Skip to comments.Documentary Tells the History of Surfing in Santa CruzS
Posted on 09/19/2013 1:10:52 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Sometimes the best projects start with a question.
This happened to local filmmaker and surfer Chris Thompson more than 10 years ago when a friend asked him if he had ever heard of the Santa Cruz Surfing Club.
I hadnt, said Thompson, who was living on Cowell Street in Santa Cruz at the time, surfing the waves, something he had done since the 1980s after trading his skateboard for a surf board and moving from the East Coast.
After this admission, Thompson was introduced to a couple original surfing club members, who regaled him with stories of the golden age of surfing way before Gidget and the Beach Boys popularized the activity, opening the doors to tourists and wannabees who flocked to California beaches, crowding the waves, leading to territorialism and clashes between locals and tourists.
Did they wear wet suits back in the golden age?
I lived there in the 60’s and learned to surf at the harbor and at Capitola. I’ll definitely have to check out the documentary.
I loved “Chasing Mavericks”.
Never got a chance to surf NoCal but dove it a bunch.
The wet suits came about when one of the golden age surfers was cold, so he took apart a tire, made a patten and his wife sewed it up.
He said “I was sick to death of being cold”.
I took a friend to a spot I swim at near Carmel recently. She actually belongs to one of those groups that swim in the Bay all the time, so I figured she was miss polar bear. She dove in the water and then jumped out, like she was in a Warner Brothers cartoon. I guess she was only in the cold water with a wet suit. It was cold, but I didn’t think it was that bad.
Santa Cruz is the birth place of O’Neill’s wetsuits.
I came down from Washington state (1966) to surf Santa Cruz with my scuba diver’s jacket and just swim trunks below. I saw the O’Neill’s “Farmer John” shorty and was a fan since
The water was cold and on but not at cold as Washington and neither as cold as Northern Oregon (e.g.Short Sands beach). Major shrinkage sets in to this day, when I think of that beach.
I was kayak surfing Mavericks in 14 foot seas, coming 10 seconds apart. No one else around that day. Got caught in the curl and had to bail out. My boat actually sank and I had to swim in. It’s tricky because the waves break on rocks, not a nice sandy beach. Lined up my approach and a wave tossed me between and behind a couple large rock outcroppings. Once I got behind the rocks, they broke up the waves enough for me to get out without getting crushed.
Fitzgerald Marin Preserve is just north of Mavericks, I wonder if you could have swam ashore there.
When I was a kid the cold water didn’t bother me, somewhere around 25, I was cold.
Surfing has changed. When I was in high school everyone used long boards no suits of course, now short boards and wet suits.
The part about the territorial of the waves is true.
(There are “legends” that locals blade the edged of their boards to scare off tourists.)
Pretty scary place when the surf comes up.
Trolling for Great Whites.
Step Into Liquid
A few years ago, surfers from a beach in La Jolla killed a 17 year old for surfing at “their beach.”
Mrs Clamper used to date Dan Haut when we lived in Santa Cruz back in the day. Miss the days at Steamer and the Point.
I surfed there long ago, and we already knew about wetsuits. It was still cold.......
Greg Noll and Bud Brown wannabe’s who don’t have a clue what a Hobie board is. The east siders and west siders still fight it out for their turf and they are all locals. Old timers who surf off of San Andreas road at Manresa beach will tell you the story of the ghost of a 14 year old riding at sunset on a vintage Hobie.
It's become Gang surfing. How times have changed, what a disgusting turn of events.
Is Chris Thompson Ron Thompson’s son ? Mrs Clamper used to serve Ron Thompson drinks at the Zayante Club WAY back when.
The one in Felton? It burned down in 2006, but I think it was closed since the 80s. I’ve heard about it, but never been there.
I’d like to see this. Riding Giants just briefly touched on the background in California.
Having gone to SC beach for most of my adolescence and freezing my butt off, I say “COOL”....
I’m so stoked I’m gonna surf forever.
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