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Fritz's shot of Duke Kahanamoku, Dr. John “Doc” Ball, Pop Proctor, Nils “Viking” Jensen, Barney Wilkes, Bob “Hammerhead” Gravitch, Jim “Burrhead” Drever, Fritz Watson, and other locals of the day, hanging at the Shack. San Onofre, California.

Frederick (Fritz) Watson was born September 1, 1922 and left us on November 9, 2014 at the age of 92.

In the early days, Fritz rode the redwood boards he shaped and built himself.  He was a life guard at Corona Del Mar beach in the early years when he was not surfing.

He free dove for abalone and lobster along the coast between Corona Del Mar and Laguna for years and worked for Loren Harrison commercially diving for abalone. 

He was really known for his craftsmanship as a woodworker, both in the marine world and for custom homes that needed  a unique touch.

Now that I think about it, he built whatever our family needed - The '59 Chevy bread van (with yacht spec. interior) that we lived in every summer.  The skiff we fished from on Baja trips.
All of our surfboards, until I started to shape my own and every addition of space to our house in Sun Valley ID.

To my knowledge, he and Ted Nicholson, school pals, started going to San Onofre in 1939 to learn to surf.  At that time you could camp on the beach overnight.  He continued going to San O every weekend until we moved to Sun Valley, Idaho in 1963 to ski. But we returned to waves every summer. Pete and I, his sons, grew up at the beach learning to surf and body surf.  He became interested in windsurfing when he was about sixty years old and continued enjoying that sport untill his late 80's.   

In August  2014, a couple of months before he left,  the whole family was at the beach on an unusually warm glassy day.

As Fritz and I sat on a log, feet in the sand, watching the grandkids surf, he looked at me and said "Man, this is really great!" His love affair with the ocean never ended. —Tom Watson 



It's with sadness that we wave farewell to one of surfing's early pioneers, Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz. Not only did helive his life his way, he also spread a message of holistic well-being, surfing's benefits, and love. He leaves behind an amazing eclectic family who each have carved out their own paths in life, ones that Doc would surely approve. Aloha Doc, we know you are smiling wherever you are!

Here are some insights into Doc on The Inertia and also a nice piece on Matt Warshaw's Encyclopedia of Surfing.








Ricky Grigg,
 
supremely confident regularfooter from Honolulu, Hawaii; winner of the 1966 Duke Kahanamoku Invitational, and sometimes referred to as the first big-wave hotdogger. Grigg was born (1937) in Los Angeles, raised in Santa Monica, began surfing at age nine, and by the early ’50s was one of the hottest young surfers at Malibu. In 1955 Grigg won the first annual Catalina-to-Manhattan Beach paddleboard race, a 32-miler that would come to stand as paddleboarding’s supreme test.


Rick passed peacefully around 2:00 this afternoon at his home (May 21, 2014). The Hospice had moved to Rick's place.  He was surrounded by his loved ones.



Our Aloha and Prayers  go with him on that last ride....
Aloha nui loa, Ricky
Dave Rochlen



Roger Yates, Forgotten Island Of Santosha fame, passed away. Roger is pictured here at SHACC with Steve Wilkings. Roger would stop by whenever he was in the area, always high energy and willing to chat with whomever was around. He will be missed.


















Surfing Heritage & Culture Center – Hobie Alter Scholarship Fund


Of all the legends we've recently lost, this one hit closest to home, especially since our own Dick Metz was such a close friend and associate of Hobie's. We all are truly saddened by the passing of this gentle man, and modern creator of so many sports innovations.

Hobart “Hobie” Alter, who started out shaping surfboards, and ended up shaping a culture, passed away peacefully at his Palm Desert home on March 29 surrounded by his loving family. Born on October 31, 1933 in Ontario, California, he was 80 at the time of his passing.

The recently published biography “Hobie: Master of Water, Wind and Waves” reveals the story of this true Renaissance man. The son of a second-generation orange farmer, Hobie flourished spending time at his family’s Laguna Beach summer home. And it was here in the family’s garage back in 1950 where he began his somewhat accidental career by combining his two loves, wood shop and water, crafting handmade 9 foot balsawood surfboards for his friends. Business was good, and his father had grown tired of the sawdust, so in 1954 Hobie would open the area’s first surf shop in Dana Point. But as demand continued to grow, balsawood was becoming scarce, and even with Hobie’s creative assembly line, the wooden board building process was cumbersome. This is where Hobie’s extraordinary gift for self-taught, “outside the box” engineering rose to the challenge. Through a top-secret trial and error process, and along with friend and employee Gordon “Grubby” Clark, Hobie pioneered the development of the foam surfboard. With the lighter and more responsive boards, and his gift for design and commitment to uncompromising quality, Hobie quickly became the number one surfboard brand in the world. The list of legendary surfers and shapers that worked or rode for Hobie is a virtual Hall of Fame and his success is widely considered the launching point for California’s iconic surf industry. Hobie himself was a top surfing competitor.

