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Nimble blond regularfoot surfer originally from Redondo Beach, California; winner of the 1966 Laguna Swimwear Masters contest and finalist in the 1966 World Surfing Championships. Lagardere was born (1947) in DeLand, Florida, raised in Redondo, and began surfing at age 13. Three years later she won the Santa Monica Mid-Winter Championships; not long after, she was given a slot on the prestigious Dewey Weber Surfboards surf team. Lagarde... Read More
Well-scrubbed regularfoot pro surfer from Virginia Beach, Virginia; world-ranked #9 in 1983 and 1985. Laine was born (1960) in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the son of a U.S. Marine colonel. He first surfed at age five, then spent nearly 10 years living with his family on military bases in Italy, Rhode Island, and North Carolina, before settling in Virginia Beach. One of the East Coast’s strongest amateur competitors in the mid- and lat... Read More
Hardworking regularfoot pro surfer from Oceanside, California; Professional Surfing Association of America (PSAA) tour champion in 1987, 1988, and 1989. Lambresi was born (1964) in Loma Linda, California, grew up in Oceanside, and was a successful pro bodyboarder in the late ’70s and early ’80s. He began stand-up surfing in 1982, skipped amateur competition altogether, and won in 1983 the California Stubbies Trials, a pro event.... Read More
The process of covering the shaped core material of a surfboard with a resin-saturated layer of fiberglass; the first step in transforming a finished blank into a ready-to-ride surfboard. Virtually all major surfboard manufacturers from the 1950s to the ’70s laminated their own boards, and a small number of today’s shops still do the work in-house. Most contract out to a regional “glass shop” or “glass factory.... Read More
Pioneering Australian surfboard manufacturer and archetypal hard-drinking “surfie” of the 1950s and ’60s. Larkin began surfing in 1943 at age nine at Sydney’s Freshwater Beach, and starting building hollow plywood boards at at age 15. By the late ’50s, Larkin, Barry Bennett, Bill Wallace, and Gordon Woods had each founded their own surfboard label, and collectivel... Read More
Surfboard shaper and board manufacturer from Durban, South Africa; the country’s dominant boardmaker in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Larmont was born (1951) and raised in Durban, began surfing at age 12, and in 1972 was selected as a member of South Africa’s team to the World Surfing Championships. In the years to come, as South African photographer Pat Flanagan recalled, “other surfers from Durban caught all... Read More
Quirky pre–World War II surfer and boardmaker from Laguna Beach, California; a model for the irrepressible and irresponsible Southern California surfer. Larson was born (1916) and raised in Laguna, and began surfing in the late ’20s. During the depression he made surfboards, usually out of redwood and balsa, using a draw-knife, for most of the two or three dozen Laguna surfers. In 1939, Larson rode a 12-foot wave at a break call... Read More
Futuristic wave-ski surfer from Ventura, California; winner of the 1969 Rincon Surf-Ski and Kayak Championships. “Nat Young and Jock Sutherland probe the outer limits of performance on their feet,” surf writer Drew Kampion noted. “Greenough does it on his knees. And Merv Larson? He does it on his ass.” Larson was born (1940) in the city of Orange, California, raised in Huntington Beach, and began bodysurfing at a... Read More
Hawaiian surfer-artist best known for his swirling, vividly colored oil or acrylic seascapes, many of them dense with animals, stars, planets, coral fans, and breaking waves. Lassen was born (1956) and raised in Mendocino, California, and moved with his family to Maui at age 11, where he began surfing right away. Lassen’s mother was an artist, and Chris began painting with oils while still in California; he sold his first hand-painted T... Read More
Beginning the takeoff at the last possible moment. The late takeoff is often preceded by a rushed paddle up the wave face and a quick frog-kicking spin toward shore as the lip begins to pitch out. The later the takeoff, the greater the chances of wiping out. ... Read More
Industrious surfer and surf-media impresario from Sunset Beach, Hawaii. Latronic was born (1964) in Yonkers, New York, and began surfing at age nine after moving with his family to Laguna Beach, California. Three years later the family moved to Oahu’s North Shore, and within five years Latronic was one of the hottest young guns at Velzyland and Sunset; in 1981, while still in high school, he earned an impressive cameo in the surf film Cr... Read More
Spine-twisting maneuver in which the surfer, during a frontside cutback or backside tuberide, bends the upper back and shoulders  and”lays back” onto the wave face. The layback cutback was popularized  by 1976 world champion Peter Townend of Australia. At the beginning of the cutback, he’d drop the rear arm, raise his front arm for balance, fall back onto the wave face, and direct the board in an arcing turn so that it ende... Read More
