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Motion Pictures Old Cars + Surfing = Paradise

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Sep 24, 2019.

  1. Grown up in the South Carolina foothills surfing isn't something we knew much about, we did know rivers & lakes, inner tubes, rafts, canoes and boats were the water toy's,along with water ski's.

    I was in my late 30's the first time I tried to surf, I managed to swallow a lot of salt water and through divine intervention I didn't drown.:rolleyes: HRP
  2. Sutton Speed
    Joined: Jul 15, 2006
    Posts: 1,094

    Sutton Speed

    Thanks! 6 unfortunately.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  3. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,409


    Hey H,

    It is something that just works for some folks. My first time was with a friend of my brother. My brother had gone to Mexico with some other friends and this one friend could not go, but still wanted to surf locally. So, he asked me to go. My mom ok'd it because she liked the friend and knew his mom. We went to the Huntington Beach “cliffs” area on one of those cold, but windy days in his MG sporty car.

    He had this great looking rack that he made and the two of us cruised down the coast for our surf adventure. The waves were fairly big and the white water was rolling so consistently, that it was hard to paddle out. So, in my one great (sic) ideas, I took the 9 foot board and shoved it through the white water, thinking it will easily go over the top.

    Needless to say, it did not. It surprised me and it came right back into my mouth, knocked me back and cut my outer lip. (I thought I saw stars when it hit me...) My teeth cut the inner mouth area and I looked like a vampire ready for his next meal. The doctor had to put in 8 stitches and my mom was totally mad at my brother’s friend for taking me surfing. And, doing such a dangerous thing.


    It became surfing vs. hot rods and my mom had to make a choice... But, I persevered. So, the surf activity and various hot rod adventures went on for almost 50 years. Finally, there was a blank period, when it was time to call it quits.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
    Ron Funkhouser likes this.
  4. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,409


    upload_2019-10-17_5-15-12.png The real "Gidget" with her 1951 Buick convertible.

    Hey C,

    In 1959, we were all in love with Sandra Dee, better known as “Gidget.” She was what everyone, including us, thought a So Cal surfer girl would look like on the beach and in the water. It wasn’t until we actually met some girls that could surf and surf well, that is when we thought back to the movie, Gidget. Of course, those girls we met that could surf, had a difficult time getting away from the Gidget comparisons.

    But, in 1961, the one girl we surfed with, had all of the abilities of a good surfer and she was determined to be considered a good surfer, not just a girl. … The idea of a girl that could surf, look good with tons of style and had her own mind at what she wanted to do in the water, willing to trek with us to high powered surf spots in an adventure, and go see surf movies, what more could we ask? IT WAS PARADISE

    When we went surfing with our friends, there were comments like, why did you bring her along? When she was out in the water and riding waves with style, those guys ate their words. It was satisfying. When we went to surf movies, she was beginning to get acknowledged in the auditoriums from her experiences at Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. It was like being with a celebrity of sorts.

    For some reason, she could have had plenty of sponsors, but chose to just become a better surfer on her own. When she was asked to enter the U.S. Championships, she opted to go to South San Clemente Trestles with several of us. We wanted to be surfing in quality waves without all of the zoo atmosphere of the pier championships. She was also a soul surfer from those early days.

    Did we call her Gidget? Not on your life…Besides, she was as tall as us, handled herself quite well, and absorbed those comments well.


    Those early memories sparked again with the viewing of the photos and movies we had taken at the Huntington Beach Pier from 1959-64. The Gidget comparisons will always be there as there weren’t too many good surfers that wore bikinis with style. The last information, after all of these years, about her was that she is living in North San Deigo County near the beach… a true surfer girl… Thanks, Sally…

    How individual was she? In the film, she gets cut off by one of my friends and she gives that guy a few choice words while still being a good surfer with style.

    When going through my old files, my wife’s mom was also a driver of a 47-52 Buick Convertible, but did not surf. The family had just bought a house in 1951 and the photo had a 1951 handwriting on the back. But, they already had a 37 Chevy coupe and a 50 Chevy sedan, so, a new house, and a new car?

