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Surfboard rail design where the deck-to-edge curve, in cutaway, is more or less symmetrical with the bottom-to-edge curve. As compared to the dropped-profile “hard edge” rail, the 50/50 is forgiving and easy turning, but tends to allow a board to fall out of its forward-moving track into a spin-out. The 50/50 rail—also known as an egg rail—for the most part is used on longboards or funboards, and works best in smaller waves. Al... Read More
Fast-talking, whip-turning regularfooter from Malibu, California; described by the Surfer’s Journal magazine as “one of the four aces of Malibu”—along with Mickey Dora, Lance Carson, and Dewey Weber—during the late ’50s and early ’60s. Fain was born (1943) to a wealthy Hollywood family, grew up among producers, directors, and film stars in the Malibu Colony, just north of Malibu Pier, and began... Read More
Steady and unassuming goofyfoot pro surfer from Scotts Head, New South Wales; world-ranked #3 in 1993, 1995, and 2001; described by Australian surf journalist Alison Smith as “a simple country girl with huge talent.” Falconer was born (1970) and raised in Macksville, a northern NSW town of 800. She began surfing at age 16, became a full-time world tour pro at 20, and quietly won 12 events over the course of her career (including ba... Read More
Soulful Australian surf filmmaker, best known for his lush and beautifully crafted 1972 movie Morning of the Earth. Falzon was born (1945) in Sydney and raised in the beachfront suburb of Maroubra, but didn’t begin surfing until age 14, after moving with his family two hours north to the New South Wales Central Coast. By 1966, Falzon was working for Sydney-based surf impresario Bob Evans, shooting photos for Evans’s... Read More
Fast, hyper-focused regularfoot pro surfer from Tweed Heads, New South Wales, Australia; world champion in 2007, 2009, and 2013. Fanning was born (1981) in the landlocked Sydney suburb of Penrith, raised in various parts of North Coast New South Wales, first surfed at age five, but didn’t do it regularly until age 12, after his family moved to Tweed Heads, on the Queensland/New South Wales border. Fanning placed third in the junio... Read More
Schizophrenic 1969 surf movie produced by Californians Eric and Lowell Blum for 20th Century Fox, narrated by former Dennis the Menace television star Jay North. The Fantastic Plastic Machine starts off as a travelogue, following La Jolla’s Windansea Surf Club members, including Skip Frye, Steve Bigler, Joey Hamasaki, and Mike Purpus, from Los Angeles to Sydney for an October 1967 team competition against a team of Aus... Read More
Smooth, tightly drawn regularfoot surfer from Sydney, Australia; winner of the 1964 World Surfing Championships, and runner-up in 1968 and 1970; long regarded as the brilliant but bitter patriarch of modern Australian surfing. Bernard Farrelly was born (1944) in Sydney, the son of a taxi driver, and spent the first nine years of his life living in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. He began surfing at age six, on an 18-foot hollow plyw... Read More
First a 1981 best-selling book about life in a Southern California beach-area high school, written by 23-year-old Cameron Crowe and published by Simon and Schuster, then an even bigger hit the following year as a Universal movie. Premier magazine called Fast Times “the quintessential high school film.” Although Fast Times has virtually no surfing, Jeff Spicoli, one of the ensemble characters, is a composite... Read More
Quiet, stocky, prodigiously talented goofyfooter from Baia Formasa, Brazil; 2015 WSL Rookie of the Year; described by surf writer Derek Reilly as “Electric . . . the most naturally ambidextrous surfer on tour; he moves faster, turn to turn, than anybody in the world.” Ferreira, the son of a fish merchant, was born (1994) in the coastal village of Baia Formosa (home also to world tour surfer Jason Andre), and learned to surf... Read More
Rudder-like device attached to the surfboard’s rear bottom surface, singly or in a multifin cluster, to give directional stability, control, and maneuverability. “Surfers as a rule take fins for granted,” surf writer Devon Howard noted in 2005, “But nearly every quantum leap in board design has revolved around the fin and its various configurations.” Before the development of the fin, surfers gained a small... Read More
Pulitzer-prize-winning author and surfer from New York; a New Yorker staff writer since 1987; called the “World Heavyweight Champion of Surf Writing” by Beachgrit’s Derek Rielly in 2015. Finnegan was born (1952) in New York City, and moved with his family as an infant to Los Angeles. He spent most his childhood and teenage years in Southern California but enj... Read More
Stumpy, blunt-nosed, two-finned surfboard design invented by San Diego kneeboarder Steve Lis in 1967, featuring low rocker and a split tail, and later adapted for stand-up surfing; San Diego surfers Jeff Ching and Danny Disell were among the first to try their hands at riding the fish while standing rather than kneeling. While the fish was recognized as a small-wave speed machine—Jim Blears of Hawaii used a 5′ 10″ fish to... Read More
Frizzy-haired Australian surfer and entrepreneur from Narrabeen, Sydney, New South Wales; one of the sport’s premier stylists; winner of the 1975 Australian National Titles and founder of Hot Buttered Surfboards. Fitzgerald was born (1950) in Sydney, the son of a Royal Australian Navy diver, and raised in the suburbs of Helensburgh, Maroubra, and Collaroy. At age 10 he contracted osteomyelitis, a degenerative bone disease, and nearly had... Read More
