the ESA’s Men’s season title in a hurricane-ravaged Easterns event at Hatteras

  • Bruce and Dana Brown release the long-awaited sequel The Endless Summer II

  • New Jersey’s Matt Keenan Wins – The Easterns – and as a result, the ESA men’s season title

  • Mark Foo, big-wave charger and Waimea regular, drowns while surfing at Maverick’s in Half Moon Bay in CA

  • Jack McCoy’s Billabong Challenge wins the first Surfer Magazine Video of the Year award

  • AOL teams with Guy Motil and Longboard Magazine for a live Internet broadcast from the U.S. Open in CA

  • Wahine, surfing’s first women’s magazine, is published in California

  • Surfrider Foundation’s Blue Water Task Force rates Malibu one of most polluted beaches SoCal

  • The Sport Accord, recognized the International Surfing Association (ISA ) as the world’s governing body of surfing

  • Hurricane arrives at – The Easterns – where Brian Hewitson takes the event and the ESA season men’s title

  • Kelly Slater becomes the first surfer to pull off the ASP World Tour hat trick by winning the ASP World Championship, Triple Crown of Surfing Championship and the Pipe Masters in one fell swoop

  • The first signs of color laminations reappear, and gloss-and-polish longboards become popular again

  • Beschen surfs the first perfect heat in ASP Pro Tour history with four 10s at Kirra in Austrlia. Shane eventually tied for fifth in the event

  • John Blair works with Rhino Records to produce the surf music set, “Cowabunga!” which documents surf music

  • World Champion Lisa Andersen becomes the first woman on the cover of Surfer Magazine in over 15 years

  • Surf filmmaker Chris Bystrom founds Pacific Longboarder Magazine in Australia

  • Rip Curl/Sonny Miller’s Searching for Tom Curren wins Surfer Magazine’s Video of the Year

  • Surfer’s Path Magazine publishes its first issue in England

  • Ira Opper produces the 12-part documentary, 50 Years of Surfing on Film for Surfer’s Journal

  • Alan Sarlo rides a set wave to the far side of the pier at Malibu

  • Summer weekend visitors to San Onofre learn to expect waits of up to two hours to get into the parking lot

  • The road to surfing’s inclusion in the Olympic games moves forward

  • Asher Nolan wins “The Easterns” and the ESA men’s title

  • El Niño returns to the Pacific Ocean

  • Ken Bradshaw is towed into the “largest wave ever ridden” at Outside Log Cabins in Hawaii

  • Matt George dramatizes the conflict between tow and paddle surfers with In God’s Hands

  • Jeff Clark and Mavericks are featured in the 1998 documentary Mavericks, a one hour PBS film

  • Jack Johnson co-produces Thicker Than Water and sparks his recording career

  • Darryl “Flea” Virostko won the inaugural Mavericks contest in massive surf conditions. This was his 1st of 3 straight

  • Transworld Surf Magazine publishes its first issue in California

  • Plymouth University in England begins offering a B.S. in Surf Science and Technology


Surfer’s Journal first issue

Sequel The Endless Summer II

Pacific Longboarder Australia

Surfer’s Path Magazine England


6.7 billion

305 million


Loaf of bread: $1.72
Gasoline: $1.52 per gallon
Movie admission: $6.50

Surfing is for life.

~ Bruce Jenkins


  • Following his victory in 1999, Darryl “Flea” Virostko won the second Mavericks big wave contest. Slater was 2nd

  • Jeff Crego wins the ESA men season championship

  • Malcolm Gault-Williams authors a book on the life of early 20th century surf legend Tom Blake

  • Rich Harbour was commissioned to hand craft a wood surfboard for the collection of the Design Museum of London

  • The Endless Summer released on DVD

  • At Cortes Bank, 100 miles off of the California coast. Mike Parsons rides a 65′ wave, the largest ridden at the time

  • Local Montauk, New York surfer/author Allan Weisbecker publishes In Search of Captain Zero, a memoir

  • Jason Venn wins the ESA men’s season Championship

  • 9/11 – The day of the terrorist attacks on New York City at least five local surfers perished during the attack

  • Blue Crush, a Hollywood film about women surfers, is released by Universal Studios