In the late 1960’s having achieved great success with surfing, Hobie turned his attention to another of his water-based passions. And after much on-the-water R&D, he unveiled his namesake “Hobie Cat” catamaran. This fun, lightweight and affordable craft is credited with bringing high-performance sailing from the yacht club to the masses. “The Cat that Can Fly” could be launched off any beach and soon became one of the world’s top selling sailboats. But his curious mind and constant tinkering didn’t stop there. A few of his other inventions include creating the “Hobie Hawk” a high-performance remote controlled glider (another of his lifetime passions). He also designed the hugely successful Hobie Super Surfer skateboard, sculpted a revolutionary 33-foot mono-hull sailboat, pioneered a “Float Cat” for fly-fishing and built the “Katie Sue” (named for his mother Katie and his wife Susan), an awe-inspiring 60-foot power catamaran from scratch.

As the result of this serial innovation, the name Hobie has come to mean a great deal to the world. But it is the integrity of the person behind the name that has meant so much more to family and friends. A humble man of incomparable character, he made it clear that the one thing of which he was most proud, was his family. His sister recently recalled that their father taught Hobie early on to always tell the truth, no matter the consequence, and that any deal worth doing could be done with a handshake. It was a lesson that Hobie incorporated into every aspect of his personal and professional life, and one that he passed on to his own children as well as those that interacted with him in his various enterprises. He was incredibly giving of his love, his time, his resources and his expertise. Always the first to do whatever was necessary to help those in need. Yet he never wanted any accolades or recognition. His kindness, sage counsel and generosity literally transformed countless lives. But as he was quick to say, “A lot of people helped me along the way, I’m just trying to return the favor”.

In discussing the future with friends as a young man Hobie declared that he wanted to make a living without having to wear hard-soled shoes or work east of California’s Pacific Coast Highway. By “Making people a toy and giving them a game to play with it” he was able to realize this dream. And in the process, he introduced an active outdoor lifestyle and collection of products that made the world just a bit more fun. Hobie’s passing will leave an incredible void in the world of surfing, sailing and watersports. But as with any great author, actor or artist, the legacy of his work, and the strong wake of his innovations will live on forever. And for his family and friends, the lessons he taught, the quiet, moral and ethical example he set and the lingering warmth of his abiding love will comfort them as long as they live.

With his loving wife Susan at his side, Hobie lived life as an adventure spending years on the lakes and ski slopes of McCall, Idaho, navigating the Katie Sue through the channels near their home in Orcas Island, Washington and hitting the links at Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert, California. In addition to Susan, he is survived by his sisters Carolyn and Lillian, his daughter Paula and her partner Ian, son Hobie Jr. and his wife Stephanie, son Jeff and his wife Laurie, grandchildren Cortnie and her husband Dylan, Brittany, Scotty, Cody, Ashlyn, Tyler, Noelle and Justin, great-granddaughter Serena, and many close friends that were always made to feel like they were immediate family.

Hobie received the Waterman Achievement award from the Surfing Industry Manufacturers Association in 1993, was inducted into the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame in 1997 and admitted as an inaugural member of the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2011 alongside Dennis Connor and Ted Turner.

You can learn more about Hobie on our website HEREHERE and HERE.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider a donation to either:


Surfing Heritage & Culture Center – Hobie Alter Scholarship Fund




Sport of Kings Foundation – in Memory of Hobie Alter
PO Box 2499 Capistrano Beach, CA 92624

Orcas Island Community Foundation – Deer Harbor Volunteer Fire Department– in Memory of Hobie Alter
Mail donations to: Barbara Bedell ℅ Fire Station 24, PO Box 370, Deer Harbor, WA 98243



Dick “Mo” Meine, a Manhattan Beach home builder, was an original member of the Palos Verdes Surf Club and began surfing redwood boards at Bluffs Cove in the mid 1930s. In the mid ‘60s, Meine started “The International Surfing Magazine” out of Hermosa Beach with photographer and fellow Palos Verdes Surf Club member and Hermosa Beach Surf Walk of Fame inductee Leroy Grannis, editor Dick Graham, and surf filmmaker Bud Browne. The magazine evolved into “Surfing Magazine.” Meine continued to surf Bluffs Cove through his late 70s.





