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One-man vessel made of woven reeds, used by Peruvian fishermen for over five thousand years; regarded by some to be the earliest known form of surf craft. Caballito means “little horse” in Spanish. On average, the caballito is twelve feet long, two feet wide, weighs 90 pounds, and lasts about six weeks before it gets waterlogged and begins to decompose. The caballito is built from the dried stalks of the totora plant (... Read More
Cool-handed regularfooter from Honolulu, Hawaii; arguably the finest all-around surfer of the ’60s, and certainly the decade’s best in international competition; cofounder of the Chart House restaurant chain. “He’s Mr. Perfect,” California surfer Mickey Muñoz said of Cabell. “Everything he does, he does well.” Cabell was born (1938) and raised in Honolulu, and began surfing at age seven. By the... Read More
Commanding pro surfer and surf contest organizer/promoter from Perth, Western Australia; world-ranked #2 in 1976; founder of the Association of Surfing Professionals. “He’s a strong-minded son of a bitch,” fellow Australian and 1978 world champion Wayne Bartholomew once said of Cairns, “a brilliant politician, and an absolute monster in big surf.” Cairns was born (1952) in Kew, Victoria, the son of a mechan... Read More
Marge Calhoun, a cheerful, robust regularfooter from Laguna Beach, California, won the Makaha International in 1958, and was the matriarch of the surfing Calhoun family. She was born (1926) and raised in Hollywood, California, the daughter of a film set designer. Always athletic, by the late ’40s Calhoun was one of America’s best young swimmers and divers. She gave birth to her first daughter, Candy, in 1945, married her high scho... Read More
Charming and modern twelve-hundred-square-foot museum, located in downtown Oceanside, California. The California Surf Museum was founded in 1986 by librarian Jane Schmauss and architect Stuart Resor, and opened in an Encinitas, California, shopping plaza. An early exhibit was Iron Men and Wooden Boards, documenting with period photographs and surfboards the contributions of surfing pioneers Duke Kahanamoku, Tom Blake, and Bob Simmons.... Read More
The original surfing photo book, John “Doc” Ball’s 108-page California Surfriders was first published in 1946, and was made up of Ball’s black-and-white photographs accompanied by short captions. “The purpose of this volume,” Ball wrote in the book’s foreword, “is to present pictorially some of the thrills, spills, personalities and places pertinent to surfriding, which, since its import... Read More
Globe-trotting photographer, raised in Hawaii, best known for exploring some of the world’s most remote, and often dangerous, coastlines for surf. “His images from the Seven Seas,” outdoor writer Matt Button wrote in 2016, “bring exploration and adventure into our lives, and outsmart all that dehumanizing big punt/big decal surf porn.” Callahan was born (1961) in South Carol... Read More
Innovative, low-key surfboard shaper-designers from Southern California; creators of the bonzer design in the early 1970s. Malcolm and Duncan Campbell were born (1952 and 1955, respectively) in Santa Monica, and began surfing in 1965; the following year they moved with their family to Oxnard, just south of Ventura. In 1968, their father encouraged them to build their own surfboards, and later suggested that they experiment with a three-fin set... Read More
Fiery, well-freckled from New South Wales, Australia; world-ranked #2 in 1998. Campbell was born (1974) and raised in Port Macquaire, began surfing at age nine, placed fifth in the 1993 Pro Junior contest, and in 1997 was the world pro circuit’s rookie of the year. Campbell and good friend Danny Wills were the most physically fit surfers of the late ’90s, as both were trained by Sydney rugby drillmaster Rob Rowland-Smith; Campbell... Read More
Versatile filmmaker and artist, best known to surfers for his soulful, well-produced films, including The Seedling (1999), Sprout (2004), and The Present (2009). Quiet, trend-setting, and ineffably cool, Campbell “looks like a cross between Slingblade-era Billy Bob Thornton and Morrissey from the Smiths,” according to surf writer Scott Hulet. Campbell was born (1969) in Dana Point, California, b... Read More
Bandy-legged surfer from Hawaii; winner of the 1956 Makaha International; an original hotdogger in the mid- and late ’50s, and sometimes additionally credited as the sport’s first tuberider. “He looked nothing like the archetypal blond-haired, stompy-wompy surfer boys of the day,” one ’60s-era observer noted. “As a matter of fact, he looked like my Italian buddy’s dad who ran the local fruit & ve... Read More
Soft-spoken American artist and graphic designer, best know for his work with Mollusk surf shops in San Francisco, Venice and New York; Surfer magazine Art Director from 2002-2005. Canham was born (1974) in Seattle, moved with his family to Oahu at age three, and began surfing Waikiki at 14. He earned a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Oregon in 1999, and shortly after moved to San Clemente, California, to take the Assistant... Read More
Hypnotic right-breaking point wave located on the southeast coast of South Africa, about 60 miles from Port Elizabeth; the fabled “perfect wave” as featured in Californian Bruce Brown’s 1966 hit movie The Endless Summer. Cape St. Francis is in fact the name of a sandy three-mile-long triangular point that features at least six distinct breaks; since the late ’60s, the surf spot featured in Endless Summer... Read More
