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Lightning-fast instrumental rock guitarist; surf music innovator in the early 1960s, and known as the “King of Surf Guitar.” Born Richard Monsour (1937) in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of a Lebanese machinist, Dale as a child taught himself to play Hank Williams songs on ukulele and guitar. He began surfing as a teenager in the mid-’50s, after his family moved west to the Los Angeles County beachfront suburb of El Segundo; ... Read More
Cosmopolitan goofyfoot surfer from Hawaii, best known as a Pipeline specialist in the mid- and late-’80s. Damm was born in Chicago (1957), but his father, an executive with Sherwin-Williams Paints, moved his family to prerevolution Cuba, then El Salvador, Venezuela, Ohio, and finally Puerto Rico, where Damm began surfing at age 13. He was a three-time Puerto Rican national champion (1973–75); in 1976 he enrolled at the University of Ha... Read More
Beachfront city in south Orange County, California; a surf industry hot-spot for more than 50 years. Dana Point was named after 19th-century American author and sailor Richard Henry Dana, who described the area in his 1840 book Two Years Before the Mast. By the late 1950s, surfers had mapped out five different breaks at Dana Point, and the main spot—a right-breaking wave located just off the headland, sometimes called “Killer ... Read More
Square-jawed power surfer from Papeete, Tahiti; world-ranked #17 in 1992 and 1993; known for his big-wave cool and his easygoing Polynesian charm. David was born (1968) and raised in Papeete, and began surfing at age 10. He won nearly every contest he entered in the mid-’80s—including the juniors division of the 1984 French Championships and 1985 European Championships—but was nevertheless a dark horse going into the 1986 Worl... Read More
Hard-working Southern California surf filmmaker of the 1960s and early ’70s. Davis was born (1940) and raised in Santa Monica, began surfing in his early teens, graduated in 1963 from the Brooks Institute of Photography, and later that year released Walk on the Wet Side, his first surf movie. Strictly Hot, his 1964 follow-up, was one of the first surf films to use a prerecorded narration. Davis—a slender, smiling, lik... Read More
Regularfoot surfer from Brigantine, New Jersey; world-ranked #3 in 1980; described by Surfer magazine in 1981 as “very possibly the finest women’s surfer in the world.” Davoli began surfing in 1967 at age 11, and in 1973 she won the girls’ division of the United States Surfing Championships—the first East Coast surfer to take a national title. Davoli moved to Hawaii in 1975, and two years later compete... Read More
Sturdy goofyfoot surfer from Lima, Peru; seven-time national champion between 1983 and 2001. De la Rosa was born (1965) and raised in Miraflores, a wealthy Lima suburb, and began surfing at age 12. He took his first national title in 1983 at age 18, and won again in 1990, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1999, and 2001. From 1987 to 1991 he traveled with little success on the world pro circuit. De la Rosa also explored much of the coast between northe... Read More
Dashing French surfer, photographer, and sailboarder, described by the London Telegraph as “a playboy [who] zigzagged through life as easily as a butterfly might pass through barbed wire.” De Rosnay was born (1946) in Paris, the son of an wealthy Impressionist painter and aristocrat whose barony dated back to the Crusades. Along with older brother Joel, De Rosnay was raised in Mauritius as well as Paris, and began surfing ... Read More
Worldly, well-educated French surfing pioneer. De Rosnay was born (1937) in Mauritius, moved with his family to the coastal resort town of Biarritz, France, at age two, and to Paris at seven. He began bellyboarding at 10, during family vacations in Biarritz. In the summer of 1957, American screenwriter Peter Viertel, while in France to shoot The Sun Also Rises for 20th Century Fox, wired to California and had his Hobie balsa surfboard... Read More
Determined pro surfer from São Paulo, Brazil; winner of the 2015 WSL world championing. After years of being ignored or ridiculed by surfing’s English-speaking tastemakers, de Souza, following his 2015 win, was for the most part heralded as a worthy and deserving standard-bearer. “No one can say Adriano isn’t a worthy champ,” Stab magazine wrote. “He’s as silently committed, as steely, as determined as... Read More
Smooth-riding Australian regularfoot surfer/shaper from Queensland’s Gold Coast; domineering presence at Kirra beginning in the late ’60s; Australian seniors division national champion in 1982 and 1984; Australian professional longboard champion in 1994, 1995, and 1996. Deane was born (1952) in south Queensland, and began surfing in 1960. By the end of the decade he was a pace-setter at Kirra, the long, hollow, sand-bottom p... Read More
There are reasons why surfing has a reputation as a deadly activity. Surfers die in movies (Point Break, In God’s Hands) and novels (The Ninth Wave, Dogs of Winter), and the sport often turns up on (non-statistical) “most dangerous” lists online. When Hawaii’s Mark Foo drowned while surfing Maverick’s in 1994, the story was covered at length in the New York Times, ... Read More
English viscount, son of the 11th Earl of Coventry, who engineered what Australia’s Surfing Life magazine called “a strangely beautiful surfing career.” Edward George William Omar Coventry, Viscount Deerhurst,was born in 1957. His Eton-educated father was a champion fencer, and his mother was an American starlet who briefly dated King Farouk of Egypt before marrying the Earl... Read More