Matt Kivlin's Californian and Hawaiian peers respected him as the best California surfer of the postwar '40s into the 1950s. Many point to him as the originator of the classical California point style: riding small, perfectly peeling waves with knees and ankles together and slightly flexed, torso upright, arms gracefully spread low and balanced, slotted deep, in perfect trim and control."


"Kivlin built boards for that type of surfing, thin-railed blades with speedy pointed outlines-boards foam impresario Gordon Clark regards as being closely related to the modern equipment of today, but over fifty years ago! All surfing that followed Kivlin was either directly or indirectly influenced by his approach."–Steve Pezman

The surfing world lost a genuine legend, Kivlin passed away from complications from pneumonia on Sunday, March 9. Photo: Joe Quigg, Matt Kivlin, and Tom Zahn, returning from Hawaii on the Lurline. March 1948. Photo: Joe Quigg collection 


Natalie Kotsch never surfed, but she was one of surfing's biggest supporters. She and co-founder, Ann Beasley both shared a love for the ocean and for their home town of Huntington Beach. They opened the International Surfing Museum in 1987. The ISM has played host to a number of first-class exhibits as well as establishing "Surfin' Sundays," a series of free concerts that featured top artists such as Dick Dale.  In recognition of her work, Huntington Beach named Natalie Citizen of the Year in 1991 and in 1998 she was inducted into the Surfing Walk of Fame. Then, in 2013, Huntington Beach gave Natalie its highest honor, a Key to City. Natalie passed away on February 20, 2014, after a long bout with cancer. She was 75. 

Bruce Jones, passed away after suffering a heart attack on January 14, 2014. Bruce was there at Hobie's, during the golden age of the mid 1960's, when the best shaping talent in surfing history was gathered in one place: Phil Edwards, Dale Velzy, Terry Martin, John Gray and Ralph Parker, among others. Starting in the gluing department, Bruce worked his way into rough shaping and then into the actual shaping room and lost no time in getting help from everyone involved.

In the mid to late 60's, Bruce moved to Huntington Beach, where he shaped for Vardeman Surfboards, doing all the Jackie Baxter Models, which to this day are considered rare collector's items, being the first board on the west coast to combine the low tail rails of the Hawaiian Gun (for speed), with a refined longboard outline and eventually a turned down, flat-bottom nose for superb nose riding (influenced by the famous Morey/Pope John Peck Penetrator model). 

Top photo of Bruce is from the Shapers Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Bottom photo: December, 1965, Rocky Point. Both photos: Leo Hetzel

Here's Bruce's website: http://www.brucejones.com/history.htm


Montgomery “Buttons” Kaluhiokalani, lost his battle with cancer on November 2, 2013. Surfer Magazine did a nice write up with a link to a recent interview with him that you can access HERE. And Surfline has a great pictorial HERE and then check out a VIDEO on Matt Warshaw's Encyclopedia of Surfing. Buttons was new school before new school existed, throwing skateboard moves on waves, along with Bertlemann, and Mark Liddle, that would inspire the Dog Town crew and vice-versa. 

There will be a memorial and paddleout on Saturday November 9, 11:30am-3pm in Malibu, at Surfrider beach. Celebrate the life of Buttons Kaluhiokalani and support his wife Hiriata Hart and family.




Shaper Bruce Grant, passed away quite unexpectedly on October 29. We had just seen Bruce at our hosting of the Longboard Collectors Club meeting at the SHACC just a few days earlier. There will be a paddle out on Nov. 16 at 3pm at Torrance Beach, just down the ramp of the parking lot. Here's a nice piece Surfline.com did on Bruce. RIP Bruce Grant







Bob Meistrell, co-founder of Dive N' Surf and Body Glove wetsuits, along with his brother Bill, passed away at the age of 84 (Bill left this world back in 2006). Both are inductees in both the diving and surfing halls of fame, and were awarded the Surf Industry Manufacturer Association (SIMA) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. The brothers were avid surfers and all around watermen. Bob was also awarded Redondo Beach's Man of the Year award, through his efforts to replace the bust of surfing pioneer, George Freeth. Body Glove is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, you can find a great timeline on their history by clicking HERE
Bob will be honored on Sept 15, 2013. The paddleout will start at 9 a.m. just south of the pier, then, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the memorial will move to Seaside Lagoon. It’s open to the public and is sure to be a huge event for the South Bay. In addition, the City of Redondo Beach is putting up life size statues of both brothers in their honor, if you’d like to contribute to this historic monument, please click here for more info: http://www.bodyglove.com/blog/help-redondo-beach-preserve-body-gloves-history/

Surfer and surfboard design legend Allan Byrne, 64, has died in a Balinese hospital after a motorcycle accident last Friday left him with a broken arm and fractured skull.   AB was in Bali to compete in the Rip Curl Padang Padang Cup.