Vulgar but intrepid Australian surfing cartoon character created by Sydney artist Tony Edwards; the satirically named Captain Goodvibes—a hard-drinking, drug-taking, straight-talking pig with a tunnel-shaped snout—was a big hit among Australian surfers in the 1970s and early ’80s. The “Pig of Steel” debuted in Tracks magazine in 1972; he spoke in broad Aussie surf brogue, and the multi-panel strips often e... Read More
Sixteen-foot-tall bronze and granite sculpture erected in 2007 in Cardiff-by-the-sea, California, adjacent to Pacific Coast Highway, depicting a young male surfer awkwardly perched mid-manuever on a shortboard; the sculpture’s official name is “Magic Carpet Ride,” but it is affectionately known as the Cardiff Kook to locals and the press. Commissioned by the Cardiff Botanical Society for a hefty $120,000, the sculpture... Read More
Flamboyant goofyfooter from Surfside, California; winner of the United States Surfing Championships in 1966, 1967, and 1969, and the sport’s chirruping master of media in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. “He’s been cheered and booed,” surf journalist Jim Kempton wrote in 1998, “reviled, honored, laughed at, accused and credited with everything from defiling the name of surfing to inventing the career of... Read More
High-output Australian surf journalist and editor from Newport, New South Wales; Surfing magazine editor from 1993 to 1996; Deep magazine editor from 1997 to 2000; regarded by many since the mid-’80s as the sport’s most popular and knowledgeable writer. Carroll was born (1959) in Brisbane, Queensland, moved with his family to Newport in 1961, and began surfing at age 11. As a juniors division surfer he plac... Read More
Dynamic and durable power surfer from Sydney, Australia; world champion in 1983 and 1984, and one of the sport’s premier tuberiders. Carroll was born (1961) in Sydney, the son of a newspaper editor, raised in the beachfront suburb of Newport, and began surfing at age eight, a few months after his mother died of pancreatic cancer. Hawaiian style master Gerry Lopez was an early influence on Carroll, as was hard-turning local surfer Col Smi... Read More
Surfers traditionally have had a function-first attitude toward cars. Surfboard transportation all but demands a big, roomy, essentially non-sexy vehicle, while the by-products of a surfing life—damp towels, sand, wax, moldering wetsuits, salt air—ensure that the surf car, unless looked after with the kind of obsessive care and concern that generally doesn’t sit well with the surfing obsession itself, operates as a rolling model of d... Read More
Audacious graphic designer from Southern California, best known in the surf world for his jarring but innovative 1991 redesign of Surfer magazine. Carson was born (1956) in Corpus Christi, Texas, began surfing after moving with his family in 1965 to Cocoa Beach, Florida. In 1973, four years after relocating to Rolling Hills, California, Carson was a top-rated competitor in the Western Surfing Association’s prestigious AAAA divis... Read More
Boisterous pointbreak specialist from Pacific Palisades, California; best known for his noseriding and deep-set turns at Malibu in the late ’50s and ’60s. “He was the best surfer there,” Hollywood director/screenwriter and former Malibu surfer John Milius said in 1999. “He read the waves better, never made a mistake, and only fell off deliberately at the end of a ride . . . or if he was drunk.” Lance ... Read More
Swashbuckling surfer-organizer-board manufacturer from Miami Beach, Florida; sometimes described as “the godfather of East Coast surfing.” Catri was born (1938) in Carteret, New Jersey, moved with his family to south Florida at age seven, and was a state championship high jumper in high school. He worked in a Miami Beach high-dive comedy act in 1957, along with California transplant Jack Murphy, who a few years later became interna... Read More
Getting trapped on the shoreward side of an incoming wave, or set of waves. Many surfers feel that being caught inside is the worst thing that can happen during a heavy swell, in part because it forces the surfer to contemplate, sometimes for a minute or more, the approaching wave as it gathers and looms. A big-wave wipeout, by comparison, happens all at once. In a 1987 survey titled “Fear City,” 12 out of 17 pro surfers replied th... Read More
Gung-ho water sportsman and surfing booster from Honolulu, Hawaii; the “Captain of the Outriggers” for Waikiki’s Outrigger Canoe Club from 1910 to 1932; once celebrated as Hawaii’s unofficial record holder for the longest surfing ride, after catching a big summer wave in 1917 from outside Castles Break off Waikiki to the inner waters past Cunha Break—a distance of about three-quarters of a mile. Center was born... Read More
Soft-spoken photographer from San Diego, California; a longtime senior contributor to Surfing magazine; regarded by many as surfing’s premier all-around lensman in the 1980s and early ’90s. “People always ask me who the best surf photographer is,” Surfer magazine photo editor Jeff Divine said in 1994, “and I’ve always said Aaron Chang.” Born (1956) in Tucson, Arizona, Chang beg... Read More
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