Diligent surf contest organizer from Belmar, New Jersey; cofounder of the Eastern Surfing Association. Lear was born (1930) in Irvington, New Jersey, raised in nearby Caldwell, and moved to Belmar in 1946. As a high schooler, he bodysurfed, rode a mat, and worked summers as a lifeguard. In 1952, Lear received a B.A. in economics from Drew University; not until 10 years later, at age 32, did he began stand-up surfing. His first new board was ... Read More
A wave that breaks to the left, from the surfer’s shoreward-facing perspective. As viewed from the beach, a surfer on a left will move from left to right. Pipeline, Grajagan, Teahupoo, and Cloudbreak are famous left-breaking waves. ... Read More
Lively and adventurous surfer from Sydney’s Freshwater Beach; sometimes referred to as “the mother of Australian surfing.” On February 6, 1915, the 15-year-old Letham rode tandem with surfer and Olympic gold medal swimmer Duke Kahanamoku during one of the Hawaiian’s famous and well-attended wave-riding demonstrations at Dee Why beach, not far from Freshwater. It was later revealed that the sport had been introduced to S... Read More
Friendly, fast-talking Hawaiian regularfooter from Honolulu who, along with best pal Montgomery “Buttons” Kaluhiokalani, all but defined Hawaiian hotdog surfing in the mid-1970s. Liddell was born (1960) in Hollywood, California, raised in Honolulu, and began surfing at Waikiki in 1968. His nimble, spidery style of riding was a perfect match for the fast-cornering sting surfboard, introduced by Honolulu surfer-shaper Ben Aipa in 197... Read More
Surfboard and surf accessories company founded in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1970, by Gerry Lopez and Jack Shipley, and turned into an industry powerhouse with the help of California surfwear executive Duke Boyd. Lopez and Shipley were both working at a Honolulu shop called Surf Line Hawaii in early 1970; the 21-year-old Lopez was on the cusp of becoming the universally acknowledged master at Pipeline, and had been shaping surfboards since 1968; Shi... Read More
Area just beyond the surf zone where surfers wait for waves. A “tight” lineup is compressed and small; the lineup at Florida’s Sebastian Inlet is smaller than a tennis court. In contrast, the lineup at Hawaii’s Sunset Beach can stretch out for a hundred yards or more. ... Read More
A fixed place in the takeoff area, usually maintained by visual cues on the shore. A good lineup means the surfer can return to a near-exact spot where the best waves are breaking, and allows him to hold position against currents or drift. A lineup can be determined by paddling to the desired spot, turning toward shore, and picking out two aligned landmarks—a beachfront house, for example, set in front of a notch on a distant hillside. Simil... Read More
The upper edge of a wave; are part of the wave that steepens, fringes, and spills over. Although surfers regularly do off-the-lip maneuvers on soft, crumbling, easy-breaking waves, the expression “lip,” used alone, generally refers to the cresting portion of a tubing wave. Two surf movies, Hot Lips and Inner Tubes (1975) and Wet Lips (1983), turned the word into an all-too-easy sexual double entend... Read More
Shadowy and undercredited kneeboarder and surfboard designer from San Diego, California; kneeboard division winner in the 1970 United States Championships, and creator of the wide-backed, split-tailed “fish” design. Lis was born (1951) and raised in San Diego, and began surfing at age 10 at Ocean Beach. He built and rode wooden bellyboards called paipos for years, and won the 1966 Paipo Championships at Ocean Beach kneeridi... Read More
Unflinching big-wave surfer and world traveler from Haleiwa, Hawaii; runner-up in the 1990 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau contest at Waimea Bay. Little was born (1967) in Napa, California, moved with his family to Hawaii at age three, and began surfing at age seven. He was a finalist in the menehune division of the 1980 United States Surfing Championships; just over six years later the 145-pound pencil-legged rookie pro placed fourth in t... Read More
Barrel-chested goofyfooter from Huntington Beach, California; one of America’s top domestic pro competitors in the early and mid-’80s. “He’s thrilled viewers everywhere with his radical brand of power surfing,” writer Sam George said in 1985, “which includes high-risk moves with the carving 360 and the aerial. They call him Mr. Goodspray for a reason!” Burton “Bud” Llamas was born (1... Read More
Inventive and entrepreneurial surfer-designer from La Jolla, California; architect of the 1990-patented FlowRider standing-wave machine. Lochtefeld was born (1952) in San Diego, California, raised in Pacific Beach, and began surfing at 10. He graduated in 1974 from the University of San Diego law school, worked as a real estate developer, and in 1983 cofounded the Raging Waters theme park chain in California and Utah. Five years later, ... Read More
Hardworking surfer and board designer from Brevard County, Florida; winner of the 1974 Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) Championships, and an early advocate of epoxy-made surfboards. Loehr was born (1952) in Brooklyn, New York, the son of an oil executive, and began surfing at age 11 after moving with his family to central Florida. He was runner-up in the 1973 ESA Championships, then won the following year, just before taking fourth in the 19... Read More
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