He initially seemed in good spirits after the unwitnessed accident, but lapsed into unconsciousness soon after being taken to hospital and had since suffered bleeding and swelling on the brain.

Wife Jane and their three sons, along with brother Ian, were at his side.


Al was renowned for his mastery of the complex six-channel concave surfboard design, which blew minds under numerous surfers' feet in the late 1970s and 1980s and continues to be sought after by clients both high-profile and hardcore.

He was also a complete tube pig whose second place at the 1981 Pipe Masters was just one highlight in a life spent getting barrelled in Indonesia, Hawaii and on the magical Gold Coast points, where he made his home from 1975.

It is understood AB shrugged off ill-health in order to get a crack at Padang's pits with only three other people in the water -- a typical move for a surfer who celebrated his 60th birthday with a tow-in session at 20-foot-plus Phantom Reef in Hawaii.

Social media has been lit up with messages of hope from around the surfing world since news of the accident broke this week. However, Al's condition took a turn for the worse this morning and he passed away quietly a few hours ago. (Posted on Surfline.com on August 8, 2013. Photo: Andrew Kidman)

Dave Heiser passed away this week (July 15, 2013). He was a true waterman, big wave surfer, lifeguard, volleyball player . He graduated from USC, lettering in gymastics and swimming. He assisted Bud Browne in getting the southern california lineups, and was a teacher at John Adams in Santa Monica. His last few years were spent in a wheelchair as a result of a stroke, but he could be seen daily in Palisades Park talking story and visited by all his friends. RIP Dave — Cary Weiss (Dave Heiser, second from left)
In 1946, fame was in the future for several new Santa Monica lifeguards/interview of Dave Heisen in 2008: http://www.latimes.com/features/la-ig-lookback20-2008jul20,0,686351.story



Andy "AJ" Jones passed away this week. Here's a shot of AJ from back in the day and some details on his service. We'll be posting more info and remembrances soon.



Longtime supporter and good friend of Surfing Heritage, Tom “TJ” Johnston passed away in the hospital from complications due to pneumonia. TJ started coming by for a visit about the same time Surfing Heritage opened its doors here in San Clemente back in 2005. Always cheerful, he’d invariably ask, “So how’s the Old Fart doing?” referring to his longtime friend and Surfing Heritage Founder, Dick Metz. TJ had a knack of just missing Dick by 10 minutes on nearly every visit but that didn’t deter him from taking a little time to chat with each of us or to introduce himself to those he hadn’t met yet. And I might be wrong but–every time we saw him, he was getting shorter and shorter and his socks were getting higher and higher–at some point he was going to become a baseball cap and a pair of socks! We’re going to really miss his visits.
Tom “TJ” Johnston was born in Lancaster, Ohio, on November 13, 1924. When TJ was 3, his family moved to Santa Ana but it wasn’t until high school that TJ began to dabble with surfing. During WWII, TJ started to surf more seriously while stationed in Hawaii. After the war, TJ gravitated to June Lake where he taught history but was summoned to Mammoth Mountain in the early 1950s, to tutor Dave McCoy’s kids (McCoy founded the Mammoth ski resort). Skiing would become another passion for TJ, along with photography and soon TJ took over the business management at Mammoth as well as becoming their official photographer. TJ finally returned to California around 2005.


TJ took this photo of the Beckett sisters skinny dipping at Sano in 1973. It was the last shot on the roll, so no "water exit" shots exist. 

Longtime Sano regular, Gwen “Honey Baby” Waters, had this to say about TJ: “It’s hard to imagine life without TJ, after being friends for probably 70 years. He was a guy who cared enough to keep in touch, dispensing a little advice, and he would always be on time–to the minute–now that’s dependable! A fond farewell to a really good friend.”




Esther Williams, 







Sally Yater passed away today, May 1, 2013. Sally owned the Bikini Factory in Summerland, CA, but most will  recognize the Yater name from (Reynold) Yater Surfboards of Santa Barbara. Sally was Renny's longtime wife and mother of Lauren Yater. Not only was Sally a seamstress, she was also a cook and author. You can read some of her recipes HERE. On the rare occasion, she would accompany Renny on his trips down the coast, stopping by the Surfing Heritage on their way to the various shops that carried the Yater label. She was always a sweetheart, very polite, and you just knew she and Renny were a great couple. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to Renny and the Yater family, she will be greatly missed.


