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Renowned beachfront area located on the south shore of Oahu, in the lee of Diamond Head, three miles southeast of downtown Honolulu; the sun-warmed birthplace of modern surfing, and the sport’s most history-rich area. While maps define Waikiki Beach as a narrow strip of shoreline just a few hundred yards long, fronting an enormous wall of high-rise hotels, surfers generally think of Waikiki as extending over two miles from Diamond Head t... Read More
Hallowed surf break located on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii; big-wave riding’s main stage from the late 1950s to the early ’90s. The Waimea season usually lasts from late fall to early spring, in response to swells produced by giant North Pacific storms. Waves begin to fringe on the Waimea reef at about 10 or 12 feet, but regulars don’t think of it as “real” until it’s 15 feet, and some won’t bother... Read More
To walk across the deck of a surfboard; generally refers to a forward stroll using the cross-step method—one leg crossing the other with each set of steps; as compared to the crablike shuffle motion—with the surfer aiming to hang five or ten toes off the nose of the board. ... Read More
A wave with little or no downward-sloping angle along the crest. Although a “walled up” or “walled off” wave is synonymous with a “closeout” and no good for board-surfing, the expression “wall” is also used to describe a wave that appears to be a closeout, but in fact holds shape. Some of the world’s best waves—including Laniakea, Rincon, and Jeffreys Bay—are described as having “... Read More
Surfing was most directly affected by war during World War II. Six months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, nearly all fighting-age surfers in America, Australia, and the territory of Hawaii had enlisted in the armed forces, “leaving the waves,” as surf journalist John Grissim later wrote, “to a smattering of beachcombers, draft dodgers, kids, gentle vagabonds, and civilian locals who worked in defense-related jobs.&... Read More
Clean-cut Australian pro surfer from Sydney’s northern beaches; world-ranked #4 in 1976, and winner of the 1980 Duke Kahanamoku Classic. Warren was born (1952) in landlocked Gundagai, New South Wales, raised in the Narrabeen area, and began surfing at age 11. He was an Australian National Titles finalist in 1971, 1972, and 1974, before winning in 1976. A pro by then (few distinctions were made at the time between pro and amateur surfers)... Read More
A state of total oversaturation. The waterlogged surfboard is the result of one or more unfixed dings or cracks, allowing water into the board’s core material—usually its a death sentence. The waterlogged surfer, having put in a way-above-average number of hours in the surf, is usually well stoked, as well as tired, dehydrated, and prune-fingered. Waterlogged is the title of Bruce Brown’s 1962 surf film—a rush-job comp... Read More
A surfer who is comfortable in a wide variety of ocean conditions, has a broad store of oceanic knowledge, and is accomplished in a range surfing-related activities, including diving, swimming, sailing, bodysurfing, fishing, spearfishing, surf canoeing, and oceangoing rescue work. Most watermen are from Hawaii. Surf journalist Dave Parmenter in 2000 described Makaha resident Brian Keaulana as “without a doubt the greatest all-around wate... Read More
Artificially-generated waves made within a confined space, usually by flushing water from a holding tank, or by means of a series of paddles, or by pulling a foil from one end of the pool to the other. Wavepools have always provoked strong reactions among surfers. Some view them as a practical solution to crowded lineups, as the obvious way to increase the supply of “perfect” waves, and as a way to level the playing field for sur... Read More
Big, boisterous New Zealand surfing pioneer and surfboard manufacturer; winner of the inaugural New Zealand surfing championships in 1963, and once described as “the epitome of the wild-man surfer.” Way was born Auckland in 1939, the son of a former wrestler and Piha Surf Club standout, and began surfing at age 18 on a hollow plywood paddleboard. In the late ’50s and early ’60s, he made r... Read More
Good-humored neoclassic longboarder from Santa Cruz, California; best known as a costar in the 1994 surf movie Endless Summer II. Weaver was born (1965) in Cologne, Germany; moved with his family at age three to Newport Beach, California, began surfing in 1982 at age 16, and for reasons never made clear was dubbed “Wingnut” by a group of older Newport locals. Alone among his teenage peers, Weaver was a longboard-only surfe... Read More
Tall, blond, leggy Australian regularfoot pro surfer from Kingscliff, New South Wales; world-ranked #4 in 1993, and described by Surfing Girl magazine as “one of the greatest natural talents in women’s surfing.” Webb was born in 1972, didn’t begin surfing until age 15, and turned pro at 18. She was fluid and powerful in small- to medium-sized wave, won five pro circuit events in her career and spent four... Read More
Southern California surfboard manufacturing and retail business, founded in 1960 by hotdog forefather Dewey Weber of Hermosa Beach; second in output only to Hobie Surfboards during the ’60s. Weber, the flashy wrestler-turned-surfer known as “the Little Man on Wheels,” opened the first Weber Surfboards in the same Venice, California, building that had for six years been the home of Velzy Surfboards. Weber had been Dale ... Read More