  • Duke Kahanamoku is honored with a commemorative stamp from the U.S. Postal Service

  • Matt Warshaw publishes “The Encyclopedia of Surfing,” a landmark historical reference book

  • Dana Brown, Bruce’s son, releases the film “Step Into Liquid,” a documentary on modern surfing

  • Hawaiian surfer Bethany Hamilton loses her left arm in a shark attack. She soon returns to competitive surfing

  • NSSA Foundes inducted into O.P.’s Hall of Fame

  • Mavericks big wave contest, Darryl “Flea” Virostko, secured another Mavericks title

  • Joel Tudor wins his second World Longboard Championship title in Biarritz, France

  • Sofia Mulanovich becomes the first ISA Peruvian champ since Felipe Pomar in 1964

  • Santa Cruz local Anthony Tashnick wins the now annual Mavericks big wave contest in Central California

  • An Al Merrick surfboard printed by artist Julian Schnabel fetches $76,000 at a NYC auction

  • Author Paul Holmes documents the life of surf legend Dale Velzy in the book “Dale Velzy is Hawk”

  • Julia Christian becomes the first US woman in over 20 years to capture the ISA World Championship

  • Riding a relatively short 9’0″ tri-fin Grant “Twiggy” Baker from South Africa won the Mavericks big wave contest

  • Guy Motil creates “Surfboards,” an award-winning book documenting the history of the surfboard

  • The Mavericks big wave contest is cancelled due to lack of surf during the waiting period

  • Greg and Jed Noll, with author Drew Kampion, publish “The Art of the Surfboard,” a book on Noll boards

  • The finalists of the Mavericks contest agree to split the prize money equally. Big wave rider Greg Long takes 1st

  • It was reported that a bronze bust of George Freeth was stolen from the Redondo Beach Pier

  • The California Surf Museum, designed by Louise Balma, opens its new city-donated facilities in Oceanside, CA

  • The Mavericks big wave contest is cancelled due to lack of surf during the waiting period

  • Gordon and Smith (G&S) celebrates it’s 50th Anniversary of continuous surfboard design and manufacturing

  • Rich Harbour’s surfboard design and manufacturing was exhibited at the Doyle Arts Center in Costa Mesa, CA


The Encyclopedia of Surfing Matt Warshaw

Bethany Hamilton

Surfing Series Surfboards Book Guy Motil

California Surf Museum


6.9 billion

309 million


Loaf of bread: $2.49
Gasoline: $2.73 per gallon
Movie admission: $6.50

there is a wisdom in the wave high bourne and beautiful for those who would paddle out.

~ Dorian Paskowitz


  • With 60′ surf, the Mavericks event became one of the largest paddle-in contests in the history of the sport. 1st place Chris Berths

  • Three-time ASP WCT title holder, Andy Irons, 32, was found dead in a hotel room near Dallas, Texas

  • 1960’s and 1970’s Surf Photographer LeRoy Grannis dies at 93

  • Mavericks legend Peter Mel, in 25 foot surf, finally took the Mavericks title that had eluded him for over a decade

  • TransWorld Surf magazine ceases publication after more than ten years

  • Apple announced that the latest version of its Mac operating system OS X (version 10.9) would be titled Mavericks

  • Upper Trestles. 10 guys out. 10 min till sunset. A great white breached and spun 2-4 ft in the air

  • NOAA reports the Pacific El Nino condition is the warmest on record

  • The California Surf Museum mounts breakthrough Big-Wave Surfboard exhibit

  • Kael Farber (mens) and Nicole Fulford (womens) win the 2015 NSSA Open Divisions

  • Kelly Slater debuts the best artificial wave pool yet, near Fresno, CA

  • Piccolo Clemente, of Peru, won the 2015 Longboard World Title

  • Rachael Tilly, of the USA, won the 2015 Longboard World Title

  • Shark encounters with surfers appear to be on a rapid rise in Australia, Hawaii and Florida

  • It is now estimated that there are over 30 million surfers worldwide

  • Lawsuit filed against Lunada Bay “Bay Boys” surfers for harassing other surfers


TransWorld Surf Magazine, redesign

MAC Operating System OS X, Mavericks

Piccolo Clemente

Rachael Tilly