Annette Funicello (October 22, 1942 – April 8, 2013) was an American actress and singer. Beginning her professional career as a child performer at the age of twelve, Funicello rose to prominence as one of the most popular "Mouseketeers" on the original Mickey Mouse Club. As a teenager, she transitioned to a successful career as a singer with the pop singles "O Dio Mio," "Tall Paul" and "Pineapple Princess", as well as establishing herself as a film actress, popularizing the successful "Beach Party" genre alongside co-star Frankie Avalon during the mid-1960s. In 1992, Funicello announced that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She died from complications of the disease on April 8, 2013. 

   
Jeff Harris, 56, of Newport Beach, brother, dearest friend, leader, ally, musician, uncle to many, cohort, wingman and inspiration left us suddenly, Tuesday, March 5, 2013. His smile, wit, loyalty, laugh, intelligence, instinct, talent, passion, artistry and optimism will be with us forever. Jeff had the rare blessing of living his passions and dreams every day. His talent and craftsmanship on the ground and sheer artistry in the air were legendary. The travel bug bit him early, taking him to every corner, and surf spot on the globe. His passion for flying continued that dream, both as a longtime pilot for American Airlines, and as one of the most talented and prolific private and vintage war bird pilots and restoration experts in the country. Jeff's insistence on perfection was always apparent, whether in designing and building a masterpiece custom home or restoring and flying historic aircraft. A humble yet very friendly and outgoing lad, "Hareball" could strike up a conversation and hold court with anyone, anywhere. He surely had his opinions on most subjects and was not hesitant to share them. His love for the water drew him to many exotic destinations, and also to his beloved Beacon Bay, where he was a longtime and beloved figure; and where he was building his dream home and future. Jeff often talked about hanging out in his garage/workshop at retirement, holding court and building fine guitars. Whether you knew him a day or a lifetime, he was your friend, mentor and entertainer. 

Jeff leaves behind his sister, Kirby Carol Harris; brother, David Harris (Kathy); twin sister, Jeanne Harris (Jim); nieces, Cindy Wall (Rob) and Erin Hay (Brooke); great niece and nephew, Julia and Ian Wall; and many friends, worldwide. He was preceded in death by his mom, Kirby Harris and dad, David B. Harris. A memorial service was held Saturday, April 6.

Donations in memory of Jeff may be made to Surfing Heritage, of which he was a founding member CLICK HERE TO DONATE


Buzz Sutfin passes away

From Buzz's widow, Jen:

Hello, Everyone, Our hearts are breaking as we are writing this to tell you that our wonderful Buzz, husband, father, and friend to all, passed away peacefully Sunday afternoon. We are reeling because it was so sudden, but after speaking with his doctors, we now understand that the suddenness was a gift to him and to us, because the decline would have taken months but would have been inevitable.

Buzz left us while he was his strong and happy and hilarious self, which is exactly how he would have wanted it to be. Sadie and Mackenzie will be home until Sunday, so we have decided to schedule a Remembrance this Saturday, March 30, at Buzz's favorite place: our home!  

This event will be "Buzz-style" (casual clothes, flipflops, no schedule or formal speeches) and will be open house between 4:30 and 8PM. Stop by anytime for a hello, stay a little while or all evening and be sure to bring your favorite Buzzy stories or photos if you have them! 

There are no words to describe how very much Buzz loved everyone on this list and how much we appreciate the loving words and caring support  you have all given us during these last weeks. We love you all so much and look forward to seeing you either Saturday or another time if you are not able to see us there. Love from Jen, Mackenzie, and Sadie


From the Memorial coordinator, Mary Simpson:

Good evening everyone.
Thanks for all of your kind wishes and emails.  We have been coordinating with Jenifer about Saturday - and she would like to do a "pot-luck" style evening.  So in addition to bringing your favorite Buzzy story, feel free to bring your favorite dish to share (or wine to share).

In order to make sure that we reach everyone who would want to attend and help, please reach out to others who know the Sutphin's to let them know about the event.  Please ask them to make sure any dish they wish to bring is ready to serve, as we won't be able to cook or re-heat anything.  It can be an appetizer-style dish, salad or dessert --whatever is their specialty    We will have serving utensils and tables set up.  They can bring it when they arrive - no need to bring anything early.  

We will have beer, water, lemonade and sparkling water.  We will have some wine - but if anyone would like to bring a bottle, that would be welcome.
Kristin will be coordinating all of the paper products.
Bob Rohde is bringing ice.
We have tables coming as well - and will be setting up on Friday.

