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Southern California Surfing at its Finest

50′s and 60′s

The reason I lumped these two decades together is because in my opinion they are collectively the greatest years in surfing history. The development and culture of surfing emerged in the modern world during this period. It primarily centered in three specific locations, namely Australia, California, and of course, Hawaii. In the 1950s and early 1960s, surfing had a small following, but through the years, its popularity has obviously climbed throughout the world. I think most, from that time would agree that the one single event that change everything forever was the movie “GIDGET“. After this movie was released in 1959 the whole world saw surfing in a different light. Now it was OK to go surfing, It wasn’t just for “Beach Bum’s”. Gidget was followed by a pile of pretty ridiculous other “surf” movies. The more Hollywood made the more mainstream the sport became, which in turn brought more and more people to the beach. Now to some this was a catastrophe and to others, especially those that discovered what a great stoke you get when surfing it was Heaven. Since I am not an English major I decided to try and show the 50s and 60s through photo’s and video’s. A lot of the photo’s and especially some of the video’s are grainy being they were shot with the old 8mm camera’s of the time and most are basically home movies. Check them out and enjoy a trip back to a more laid-back and free period of time!

Often the best place to surf in the winter, with a west swell, was Rincon. A point break still reknown for it’s shape and long ride.

These were the days when you could park next to the highway and climb down the boulders to the sandy beach. I took this picture on a beautiful day in November 1963.

Looking east from above Malibu Road, across the Malibu Colony as it appeared in the 1960s.

“DA CAT” Miki Dora

Group at Huntington Beach Cliff’s, 1960


John Severson

Dewey Weber,60′s

Mickey Munoz

Robert August

The famous Greg Knoll photo

Riding Giants – The 50′s
Tags: Riding Giants – The 50′s

Well I know this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all that went on in this period and I will from time to time add to this page. It was and still is such a huge era that I could probably devote a entire web site to nothing but this time but maybe another day. Anyway my butt’s numb from sitting on it looking for material so I am going to go get a beer and do some thing standing up for a bit. See you in the next decade!