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Southern California Surfing at its Finest

1980′s

SurfPedia™ History of Surfing

by Skip Snead

1980
*New Years Day. Three surfers (Aka Hemmings, Dale Hope and Tommy Holmes paddle a canoe out to Outside Avalanche on the North Shore of Oahu. With waves crashing in the 20-foot-pluz zone, they attempt to catch a wave on the canoe but fail miserably. Hope breaks his arm and the stunt is never attempted again there again.
*Mark Richards wins second consecutive world title and the Pipeline Masters.
*Margo Oberg reclaims women’s world championship title.
*Australian Simon Anderson invents three-fin Thruster.
*Greg Hughlin’s Fantasea is released.

1981
*Mark Richards wins third consecutive World Title.
*Tom Curren, a teen from Santa Barbara, becomes the NSSA Southwest division amateur champion.
*Margo Oberg wins her third World Title.
*Simon Anderson wins three world tour events (Bells, The Coke and the Pipeline Masters) on his three-fin invention and the design quickly becomes the fin configuration of choice for surfers the world over.
*Stephen Spaulding’s Bali High is released.
*Chris Bystrom’s Pacific Dreams is released.
*Scott Dittrich’s Tale of the Seven Seas is released.

1982
*Fast Times at Ridgemont High is released.
*The Bermuda short is introduced as new wave style hits new heights.
*Jack McCoy, David Lourie and Dick Hoole release Storm Riders.
*The ASP Association of Surfing Professionals replaces the IPS as the governing body of professional surfing.
*Australian Cheyne Horan wins the first Op Pro in Huntington Beach, CA.
*Hawaii’s Michael Ho wins the Pipeline Masters.
*California’s Debbie Beacham wins women’s World Title.
*Mark Richards wins fourth consecutive world title and sets world record.

1983
*Australian shaper Geoff McCoy and touring Aussie pro Cheyne Horan team up and create the “Tear Drop” shape Cheyne Horan single fin.
*Mark Foo rides Waimea for the first time.
*El Nino wreaks havoc on California but stokes out surfers up and down the coast with huge waves and epic conditions for weeks on end.
*Chris Bystrom’s Blazing Boards is released.
*Jack McCoy, David Lourie and Dick Hoole release Kong’s Island, featuring Australian up and comer Gary Elkerton and friends.
*Michael Ho wins the Hawaiian Triple Crown.
*Tom Curren wins his first pro contest and is off to a lucrative pro career.
*California’s Kim Mearig wins the women’s ASP World Title.
*Tom Carroll of Australia wins the ASP World Title on a thruster.

1984
*Sixteen-year-old Mark Occhilupo busts onto the ASP World Tour and makes it all the way to the top of the ASP ratings halfway through the year.
*Average size of the surfboard drops down to 6’0″.
*Surfing as an industry reaches new heights in Japan with more surf shops in Tokyo than there are in all of Hawaii.
*Quiksilver hires Brian Bleak to film a movie project and Mad Wax is born.
*Florida’s Frieda Zamba wins women’s ASP World Title.
*Australian Tom Carroll wins second consecutive ASP World Title.

1985
*First ever wave pool surf contest is held. Two-time world champ Tom Carroll wins the World Inland Championships, in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
*Alec Cooke (aka Ace Cool) is lowered into the water at Outside Pipeline by helicopter. Although he only caught a few waves, he still made his way into the surfing history books.
*A 48-foot closeout slams Waimea Bay during one of the largest swell in years catching a tight knit crew of surfers inside. Some of the surfers, including Mark Foo, Ken Bradshaw and James Jones, fight tooth and nail for survival, and some were even rescued by helicopter. Eventually everyone made it shore but not without having their life flash before their eyes.
*California’s Tom Curren becomes the first American to win the world title since Rolf Aurness in ’70.
*Florida’s Frieda Zamba wins second consecutive women’s ASP World Title.

1986
December 9. Billabong Pro at Pipeline is huge and nasty. Two well-known Australian surfers, Gary Green and Bryce Ellis, refuse to paddle out while four-time world champion Mark Richards comes out of retirement to not only win the contest but to catch the biggest wave of his life.
*Sixteen-year-old Nicky Wood wins the Rip Curl Easter Classic at Bells Beach, Australia to become the youngest surfer in history to win an ASP event.
*Islas de Todos Santos, a small island chain 20 miles off the coast of Ensenada, Baja, Mexico, is discovered and surfed. It quickly becomes the most popular big wave spot outside of Hawaii.
*Surfing makes national headlines when a riot breaks out during the finals of the Op Pro. Mark “Occy” Occhilupo wins the war, Huntington Beach cops lose the battle, and the sport of surfing loses some credibility.
*Hawaiian Derek Ho wins the Pipeline Masters on the North Shore of Oahu in beautiful eight- to 12-foot surf.
*Florida’s Frieda Zamba wins third consecutive women’s ASP World Title.
*American Tom Curren wins second consecutive ASP World Title.

1987
*Tom Carroll wins the Pipeline Masters.
*Australia’s Damien Hardman wins the ASP World Title.
*South Africa’s Wendy Botha wins women’s ASP World Title.
*Billabong releases Surf Into Summer and TSOL with Joe Wood is introduced to the surfing world along with the hottest surfing going.

1988
*Superbowl Sunday, January 31. On a 9’6″ gun, Derrick Doerner catches a wave at Waimea Bay many believe to be the largest wave ever ridden.
*Australia’s Robbie Page wins the Pipeline Masters.
*Australia’s Barton Lynch wins ASP world title.
* Frieda Zamba wins fourth women’s ASP World Title.

1989
*In between classes at school, Kelly Slater, a cheeky surfing sensation from Cocoa Beach, FL, takes a stab at the pro tour and finishes a horrifying 240th.
*Australia’s Gary Elkerton wins the Pipeline Masters.
*Great Britain’s Martin Potter wins the ASP World Title.
*South Africa’s Wendy Botha reclaims women’s ASP World Title.

Tom Curran

Debbie Beacham

Kim Mearig

The commentary is kind of a crack up