If you have any questions, feel free to email <jmasimpson@roadrunner.com> me or you can call me at 760-522-8178.  

I thank you so much for all of your support, and I look forward to seeing you on Saturday.
Warm regards,
Mary


Daryl "Doggie" Diamond (1946-2013)
By TSJ
Daryl "Doggie" Diamond, a highly skilled Dana Point surfer of the 60s has passed away. He was one of the best surfers in Orange County as evidenced in 1960s Ron Stoner photos of him carving, and riding the tip at Neepees (a surf spot now covered up by Dana Point harbor). Lifelong friends with the Fletcher family, Dibi described him as the best surfer at Doheny, and because of his stunning good looks "We called him The Doheny dreamboat. He was perfect, perfect hair, perfectly ironed shirts, a perfectly kept, immaculate black VW, and well-mannered. He wouldn't let Herbie and I sit in his car for fear of messing it up. At the time that intrigued me because none of the surfers we knew were neat and tidy. They were all slobs. He had the biggest surf knots of anyone we knew. His beautiful 'can do anything' wife Shirlene was the rock in his life." His son Eric became a well-known surfer, and designer for Quiksilver and Billabong. In his 20s he was a competitor in Hawaii at the Makaha contest and was known along the California coast as the Clark Foam blank delivery truck driver. As friend Tom Mckray described him "'The Dog' was a good guy. Skier, Surfer, Hunter, and Beer Drinker (16 oz. Buds). He will be missed."
diamond
Diamond at Makaha. Photo: Ron Stoner/Surfer archive



Denny Waller passes away
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Corky Carroll recall's in an article in the 18 May 2006 issue of the Orange County Register:
"Surfing at the Newport Beach River Jetty......a few locals surfed there all the time.  The most notable was a dude named Denny Waller.  They called him the 'River Rat' because he was always there"
I worked side-by-side (well shift-opposite-shift) with Denny Waller at Dave Sweet Surfboards in the sixties.  And remember firsthand all those phases and changes that Dave and Denny made at the shop.

There was always just enough sibling type rivalry between Denny and I to make it interesting:  competing for who did the best in the latest contest or who starred in “Another Top Surfer” Dave Sweet ad.  Or even who was getting what-hours-when in the showroom.

When I mentioned to Denny my idea for a gag in the film I was making, Denny volunteered his girlfriend (and his hand) for the “Backside Bottom Turn” in “The Living Curl”.  Denny is also featured driving his Porche up Highway 1 at step-frame speeds.

When I re-released “The Living Curl” in 2008, Denny and I talked via telephone and emails. He seemed the same as he ever was: getting Dave Sweet Surfboards online, selling memorabilia and even getting a few “classic” boards made for Dave.

It seems like he was always there and involved in the spirit of those pioneering days of ‘60’s surfing.   Denny and his energy will be missed.
Jamie Budge

Mark Fragale, legendary surfing collector, author, historian and friend writes:
"Shortly after the birth of their son in 1964, Bonnie Sweet left the retail end of the operation and moved her accounting duties to the home front. Taking over, as manager of the surf shop was Sweet Surf Team member, Denny Waller. Waller helped with the expansion when Sweet moved his showroom to the corner building of the 14th and Olympic location and created one of the most esthetically appealing surf shops of all time. Waller was also one of the few privy to the secrets of the foam room and often helped Sweet with design concepts and board testing. As shop manager, Waller was in charge of the increasing mail order business that Sweet was starting to accrue. He would correspond, answer questions, process orders and then pack and ship the new out-of-state bound surfboards. Sweet also sent Waller to the East Coast for a summer of promoting in 1966 to fuel the burgeoning new market starting along the shores of the Atlantic. Denny Waller managed Sweet's shop until 1968, when he walked away from surfing in protest of leashes and short boards. Waller did not surf again for 14 years. He began his comeback in 1982 in the traditional way, single fin longboard sans leash with paraffin on the deck, and continues with the old style to this day. It was 32 years before Denny Waller and his old friend, Dave Sweet, reunited in 2000."

Since then, Denny continued to represent all things Dave Sweet in the most professional manner.

So, Aloha no, Denny, I so much respect you for your devotion to Dave Sweet, the Surf Team and your friends. I know you are riding deep, no leash, no wetsuit-old style brudda. You da bes.....
Dave Rochlen




Henry Preece
Attending HENRY PREECE'S celebration of life were, GREG NOLL, BUFFALO KEAULANA, PETER COLE, RENO ABILLERA, KIMO HOLLINGER, AND EARL DAHLIN, just to name a few. Surfing's royalty.


