Bruce Macklin, the Smokesurf Kid: "You get back up inside the tube and it's like making love to the ocean."
  • Bruce Macklin, the Smokesurf Kid: "You get back up inside the tube and it's like making love to the ocean."
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Shifting Sands

The boaters are all for the proposed harbor expansion. Many of them surf themselves, or are ex-surfers who switched to boating in their later years — but they say surfing is a "one-on-one" sport, while boating involves the entire family. A member of the Oceanside Boaters Association claimed before the council that boating saved his family from disintegration, and that the reference to "yachts" by the surfers is irrelevant because "...we have a beer harbor here.”

By Steve Sorensen, March 3, 1977 | Read full article

Chris O'Rourke. He motions for me to touch his head, which I do, gently — three fingertips pressing the lightly yellowed skin above the ear. The skin gives, as though there's nothing behind it but pulp.

A Bump on the Head Could Kill Chris O'Rourke

Even a hands-down winner like Shaun Tomson of South Africa, who earned $20,000 in prize money last year, kept no profit after paying his own travel and living expenses, according to Surfer Magazine. "Shaun Tompson broke even; the rest of them lost money (on the competiions)." Two years ago, O'Rourke took first place in the Western Surfing Association's contest at Black's Beach. "I was supposed to get $400, but they never paid me."

By Joe Applegate, Aug. 3, 1978 | Read full article

Skip Frye got very good at the best possible time for a surfer to attract attention in San Diego.

Skip Frye Is Still Stoked

Marcia Frye, interviewed at Stinger, a cocktail lounge in Pacific Beach that she has managed for the past three years, said she left the children with Skip at first because he had the house, and because he was free in the daytime to look after them. He was very free in the daytime: "You couldn't get him to go to work," she said. "On a sunny day, forget it — he went surfing."

By Joe Applegate, April 14, 1983 | Read full article

Boomer Beach. On the Boomer seawall, a hand-painted message reads: "If you don't bleed here you can't surf here."

Body and Soul and Surf

When it's good, he's in the water by 5:00 a.m. after eating a banana to stave off cramps and provide fuel. He and Pierce are always alone at this hour. but as the sun comes over the horizon, the area fills with board surfers, and O'Neil says it get competitive. The board surfers have caused him to change his style so that he catches waves long before they grow steep and start sucking water.

By Neal Matthews, Sept. 8, 1983 | Read full article

"At age nineteen, Mike Doyle was one of the most talented and versatile surfers in the world — first in California, then in Hawaii."

Paul Stachelek

Making Waves

The board flew up and hit Doyle in the back just before the wave pulled him in and threw him over the falls, helpless as a jellyfish. He hit the bottom hard and thrashed around for a few seconds before he was able to get his feet on something solid. He pushed off the bottom as hard as he could toward the surface, but the water was so frothy from the turbulence that he couldn't get anywhere

By Steve Sorensen, March 15, 1984 | Read full article

Sometime during the night, Gary Keating had given up on surfing and on everything else besides.

This Surfing Life

The fact was suicide, and the victim was a surfer who had attained the status that I was more than eager to ruin my life for. Pictures in the magazines. A steady job at a surf shop. There was speculation, of course, regarding the whys of Gary Keating’s death. A recent commitment to Christianity, some argued, had failed to deliver the goods. A way with women, said others, had never been one of Keating’s strong points.

By Scott Sadil, Dec. 4, 1986 | Read full article

Kaichi will surf anywhere in San Diego, any time. It’s what he came here for.

Rising Sun and Breaking Waves

He hates the Japanese who come to San Diego as tourists and take pictures of SeaWorld and the zoo, calling them “hot dadus,” until someone corrects his English to say “hodads.” He repeats this to himself over and over until it feels natural. It is to his eternal embarrassment to use these words incorrectly, because they are sacred to him, chants to be used among the American natives and shown off among his less hip countrymen.

By Michael Ahn, Aug. 3, 1989 | Read full article

By 1963 Windansea was definitely the place to be.

Wave Gangsters

Socially, Van Artsdalen became a marked man. His reputation as a brawler traveled beyond the predominantly white population of La Jolla to tougher neighborhoods. Butch had already proved himself among the few black people living in La Jolla by playing sports with them at the La Jolla Recreation Center. But there was always someone from across town who wanted a shot at him. Carl Ekstrom remembers a guy from Linda Vista who came looking for Butch one night.

By Hoyt Smith, Nov. 5, 1992 | Read full article

Doyle, 1966. I would get up early in the morning, do an hour of yoga, then go surfing at Swami’s.

In Time for the Morning Glass

Maybe I was a bit harsh, but Tom [Morey] didn’t get offended. Doyle, he said, what you’re talking about is the difference between me and you. I’m a maker, you’re a doer. You don’t want to talk about things, you don’t want to fantasize about things, you want to do things.... But me, I like ideas, and I like tools, and I like to think about how to get them both to do what I want.

By Mike Doyle and Steve Sorensen, December 2, 1993 | Read full article

Marty Horvath: He took me by the neck and thumped me hard, while a bunch of other surfers stood around and watched. “Guys like you who come over here are a dime a dozen."

Walk on Water — Surfers Get Religion

The Christian guys saw right through me. They saw I was screwing up. One of them said to me, “You know, Marty, you’re trickin’ us. You said you believed one thing, but now you’re doing something else. What’s the deal with you?” I didn’t know what to say. 1 was caught between two worlds. So they kicked me out of their room because they didn’t dig my lifestyle. I had to sleep on the couch.

By Marty Horvath with Steve Sorensen, March 3, 1994 | Read full article

bareback adv. Surfing without a wet suit; same as TRUNK IT or SKIN IT. Usage: “I went out bareback yesterday.”

Each Wave Shines like a Diamond

scareamundo adj. scary. schooling tuna v. To dial in on some butter. Usage: “Let’s go school some tuna." see-through wave n. A murky-free, clean curling wave that is backlit by the sun. session n. Any time spent surfing. Also called a “surf session.” shine, shine it, shine on that v. Forget it now. Usage: “Let’s shine this place." “We fully shined it.” “Shine on that. Come to the party.”

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