    Since this photo is the only one and the remaining family members can’t remember if there were different taillights like the 51-52 models we will assume it was “similar.” But, convertibles were built for girls and women to just have fun in their own way. No, my future mother in law did not surf…


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
  5. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 4,659


    Great story, Junji!
    jnaki likes this.
  6. I understand the surf mentality when someone lives in area's where they are near the ocean, I don't understand the surf boards on top of wagons in Knoxville, Tennessee or Utah. HRP
  7. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 6,509

    Special Ed

    Yeah .... no kidding!
    Kooks ... ;)
    During the summertime, we seem to get about 50% of the population of Arizona showing up at our beaches here (San Diego), attempting to cool off. It's difficult not to laugh at all the SUV's and mommy-vans cruising our coast with pop-out surfboards from WalMart strapped to their roofs, sporting Arizona and Utah plates. :cool: We stay home alot to avoid them
    dana barlow likes this.
    Joined: May 5, 2015
    Posts: 896


    Believe it or not, there is surfing in New Hampshire along the 18 mile of coastline. Vans without windows were the vehicle of chose when hauling surfboards. Pretty much all year wet suit surfing. Most of the time the swells were around 2 to 4 feet almost like a lake after a speedboat passes by - HA HA. For all of the years that I surf in NH, I can only remember catching on large wave (8 foot swell) and having the ride of my life. I think that on the East Coast, Nags Head gave up the largest swells that I experience. You can always tell a surfer by the area just below his or hers knee cap.
    Special Ed likes this.
  9. Just about any cruise-in in the Piedmont/foot hills you will see someone with a surf board on top of a wagon.

    Very similar to all the VW vans that carry luggage & ice chest on top, I always wonder why they don't have room inside. HRP
    mad mikey and Special Ed like this.
  10. Mike
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,528


    dana barlow likes this.
  11. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,409



    Some people of the hot rod / surfer worlds look down on surfboards on top of cars in the middle of Iowa. It is not unheard of and probably won’t be if the wave pool fanatics get major backing for the latest in entertainment surfing destinations. It was tried and many wave pools have tried the backwards wave for entertainment…but is just wasn’t the same thing.

    Now, in the middle of California a zillion miles away from the Pacific Ocean, a new design is the sign of things to come. A wave pool that has a real wave rolling toward a destination and that you can ride it like an ocean wave. Except that it is almost perfect. Paradise of the future…

    For most surfers, paradise is what you make of where you go and what you learn. When we started surfing, there were some guys that wore those classic beaver tail wetsuits. As much as it gave off some warmth, it looked like a giant beaver on a surfboard, hence the name: “Beaver tail wetsuit.”

    One of the most common things to see on a multiple surfboard stack, on top of a car or station wagon, was the black beaver tail wetsuit flapping in the wind. (You guys complaining about just surfboards on a wagon in the middle of Iowa need to add these beaver tail wetsuits to be authentic) The thick rubber was pretty powerful in the smell department. The westuit being wet, did no go over with most car owners, not wanting a “wet seal” in the back seat area or trunk. So air dry was the most common way for transportation.

    Note: have you ever tried to get into a wet… wet suit after one session and then going to another spot later in the day for another surf session? It is not the easiest thing to do and the wet/wetsuit just feels awful. (even the modern ones)
    In the late 50s, surfers borrowed skin diver’s wetsuits to stay warm in cold climates. We found out that the original skin diver suits were too bulky for freedom of movement on the surfboard. So, the choice was down to one of the shorter wetsuits with a flap to go underneath. It would snap onto the front for protection, warmth and to keep the wetsuit from slipping up/over, when tumbling down a wave or underwater. Early surfers looked like beavers prior to going in the water, if they forgot to snap the enclosures. But in trying on those beaver tail suits, laying down was not too comfortable. In the 60s, most did the knee paddle. You get the beaver tail picture.

    So, my brother had a great idea to keep us from freezing where the sun does not shine. Forget the short sleeve, bulky, beaver tail suits. Staying warm down below was the most important, so he got an old long leg diver’s wetsuit and cut off the top and legs. He made adjustments to fit perfectly under our So Cal surf shorts. When paddling, no one was the wiser that we were warm down below. The bare top and the cool winds, we could stand for a couple of hours. But smiles all around helped get better in our surfing skills.