When crowds at Makaha chased Noll and his friends to the North Shore, one fateful day, they spotted a young Hawaiian named Henry Preece surfing all alone at Haleiwa. When he invited them to join him, the stage was set for a shift in emphasis from Makaha to the wide-open spaces of Haleiwa and beyond. Over the next few years, Noll and other Californians pioneered the various North Shore surf spots. Belovedly known as the “Mayor of Haleiwa”, there is  park bench in Henry’s honor, at Haleiwa’s Ali’i Beach Park on the North Shore.




Two legends that are no longer with us, Donald Takayama and Harold Iggy. photo: LeRoy Grannis Collection, LLC
(please note: these photos are copyrighted and watermarked and may not be reproduced without permission)
Donald Takayama's Memorial Service

There are photos of Donald posted here: www.hawaiianprodesigns.com and R.I.P. Donald Takayama 1943-2012).

To view photos taken at the Oceanside Pier ceremony held on November 10, you can click Here.

Go Here to read Matt Warshaw's entry on Donald in the Encyclopedia of Surfing




Remembering Mike Riedel
Dick Metz called to say a mutual friend had passed on, Mike Riedel. "When?" "A week or two ago."

Who today knows of this fine Malibu surfer, a great guy. Dick asked me to put some thoughts together. 

What I've written doesn't particularly go somewhere. It’s just writing... and by so doing–remembering and yearning.

For no other reason than that he stood 6'4" (if he'd ever really stood up straight) and was lean, we called him; 'The Noodle'.

I met Noodle somewhere in and-around spring, Malibu, 1954. Maybe by a beach fire, or in the line up yakking between sets. 

He was a smooth and graceful surfer. 

Although not someone you'd particularly notice from the beach, his skill was well-respected by his peers; one of a handful of hot West LA guys I'd occasionally see at Malibu: Bailey, Hopkins, Bullis, Schurmer and Riedel. 

And, beyond many, Noodles had top-notch wave savvy.

Looking back, he maybe should have been called 'The Guide', for showing all of us "who was who" and "what was and wasn't worthwhile".  And demonstrating that–with very little effort–gloves, a dive mask and tennis shoes; instead of catching waves off the Malibu reef, you could pick off good-sized lobsters!

In his final years, he served as resident guide in an up-scale Idaho fishing resort, a job he thoroughly loved.

Mike entered USC a couple years after me and we hung out often... Mostly hung out getting out of there to surf Swamis, Malibu, or Rincon.

Then one by one, the opposite sex picked us off. In Mikes’ case I think it was even before finishing college. I moaned when it happened. He'd hooked up with a Mormon girl, Marilyn. Nice enough gal and not that I have anything against Mormons. I moaned because of all friends, the Noodle seemed least likely to give up drink.

And I'll add it wasn't so much drink, it was about Mike no longer being a bachelor. Gone. If you wanted to hang out with him, it was at his house with all the domestication. Before then, if you went to dinner with Mike Riedel, you'd know you'd really been somewhere and done something special... even if it was just to El Cholo where you always went.  Riedel was perhaps the best host, most conversationally entertaining human I've ever known. You felt very alive and comfortable with him... and continuously entertained!

In any case, he did give up drink. And stuck with it for many, many years during which time he and Marylyn spawned a whole pastel of kids; now of course, all grown. At least two of them became prominent in the surf world, shaper Stretch Riedel and promoter, Clark Riedel.

In 1958 or 59, I wrangled a job with Douglas Aircraft. After a few months, I got Riedel a job there too. Although, like me, his experience didn't extend much beyond surfboard repair, he was able to fake his way along for several years and surely did some good. 

We played chess at lunch, ate often at the Chatum in West LA and occasional ditched out to surf Malibu.

Various times and places along the way, Mike, ever the wood working hobbiest, became a surfboard shaper for Dave Sweet, carved beautiful rifle stocks, and in the early days of epoxy resin, came up with use of an electric bar-b-que rotary to flow epoxy continuously around the base of fishing pole eyes (all of them at once!) to hold them to the pole instead of laboriously binding them on with fine lines of cord one at a time.

Years passed, families grew, marriages dissolved and Mike remarried Vickie. They moved to Idaho where they bought a very high-end fishing magazine, which they published for decades.

A couple of years back Mike visited me here in San Clemente. I was somewhat shocked to find he was no longer 'The Noodle'. Back problems followed by operations had cut him down to about 5'10", badly stooped over. But inside, he was the same humorous pal. That was good.

