Wide-stanced goofyfooter from Honolulu, Hawaii; winner of the 1972 World Surfing Championships. Blears was born (1947) in Santa Monica, California, and moved with his family to Hawaii at age 11. He was the Hawaiian Surfing Association ratings leader in 1969 and 1970 and a four-time Duke Kahanamoku Classic invitee between 1968 and 1971. He also placed third in the 1970 Smirnoff.
Blears's 1972 world contest victory was controversial. "David surfed the best," wrote Surfing magazine journalist Drew Kampion, speaking of precontest favorite David Nuuhiwa, who placed 2nd "while Blears got the good waves towards the end, when the judges tend to score higher." Other finalists included Michael Ho, Peter Townend, and Larry Bertlemann.
Other members of Blears's immediate family were also surf world notables. Lord James "Tallyho" Blears, British-born family patron and midcentury wrestling star, was featured in the surf movie classic The Endless Summer (1966), and was Hawaii's favorite on-site surf contest announcer during the '70s, '80s, and '90s. Clinton Blears, younger brother to Jim, was a pro surfer in the '80s; sister Laura was a top amateur in the early '70s, and one of the original female pro surfers.
For over 20 years, Blears worked as a North Shore lifeguard at Sunset Beach. He had long-standing substance abuse problems, however, and died in his sleep in 2011, at age 62. Blears appeared in a small number of surf movies, including 1973's Going Surfin'.