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Linked set of turns usually performed directly after takeoff on a medium-sized or bigger wave; consisting of an opening turn toward the wave’s shoulder, a matching turn back into the steeper and more critical portion of the wave, then a bottom turn. A variation of the “fade” and an elegant way to set up a tuberide. ... Read More
Good-natured spike-haired Australian surfer from Avoca Beach, New South Wales; men’s division winner in the 1986 World Amateur Champions, and an early master of the floater maneuver. Sainsbury was born (1966) and raised in Avoca, began surfing at age 11, and by 1985 was an unbeatable amateur competitor, winning the Australian Professional Surfing Association title, the Pro Junior contest, and the Australian national championship. The wor... Read More
Protean graphic designer, photographer, and art director; innovator and champion of the “California Cool” design style. Salisbury got his start in the surf trade, was a distinctive presence at SURFER, Surfing, Gotcha, and O’Neill, but is best know as a “brander” of people and products, including Michael Jackson, Levis, Rolling Stone, and Hot Wheels. Salisbury was born to a peripatetic mili... Read More
Smart, acerbic, often hilarious northern Californian surf writer; created of the short-lived but influential blog PostSurf; Surfer magazine senior writer since 2010. Born (1976) and raised in Marin County, to parents who wrote medical self-help books, Samuels began surfing the frigid, temperamental waves around his hometown of Bolinas at age seven. After high school, he transitioned to sunny La Jolla, California where the goofyfooter ... Read More
Relaxed, tradition-soaked Southern California surf break located at the north end of San Diego County, adjacent to San Clemente; home to the Pacific Coast Surf Riding Championships from 1938 to 1941; regarded since the end of World War II as a friendly surfing sanctuary for families, beginning surfers, and old-timers. Origins for the name “San Onofre” are unclear, but the area may have been named after the desert-dwelling he... Read More
Sandboarding photos date back to the 1940s, but in general this was an unknown activity until the mid-’60s, when it slipstreamed in behind the original surfing and skateboarding boom. A 1964 Petersen’s Surfing magazine article described sand surfing as “four or five lads pouring down the side of what looks like a 150 foot wave, pulling off almost every surfing gimmick in the book.” Specialized boards w... Read More
Arid sand-and-rock-lined surf break located 15 miles east of Honolulu, Hawaii, on the eastern tip of Oahu; known primarily as a bodysurfing and bodyboarding spot, where the shore-pounding waves can range from fun to deadly. “Sandy Beach has always had a party atmosphere,” surf photographer Tom Boyle said in 1987. “On any sunny day, you’re likely to see people surfing, bodysurfing, bodyboarding, skimboarding, windsurfin... Read More
Convention hall and performing arts center located a few hundred yards off the beach in Santa Monica, California; America’s premier surf movie venue in the 1960s and 1970s, and site of the 1966 International Surfing Magazine Hall of Fame Awards ceremony. “The Civic stood alone,” as the Surfer’s Journal later noted, “as the premier venue of the 16mm surf movie.” The white-on-white pop-futuris... Read More
Top Puerto Rican surfer from the mid-’70s to the mid-’80s. Santos, the son of an engineer, began surfing in 1968 at age 12, after watching the World Surfing Championship, held that year on Puerto Rico’s west shore. He was a already pool diving prodigy, and a star basketball player, but after buying a second-hand board for five dollars, surfing went to the fore. Santos dropped out of school and “disappeared” to Am... Read More
Soft-spoken and methodical big-wave rider from Santa Cruz, California; runner-up in the 1999 Maverick’s contest, and founder of the Richard Schmidt Surf School. Schmidt was born (1960) in San Francisco, the son of a Lutheran minister, raised in Santa Cruz, and began surfing at age eight. He came to the attention of the surf world in 1980, after Surfing magazine published photos of him charging the thick, explosive waves of Puer... Read More
Crusading surfer and activist from San Diego, California; three-time world longboard champion (2000, 2001, 2010), and persistent thorn in the side of a surf industry that has often showed itself to be as ethically challenged as any other sector of global commerce. Schumacher was born (1977) in Huntington Beach, raised in San Diego, began surfing at age five. In years to come, unlike ... Read More
Wedging sand-bottom jetty break adjacent to the north side of Sebastian Inlet State Park, 15 miles south of Melbourne Beach, Florida; one of the surf world’s high-performance hot spots, and home to at least three generations of world-class surfers, including Mike Tabeling, Jeff Crawford, Matt Kechele, Kelly Slater, and Lisa Andersen. “Part talent show,” Swell.com said of the notoriously crowded Sebastian Inlet scene in 2000, ... Read More
Lanky regularfooter from Newquay, in Cornwall, England; Britain’s dominant surfer in the early late ’70s and early ’80s. Semmens was born (1957) and raised in Newquay, the hub of English surfing, and began riding waves at age 12. At 16 he dropped out of school in order to travel and compete, and spent most of that winter surfing in Morocco. “We got great waves on the trip, and it taught me loads. Timing, trimming, just ... Read More