A year or so ago I wrote him that Anning had passed, three or four months ago Ken Price, and then a month or two, Tubesteak. After that he wrote back he was soon to follow, "Cancer has me by the balls, I've very little time left". I emailed my good byes briefly, over the years we had already enjoyed plenty of quality correspondence. 

Of what might be considered a kind of set of 1935-37 Malibu waves, Bill Bullis, Scott Schurmer, J.J.  Moon, Lynn Bailey, Bill Hopkins, Karl Pope and I remain. 

Frankly I feel the draft...  look more forward to a major transition than a continuation of progressive decline. And, there's always the possibility of transcending from grub to butterfly.

So long for now, Mike Riedel, Terry Tracy, Kenny Price, John Anning, and Bobby Patterson.
—Tom Morey


From Drew Kampion
This note is intended to reach folks on my list who know or are familiar with Danny Calohan, one of the partners and the principle shaper for Plastic Fantastic Surfboards from 1968 to 1972.

Danny lives up in my area, here in the Pacific Northwest of the US. We've had a few road trips together in the past 10 years, primarily to serve at judges for the Clean Water Classic surf contest in Westport, Washington. In between those events we've stayed in loose contact.

A gifted wood artist and carpenter, Danny's had his share of physical challenges over the past few years, but I was stunned to receive this message from his daughter Sarah:

"I'm incredibly sad to inform you that my father is not going to be with us much longer. We recently found out that he has lung cancer that has metastasized to his adrenal gland; he doesn't have more than a couple months.

"I hate to ask this of you, but I was wondering if you could contact some of the ol' gang and let them know. He isn't completely lucid, but he has his moments. If anyone has any pictures or memories to share, I think that would really brighten up his last days. I'm sure you know this about him, but he never stopped missing the good ol' days. Thank you for being a friend. 

"Aloha and Mahalo,
Sarah Lina"

So ... if you would like to send Danny something, the address is: 
Melissa & Daniel Calohan
P.O. Box 2631
Friday Harbor, WA 98250

  
Eddie Bertrand, the guitarist from the Bel Airs died. The Bel-Airs were an early and influential surf rock band from Southern California, active in the early 1960s. They were best known for their 1961 hit "Mr. Moto", an instrumental surf rock song that featured a flamenco inspired intro and contained a melodic piano interlude. (excerpt from Wikipedia)



Bobby being interviewed by Colby Klink, at the opening of "The Innovations of Hobie" exhibit. photo: Linda Michael
A founding member of the Pacific Beach Surf Club in the late 1950s, Bobby "Challenger" Thomas took over Challenger Surfboards and made it one of the most successful surfboard manufacturers of the late 1960s. After a detour into the financial sector in the 1980s, Thomas returned to San Diego to sponsor surf tournaments, advise the PB Surf Club and even compete in surfing contests. Mr. Thomas died in Escondido on Sept. 16 of complications from lung disease. He was 69.

To read the rest of the article in UT San Diego, CLICK HERE


LeRoy Grannis, Whitey Harrison, and Terry Tracy. photo: Leo Hetzel

Surfing legend, Terry "Tubesteak" Tracy passed away on August 22, 2012. Also known as the "Mayor of Malibu", Tubesteak was the inspiration for "The Kahuna", Cliff Robertson's character in Gidget. Tubesteak was infact responsible for giving Kathy Kohner the nickname of "Gidget", on first seeing young Kathy, he yelled out, "hey look, it's a girl midget, a Gidget!" They soon became good friends. Tracy built the first shack at Malibu in 1959 and infact lived there for two summers. There were a lot of characters at Malibu, but Tubesteak was the character of characters. Tubey, we will miss you! 

For more on the Tubesteak era at Malibu, go to:


Long time supporter, Richard "The Fox" Mobley passed away earlier this year, on March 9. There was a paddleout and celebration of his life on July 17, 2012, at 22nd St in Hermosa Beach with a party for over 400+ at the King Harbor Yacht Club in Redondo Beach. In attendance were many well known surfers from La Jolla, Hawaii, Santa Cruz and elsewhere. Richard will again be honored this September at the Annual Windansea Reunion and Luau. To read our tribute, please click:
http://www.surfingheritage.org/2012/03/richard-fox-mobley-1941-2012.html

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1 Comments:

Anonymous surfboard brands said...

For many folks, surfing is a passion and a romance. It can be thrilling; it can be deceitful. Just like love, one might say. If you're near a beach, chances are that you are smitten with the idea of surfing

May 8, 2014 at 11:40 PM  

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