Athletic regularfoot pro surfer from New South Wales, Australia; world-ranked #2 in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Fitzgibbons was born (1990) and raised in Gerroa, and began surfing at age six with her dad and her three older brothers. She was a star long distance runner in high school, winning a gold medal in track at the 2007 Australian Youth Olympics. Soon after, she turned her laser-beam focus to competitive surfing, winning the 2007 World Junior ... Read More
Well-crafted and wildly popular 1972 surf film made by Californians Greg MacGillivray and Jim Freeman. Although the MacGillivray-Freeman team had been making surf films together for over five years and were regarded as tops in the field, their previous movie, Waves of Change (1968), was a bit lost in the swirl of the early shortboard revolution and had been a box-office disappointment. It was agreed that Five Summer Stories w... Read More
Malibu surfer from the 1950s; part of a small group of teenagers who rode “girl boards”—thinner, lighter, easier-turning balsa boards, forerunners to the Malibu chip, which led to the development of the high-performance climb-and-drop style of surfing. The regularfooted Flaxman learned to ride at Malibu in the summer of 1950 on a custom-made Joe Quigg balsa. “Vicki was athletic and aggressive,” Quigg later reca... Read More
Quiet, mustachioed surfer from Newport Beach, California; one of the state’s few international-caliber surfers in the early and mid-’70s. Flecky was born (1952) in Newport, began surfing in 1965, was California’s top-rated amateur in 1974, and competed sporadically on the pro tour in the late ’70s and early ’80s. A rangy (6′ 1″, 185 pounds) regularfooter with huge feet (size 12), always active o... Read More
Innovative metal-loving goofyfooter from San Clemente, California; an icon in both aerial surfing and surf-rebel extremism. “He’s got tombstones for eyes, and is always bleeding from somewhere,” surf writer Matt George noted. “Anytime Christian Fletcher shows up, an ordinary day suddenly ends.” Fletcher was born (1970) in Kahuku, Oahu, Hawaii, the son of longboarder and surf impresario Herbie Fletcher, gra... Read More
Hustling, media-obsessed surfer/manufacturer/impresario from San Clemente, California; semifinalist in the 1966 World Surfing Championships; leader of the longboard renaissance in the 1970s; owner of Astrodeck traction pads and producer of the Wave Warrior video series; father of aerial specialist Christian and big-wave nutcase Nathan Fletcher. “In rock and roll we’ve got Iggy Pop and Mick Jagger,” surf journalist Ja... Read More
Pedigreed goofyfooter from San Clemente, California; a world-class aerialist early in his career, then a fearless rider of big, dangerous waves. Fletcher was born (1974) in San Clemente, the scion of an influential surf-world family that includes older brother Christian, the sport’s heavy metal aerial pioneer; father Herbie, longboard maestro and surf accessories manufacturer; aunt Joyce Hoffman, twice world-champion; and grandfather Wal... Read More
Hovering, neutral-edged maneuver, where the surfer distributes his weight evenly across the center of the board and “floats” laterally across the whitewater—or on top of the curl as it pitches over—before dropping back down the wave face. Australia’s Mark Sainsbury, 1986 world amateur champion, is often credited as the first to master the floater, but it was Cheyne Horan, also from Australia, and Davey Smith of San... Read More
Lanky pro surfing phenomenon from the North Shore of Oahu; two-time winner of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing; WCT-ranked #3 in 2014, by which time he was regarded by most as the world’s most advanced surfer. “To be this good,” surf writer Brian Roddy wrote, “to be this adored, to have his skills so acknowledged by everyone from Reynolds to Slater, is something of a wonder.” Or as writ... Read More
Globetrotting European pro surfer; world-ranked #8 in 2007. Flores was born (1988) on Reunion Island, moved with his family to Madagascar at age six and, under the tutelage of his father, the intense young regularfooter worked tirelessly to emulate the body language of Tom Curren and Kelly Slater. He was a prodigy, and by age 10 the French-speaking Flores had already signed a contract with Quiksilver and was dividing his time between Australia... Read More
High-profile big-wave rider from the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, whose 1994 death at Maverick’s became one of surfing’s biggest national and international news stories. Foo was born (1958) in Singapore, the son of a Chinese-American photojournalist who worked for the U.S. Foreign Service. He moved with his family to Honolulu at age four, didn’t learn to swim until 10, began surfing the following year, then moved to Rockville... Read More
Relentlessly energetic promoter of the Hawaiian Islands and “the art of surf-riding” in the early 20th century; founder of the Outrigger Canoe Club, surfing’s first organized group. “Alexander Hume Ford is Hawaii’s best booster and the busiest man in the mid-Pacific,” Sunset magazine wrote of Ford in 1917. “You can’t keep the man himself still long enough to really photograph him.”... Read More
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