Flashy bleach-blond surfer and boardmaker of the late ’50s and ’60s from Hermosa Beach, California; a hotdogging icon; founder and owner of surf industry powerhouse Weber Surfboards. Weber was born (1938) in Denver, Colorado, the son of a truck driver, moved with his family at age five to Manhattan Beach (just north of Hermosa), and began surfing four years later. He was already a minor celebrity, having been hired at age se... Read More
Triumphant but aggressively ignored goofyfoot surfer from Honolulu, Hawaii; winner of the World Surfing Championships in 1970 and 1972. Weber was 15 in 1963 when she moved with her family from Virginia to Oahu, and bought her first board from reigning U.S. champion Linda Benson. She won the first of six Hawaii state titles in 1965, was runner-up to Margo Godfrey in the 1968 World Surfing Championships, and won the 1969 United States Surfing Ch... Read More
Sad-eyed monomaniacal surfer from Valley Ford, California, who as of 2003 hadn’t missed a day of surfing for 28 years. Webster was born (1948) and raised in Alhambra, California, began mat-surfing in 1957, and stand-up surfing in 1961. He moved in 1973 to Sonoma County, just north of San Francisco, and two years later came up against a solid week of big surf during what was called the “Monster from New Zealand” swell. “... Read More
Thick, punishing, highly specialized surf break adjacent to the west jetty of Newport Harbor, at the tip of Balboa peninsula in Orange County, California; ridden mostly by bodysurfers, bodyboarders, kneeboarders and skimboarders, although stand-up surfers have also made their mark. The Wedge is a classic “rebound” wave: each incoming swell pushes against the jetty rocks and rolls back as a refractory wave, which then vectors... Read More
Unassuming photographer from Sydney, Australia; a fixture on the Australian scene from 1960 to 1966, known for his evocative surf lifestyle images as much as his hot-rodding surf-action work. Weeks was born (1940) in Sydney, grew up in the harbor town town of Rose Bay, and was already an adept surfer by the time he moved with his family to a suburb near Cronulla, an Aussie surfing hotspot, at age 18. He’d taken his first photo... Read More
Australian surfing pioneer from Sydney’s Manly Beach; winner of the national surfing championship from 1919 to 1924. West was born (1898) in Sydney, raised in Manly, and began bodysurfing as a child. He was on the beach when Hawaiian surfer and swimmer Duke Kahanamoku gave a wave-riding demonstration at nearby Freshwater in 1914, using a nine-foot board he made himself from a slab of sugar pine; the 16-year-old West later not only coaxed... Read More
As a necessary piece of surfing equipment, the wetsuit, for a vast majority of surfers worldwide, is outranked only by the surfboard itself. Unlike boards, however, wetsuits have none of the mystique or glamour. “They are the airplanes of the surfing world,” writer Ted Endo noted in 2012. “They  allow us to do something miraculous (survive cold water for hours on end) and yet they are completely taken for granted.”... Read More
Energetic surfer-boardmaker-contest promoter from Durban, South Africa; a semifinalist in the 1964 World Surfing Championships, and cofounder of the Gunston 500 surfing contest. Wetteland was born (1938) and raised in Durban, began surfing at age 12, started building wooden surfboards at 15, and was the South African national paddleboard champion in 1958, 1959, and 1960. Because South Africa as of 1964 had yet to stage any kind of offic... Read More
Style-conscious website and quarterly magazine, headquartered in Newport Beach, California, loaded with hipster chic video and editorial content with a soft spot for non-competing pro surfers and beat literature; founded in 2012 by former Surfing magazine editor Travis Ferré, along with Scott Chenoweth and Stuart Cornuelle. Unlike most surf media platforms, What Youth ignores the surf industry news cycle, focusing instead on pro... Read More
Gruff and industrious surfer-boardmaker-organizer from Cape Town, South Africa; often described as the “father of South African surfing.” Whitmore was born (1929) and raised in the beachfront suburb of Sea Point, near Cape Town, and began bodysurfing as a teenager. In 1949, the 19-year-old Whitmore, having seen photographs of surfers, began to make hollow plywood boards for himself and a few friends, and they started riding ... Read More
Versatile California-born photographer, heralded in the 1970s for his tight-angle water shots taken mostly on the North Shore of Oahu. Wilkings was born (1946) in Hollywood, California, raised in Hermosa Beach, began surfing in 1958 and taking photographs in 1964. Original surf photographer LeRoy Grannis, also from Hermosa, was Wilkings’ informal mentor. He became a Surfer staff photographer in 1971, after receiving a B.F.A. in... Read More
Free-spirited professional surfer and hedonist from Copacabana, NSW, Australia; world-ranked #18 in 2011. Wilkinson was born (1988) and raised in Sydney and taught by his dad to surf at age 8. He collected an ISA World Junior Surfing championship in the under-16 division in 2004, then a few years later blitzed the pro tour qualifying series to earn a slot on the 2010 World Championship Tour. After a lackluster rookie season, his sophomo... Read More
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