Reserved and meticulous filmmaker from Ventura, California; producer of Free Ride (1977) and Surfers: The Movie (1990). Delaney was born (1946) in Santa Barbara, began surfing in 1962, and started shooting surf photos three years later. In 1965, Delaney and Bill Hubina showed boardmaker-inventor Tom Morey a gritty, paint-on form of surfboard traction they invented called Slipcheck. The three marketed it as an aerosol spray fo... Read More
Acid-tongued surfboard manufacturer and gadfly from Huntington Beach, California. Dent was born (1943) in Bellflower, California, began surfing at age 16, and by the early ’60s was working as a salesman for Jack Haley Surfboards in Seal Beach, where he built an impressive customer base, as he later put it, out of local “dropouts, lowriders, gremmies, dopers, juicers, radicals, dirtbags and general riffraff.” Dent opene... Read More
Good-natured surfboard builder from La Jolla, California, once described as the “Michelangelo of shapers”; best known in the 1960s and ’70s for his exquisitely crafted big-wave guns. Diffenderfer was born (1937) in Beverly Hills, California, raised in La Jolla, began surfing in 1949, and two years later shaped his first surfboard, out of balsa. In 1955, after graduating from high school—where he played for the golf a... Read More
When the surfboard’s rail (edge) unexpectedly catches or “digs” into the water during a ride, abruptly slowing the board down and making it temporarily impossible to control. The surfer, after digging a rail, is either put off balance or chucked off altogether. Digging a rail is most likely to happen when the water surface is choppy, if there’s backwash or any kind of lump running across the surf zone, if the surfer mis... Read More
Australian surfboard manufacturer from Sydney’s Bondi Beach; cofounder of Australia’s boardmaking industry in the late 1950s, along with Gordon Woods, Barry Bennett, and Bill Wallace. Dillon was born (1928) and raised in Bondi, and was tandem bodysurfing with his father, the treasurer of the Bondi Beach Surf Club, before he could walk. He began stand-up surfing at age six. Dillon trained as a boxer after World War II, was twice na... Read More
Industrious surf moviemaker of the 1970s and ’80s, from Topanga, California; best known for his hard-driving 1974 debut Fluid Drive. Dittrich was born (1945) in Detroit, Michigan, learned to surf in Florida at age 10, and moved in 1966 to Hollywood, California. He received a B.A. in economics from UCLA in 1969, went on to take a master’s in the same field from the University of Florida, then returned to California where he... Read More
Durable, good-natured surf photographer and photo editor from San Clemente, California; a steady surf world presence since the early 1970s, and long regarded as one of the genre’s most versatile and dependable talents. Divine was born (1950) in San Diego, raised in the wealthy beach town of La Jolla, started surfing in 1964 and bought his first camera the following year; he soon began selling prints to his high school surfing friends for... Read More
Enduring and disciplined switchfoot surfer from San Diego, California; winner of the 1972 United States Surfing Championships; the last top-drawer California surfer to give up longboarding, in 1968, and one of the first to take it back up full-time, in the late ’70s. Dobson was born (1947) and raised in San Diego, and began surfing at age 10. Influenced in the early ’60s by ace switchfooter Butch Van Artsdalen of La Jolla, Dobson, ... Read More
Terse big-wave surfer from Hawaii; a top performer at Waimea Bay from the early ’80s to the early ’90s, and one of the original tow surfers. Doerner was born (1957) in Fresno, California, the son of a French-born mother and a former Santa Barbara County lifeguard, and began surfing at age five. Moving often after his parents divorced, Doerner lived in Texas, Maine, North Carolina, France, and Los Angeles, before settling on the Nor... Read More
Wealthy gentleman surfer and socialite from Lima, Peru; the founder of Club Waikiki, and often referred to as the father of Peruvian surfing. Dogny was born (1909) in Barranco, the only son of a French army colonel and a Peruvian sugarcane heiress, and grew up in both Lima and the beachside resort town of Biarritz, France. In 1938, the 29-year-old Dogny traveled with a French polo team to Honolulu, where he learned to surf at Waikiki. Hawaiian... Read More
A time-honored surf world novelty, where a surfing dog owner trains his pet to ride waves, either solo, or on the nose of the board with the owner standing behind. Surfing dogs were filmed in Waikiki as far back as the 1920s. In 1944, National Geographic published a full-page photograph of the “World-champion Dog Surfer, Rusty,” and from 1960 forward the surf media has featured bodysurfing dogs, dogs on bodyboards, and a... Read More
Smooth-surfing regularfooter from Biscarrosse, France; runner-up in the French Surfing Championships in 1986, 1988, 1989, and 1990, and runner-up in the 1987 European Surfing Championships. Domenech was born (1964) in Arcachon, France, and began surfing at nearby Biscarrosse at age 11. He won the 1982 juniors division national title, and traveled that year to Australia to compete in the World Surfing Championships. While many French sur... Read More
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