Tag: surfing experiences

The Biggest Wave Ever Ridden: Greg Noll at Makaha, 1969

When I moved to Pacific Beach in April of 1970 they were still talking about it: the epic swell of winter 1969. To the locals I had just missed the swell of the century. A swell whereby three separate North Pacific storms merged to create near-hurricane force winds blowing across a broad stretch of the North…

Unbounded Courage: the First Surfers to Ride Waimea Bay

When I was a young surfer I read about the first surfers to ride Waimea Bay in 1957. Surfers at that time were too afraid to surf Waimea, and for good reason.From the beach Waimea appeared too big, too fast, too steep and just generally too treacherous to ride. Add to that a raging rip current, sharky waters, and the presence of a church on the point and a Hawaiian heiau in the valley and it all added up to a scary, forbidden place.

Getting Busted Surfing at Fort Point, 1973

Early 1973 Awakened by stones hitting my window I grab my clock, it’s 5AM! Wow and a school day too. I grab my board and wetsuit and pile into the car with Jeff Chamberlain and Sam George as we drive over to the city; San Francisco that is. There is a slight haze on the…

Cortes Bank: the Largest Wave on the Planet

…Dawn’s early light revealed a shimmering plume of spray. A Himalayan peak rose to life far off the bow. It was shaped like a great, volcanic cone– 43 million pounds of water, terrible and unrideable. Its foam exploding an unknowable number of feet into the air and churned the surrounding water into a 360-degree maelstrom…

Demise of the Dawn Patrol and the Search for Uncrowded Waves

Dawn Patrol.  N. The act of getting up extremely early – sometimes before sunrise – to go surfing. Searching for uncrowded waves. September, 1970, Pacific Beach,California  You know the drill. Wake up to tapping on my window by my surf buddy, Neal. Dark outside, 4:30 AM. Grab my board and head down to the beach. Riding through…

Aiming for the Ultimate: Riding the Tube

The first thing that got my attention was how the noise of the crashing wave suddenly went silent. … Another interesting aspect was how everything seemed to slow down. This slow motion sensation, combined with the silence, had me wondering whether I had entered a different world from the one outside the tube. The most…

Early Surfing at Fort Point

One of my most memorable surfing experiences, and possibly one of the most dangerous, occurred at Fort Point in 1973: an unusual surf spot located underneath the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. These days, Fort Point is well known as an overly crowded and heavily localized surf spot — not a friendly place to paddle…