Harlow, Warren


Unheralded big-wave rider of the 1960s, originally from Manhattan Beach, California. "He doesn't care for beach discussions and all the trimmings," Petersen's Surfing magazine said of Harlow in 1965. "But ask any well-known surfer in Hawaii, and they'll tell you that Warren is one of the best."

Harlow began surfing in 1947 as a junior high school student on a 50-pound hollow board. He moved to Oahu in the late '50s, and rode big waves on the North Shore because "it was the only way to escape the crowded conditions." During summer, Harlow put his board away for months at a time and concentrated on free-diving. He later worked on nuclear-powered Navy submarines, at Pearl Harbor.

In the mid-'60s, Harlow built himself an airy glass-and-wood beachfront house directly in front of Pipeline. Bodysurfing legend Mark Cunningham noted in 2014 that he'd been "using Warren's house for my lineup [at Pipeline] for 40 years."

When Harlow was in his 60s, he was a three-time Kona Ironman finisher; the race consists of a 2.4-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bike, then a 26-mile run. He continued doing distance events into his 80s.