Versatile surf photographer from Dana Point, California; longtime senior staff photographer for Surfer magazine; best known for his work in the South Pacific, including five Surfer magazine cover shots from Fiji’s Tavarua Island in the 1990s. Servais was born (1953) in Miami, Florida, began surfing at 13, and started taking surf photos in 1977, four years after moving to San Clemente, California. Aside from enrol... Read More
British surf break created by an incoming tidal surge funneling up the lengthy (220 miles) and picturesque River Severn, about 100 miles west of London. “Ducking under branches and riding through bushes,” British champion surfer Rod Sumpter said of his first experience on the Bore in 1968, “rode under the railway bridge where a row of spectators were watching this crazy surfer take on the world’s most unusual wave.R... Read More
Seminal surf world writer, editor, publisher, photographer, filmmaker, and artist from San Clemente, California; best known as the founder in 1960 of Surfer magazine. “Before John Severson,” surf journalist Sam George wrote in 1999, “there was no ‘surf media,’ no ‘surf industry’ and no ‘surf culture’—at least not in the way we understand it today.” Severson was born... Read More
The undercurrent of sex and sexuality that runs through surfing has at times overshadowed the act of wave-riding itself. Prior to the early 1800s, men and women surfers in Hawaii often used the wave zone as a venue for flirting and display, and a shared wave often amounted to foreplay. Westerners got their first look at surfing through sketches of nude Polynesian women riding gracefully for shore; crusading American missionaries in the middle... Read More
“Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax” is the full name of Frederick Herzog’s 1972-founded surfboard wax company, based in Carpinteria, near Santa Barbara. Herzog, better known as Zog, was born (1945) and raised in Orange County, graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Economics; afterwards, he launched Zog Surfboards and opened a surf shop near the Santa Barbara airport. In 1969, Herzog met Nate Skinner, a chemist and future UC... Read More
Tireless bottle-blond jack-of-all-trades from Newport Beach, California; Surfing magazine editor in 1989 and 1990; co-owner of Kanvas by Katin beachwear from 1991 to 1997; founder of Surf News magazine, and creator of the K2 Big-Wave Challenge (later the XXL Big Wave Awards), as well as the Billabong Odyssey. “Bill Sharp,” in the words of fellow surf scribe Sam George, “is the man who gets surfing noticed... Read More
Reticent, detail-oriented surfboard shaper of the late 1950s and ’60s from Honolulu, Hawaii; best known for his sleek balsa-core big-wave guns. Shepherd was born (1934) in Upland, California, near Los Angeles, and began surfing in 1955, two years before moving to Hawaii. He started shaping in 1959, and almost immediately became the second-most popular big-wave gun maker, behind fellow Californian Pat Curren. Shepherd, who favored ... Read More
Durable, diplomatic surf photographer from north San Diego County, California; best known for his portraits and behind-the-scenes candids. Sherman was born (1963) and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, moved with his family to San Diego at age 10, and began surfing at 12. The following year, as an assignment for an eighth-grade photography class, he used a hand-me-down camera to shoot a local skateboard contest (Sherman himself was a pro skater ... Read More
Media-savvy, longboard-riding Hasidic Jew; author of 2001’s Surfing Rabbi: A Kabbalistic Quest for Soul, and later a hard-right politician. Born Norman Shifren in Los Angeles in 1951, the lanky regularfooter began surfing at age 13, lived in Hawaii in the early ’70s, and worked as a Los Angeles County lifeguard from 1973 to 1977. Shifren moved to Israel in 1977 and served in the Israeli Defense Forces; in 1990 he... Read More
Phlegmatic surf competition judge from Hawaii, and cofounder of Lightning Bolt Surfboards. Shipley was nine in 1961 when he moved with his family from Baltimore, Maryland, to Oahu. He later worked for the Hobie Surfboards outlet in Honolulu, and in 1966 judged his first surf contest. Shipley and Pipeline master surfer Gerry Lopez, funded by Shipley’s life savings of $2,500, opened the first Lighting Bolt shop in Honolulu in 1970; ... Read More
Terrifying right-breaking slab located 25 miles southeast of Hobart on the southern coast of Tasmania; a perennial candidate for the world’s most dangerous and challenging break. “Shipstern is a ragged claw-like monster,” surf journalist Steve Barilotti wrote in 2002.  “A ridiculous Triple-X black diamond wave.” Named for the imposing 250-foot wedge-shaped granite cliff that juts up from a nearby headland,... Read More
Minimum-protection shoulder-strap wetsuit design, covering a surfer’s trunk, chest, back, and thighs, usually constructed with two-millimeter neoprene and a small back zipper. The short john— or “shorty”—is one of the original surfing wetsuits, along with the legs-covered long john and the front- zip long- or short-sleeve jacket. From the mid-’50s until the mid-’60s, short johns were often used from fal... Read More
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