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Surfing at the Huntington Beach Pier, California early 1970s

Updated at Sat 18 Apr 2015 01:33:08 PM PDT with nine new photos, and now with captions

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Wild Oats, Huntington Beach California 1973


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Surfing at the Huntington Beach Pier, California early 1970s

Background (such as I recall it): I'm thinking this is late fall or winter, maybe 1973-ish. Everybody's got wetsuits on. A really nice four- to six-foot north swell and light offshore wind, looks like. Note that there's still some long boards but also the "new" short boards are the majority -- although "short" seems to be over six foot in length. Still some nose-riding, but also some lip re-entries. No aerials, yet. Undated and unnumbered Ektachrome slides.

Fun Facts: I myself started surfing in about 1959 (age 11, fifth grade) and surfed continually all the way up 'til I moved to Seattle in 1975. Learned to surf on a long board up at Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro (the Port of Los Angeles) where I grew up. Surfed mostly at Torrance Beach, Palos Verdes Cove, and Royal Palms (now White Point Park) which was right at the foot of Western Avenue, and right underneath my home in South Shores, San Pedro.

South, I surfed the Seal Beach Power Plant when I was really young 'cause the water was always so warm, but mostly the Huntington Beach Cliffs for years and years once I could drive. Never really surfed the Pier very much at all: a longer drive (!) with harder parking, and too many locals. Made a couple road trips every winter up to the Fairgrounds (I think we called it) in Ventura. Surfed Mexico a few times, but it was a *really* long drive and the Federales started to not like surfers or hippies, so... And in the early- mid-70s my buddies and I would drive up to Malibu after work at Epoch Ceramics in Compton if there was a good south swell running.

Surfed Hawaii twice: summer of 1965 on a two-week tour-trip as a graduation present that was organized through the Hollywood California YMCA, and lived there in Waikiki Beach for three months in the summer of 1967 with my surfing buddy Bob. Worked at Gordon and Smith surfboards for a couple summers in the late 1960's as a plan-shaper. Lived in Mission Beach with a bunch of other surfers, sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor with the cockroaches.

Rode Bings, pretty much, and still have my 1967 (really-truly) Dick Brewer-shaped, pin-tailed Bing Pipeliner. Rode one Morey-Pope John Peck Penetrator. It got stolen in Hawaii, summer of 1967, and I replaced it in Hawaii with a Gordon and Smith Mike Hynson Red Fin model that was much more appropriate for Hawaiian waves and off-shore winds. Replaced that with the Pipeliner, and then rode an experimental vee-bottom, swallow-tailed short board (maybe 6' 8" short) shaped by a Gordon and Smith shaper friend in 1968 and up until I moved out of SoCal. Wish I'd kept that one: it was completely custom and had a photo of Eric Clapton and the Cream and the word "ATTACK!" glassed under the deck toward the nose...

Surfing_at_Huntington_Beach_Pier_CA_early_1970s-01 Surfing_at_Huntington_Beach_Pier_CA_early_1970s-02 Surfing_at_Huntington_Beach_Pier_CA_early_1970s-04
Surfing_at_Huntington_Beach_Pier_CA_early_1970s-15 Surfing_at_Huntington_Beach_Pier_CA_early_1970s-18 Surfing_at_Huntington_Beach_Pier_CA_early_1970s-20
Surfing_at_Huntington_Beach_Pier_CA_early_1970s_75 Surfing_at_Huntington_Beach_Pier_CA_early_1970s_76 Surfing_at_Huntington_Beach_Pier_CA_early_1970s_80

Surfing at the Huntington Beach Pier, California early 1970s


Return to FinchHaven Photography Archives: the Nineteen-Seventies: California

Return to FinchHaven Photography Archives: the Nineteen-Seventies

Return to FinchHaven Photography Archives

John Sage / FinchHaven Photography Archives

Surfing at the Huntington Beach Pier, California early 1970s

You might also enjoy:

Wild Oats, Huntington Beach California 1973


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