    In the two surfer shorts I used in two different years as a teenager, the top of the black wetsuit shorts is seen. The So Cal surfer shorts having moved during the activity. But, usually, it was hidden under our original Katin and Hang Ten shorts. We looked like what most wore in the summer, but it was in the colder ocean water temps of the winter and up the coast in places like Rincon and Santa Barbara. Flexibility was the key and it sure made surfing easier and less bulky.

    After a session, standing around drying off kept us warm. The hot rods that went to the beach had to stay somewhat clean. So, driving home, a towel was wrapped around the lower extremities and a jacket was used to keep warm. The insulating factor of the wetsuit bottoms kept the warmth all the way home. What about those guys with the beaver tail suits? They had to take off their beaver tail suits to change into clothes, all the while, freezing their a$$$ off. No one wore beaver tail suits inside of cars. Score one for the two brothers !!!
    (My brother wore his under a certified, Everlast Pro Boxing nylon shorts. His undercover item was just a little bit longer than our surf shorts. Today, those Everlast shorts would be down past our knees. Ha!)
    upload_2019-11-2_4-44-56.png upload_2019-11-2_4-45-15.png My brother and his “beaver tail” friend at the South side, Huntington Beach Pier. 1962

    Note: from those early days, the industry has changed and the lightweight flexible suits are perfect for all sorts of water temperature variations. No more beaver tails… Currently, I have a 1mm/2mm full suit for warmer, but cool temps and a 4 mm for cold temps.

    Paradise is what you make of a new situation… “Oh, what a feeling…”

    Ron Funkhouser and dana barlow like this.
  12. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,409


    upload_2019-12-7_3-38-13.png Leo H. photo

    These guys pictured are/were most of the crew from Long Beach. Add in Seal Beach local Eddie “Barrymore” Howard and you have a wild teenage bunch of hooligans that could actually surf well. Well, most of them. Most of the surf spots were well known by the traveling surfer, because of the surf being seen from the road. This place was close enough to town, but hidden from the main road by some cliffs. So, it was a long, dusty, bumpy dirt road that led to a plateau overlooking the pristine waves below. (the area chosen for parking was also, hidden from the main road)

    The photo was taken in Baja, Mexico where beer usually flowed like Coca Colas and it was cheaper by the case. There are always the good and the bad results because of cases of beer plus surfing…

    After a night of steaks on the barbeque, cold beer and then some more, the next day was relatively empty on those pristine waves. GOOD… If I was the Coca Cola drinker the night before, I was usually the only one out riding the next morning. GOOD… Also, most of the others were recuperating in their vans and station wagons from the night before. Lesson learned with a great prize as an end result. BEER and lots more beer, equals a problem getting up for the pristine waves, in the early morning glass off, at this great surf spot. BAD
    Jnaki Baja photo James N.

    Today, that 1956 Chevy station wagon would be a prized cruiser. In 1963, the station wagon was one of the local friend's cars that were given the location of a semi secret surf spot just North of Ensenada. A daily driver made the long trip South with the stack of boards on top. Share the wealth was good for the soul and our friends from the LB/OC surfing trips, made the day that much more fun.


    But, as sad as it is today, all being over 70 and in the last quarter of the main event, (if we are all, still alive), It was camaraderie between friends back then, not the “localism” that prevails, today. In those early 60s surf road trips, it was “the destination AND the journey.” It was hot rods/ cruisers and paradise of a different nature.

  13. Hren59
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 92


    3DD78409-49DA-4B2F-9BAF-76C8883A0AE1.png A talented photographer happened to snap this as I was leaving my local surf spot a few weeks ago, didn’t know the guy but mutual friends tagged me on social media.
  14. 1oldtimer
    Joined: Aug 21, 2003
    Posts: 7,843


    I was deep into skimboard land in the 80's.......they fit into my cars easier. I had a short board but sucked at it......we did find a Joe Quigg in the 80's at the beach.
    Irish Mike likes this.
  15. These hollow-wood "Kook boxes" were popular in the '30's and '40's. The inventor, Tom Blake, had plans in "Popular Mechanics" magazine. This one has a Redwood nose and fir tail, mahogany deck and "V" bottom. Brass slot head screws. The keyhole design is done with stain. Several coats of spar varnish, brush finish. Many of these had club names and/or the owners name.....I built this in remembrance of my Dad....Its going in the water this summer... :) IMG_2206.jpg
    Last edited: May 5, 2020
    jnaki and 1oldtimer like this.

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