OC Surf Stories Video Series

OC Surf Stories Video Series

Popularized by Duke Kahanamoku in the 1920s, surfing was initially embraced by California’s lifeguard communities. As boards became lighter and easier to use in the 1950s, enthusiasm for the activity spread throughout California’s coastal beach cities. With the release of Bruce Brown’s “The Endless Summer” in 1966, surfing captured the popular imagination; quickly growing into a worldwide, multi-billion dollar-per-year industry.

Today, surfing remains an iconic characteristic of the Southern California lifestyle with Orange County widely regarded as a cultural center for its numerous technological innovations, the large number of accomplished surfers it has produced, and its role as a media center popularizing the activity around the world.

OC Surf Stories seeks to preserve Orange County’s surfing heritage by collecting and sharing personal experiences from our local surfing community: individuals who have witnessed and participated in Orange County’s adoption of surfing as a recreational pastime and as a lifestyle.  

For more Orange County history, visit OC Stories

The Wave Always Leads

Jeff Quam describes surfing with paipo and hot curl boards and shares thoughts on beach crowding and localism.

Every Moment of Every Day

Jeff Quam remembers learning to surf and the encouragement and mentorship he received from Laguna Beach’s lifeguards.

To Take Off and Ride a Wave

Western Surfing Association Director, Mary Lou Drummy, on sharing the joys of surfing with the next generation.


Majoring in Surfing

Tom Morey on his lifelong love of surfing and the invention of the Morey Boogie Board.


Surfing in Orange County

Tom Morey remembers Hobie & Velzy and considers Orange County’s contributions to surf culture.

San Onofre Family

Chales Haines Image

Charles Haines recalls founding Victoria Skimboards and shares some favorite surf stories.

Building Boards

Building Boards Image

Tom Sutherland on his fifty-year career customizing surfboards in South Orange County.


Holy Grail of Surfing

Tom Sutherland

Tom “Sudz” Sutherland discusses surfing in South Orange County and Huntington Beach.

Wave Etiquette

Wave Etiquette

The Fly (Pierre Van Swae) on the importance of observing wave etiquette.

Addicted to Photography

Addicted to Photography

Art Brewer on getting started in surf photography and his first published SURFER magazine cover.

Lucky To Do What I Do

Lucky To Do What I Do

Art Brewer reflects on Laguna Beach’s surfing community and his career as a professional surf photographer.


Ride Other Waves

Ride Other Waves

Mickey Munoz on developing the Hobie Catamaran and his continued interest in new surfing technologies.

An Exclusive Club


T.K. Brimer on the joy of surfing and changes in surf culture over the past 50 years.

The Frog House


T.K. Brimer discusses shops as informational centers for the surfing community.


Surfing Newport Beach


T.K. Brimer discusses some classic Newport Beach surf spots.

Early Exposure


Dick Metz, Surfing Heritage and Culture Center Founder, recalls his early introduction to surfing .

Surfing Before and After the War


Dick Metz on the evolution of surfboards and the popularization of surfing after World War II.

From Surfboards to Clothing Lines


Dick Metz on managing Hobie’s first retail store and expanding into other surfing accessories.


Beginnings of SoCal Surf Culture


Craig Lockwood on the origins of surf culture in Southern California.

No Surfing


Craig Lockwood and Mitch Ridder, on Laguna Beach’s surfing ban.


The Hodad Factor


Craig Lockwood and Mitch Ridder on Laguna Beach surfers and lifeguards.

A Wilderness Experience


Jeff Divine on cultivating wave awareness.

Secret Thrill


Jeff Divine reflects on his career as a SURFER magazine photographer.

Best Waves in California

best waves in California 

Jeff Divine remembers surfing at US Marine-controlled Trestles Beach.


Along for the Ride


Ron & Tracy Sizemore remember their family’s enthusiasm for surfing & share surfing competition stories.

Remembering Lorrin Harrison


Ron & Tracy Sizemore remember Lorrin Harrison, bear swims, and “free boarding.”


All Day, Every Day


Justin Scheller remembers surfing Seal Beach’s San Gabriel River and discusses OC & L.A. surf spots.


Surf Stoke


Steve Pezman on surf culture and the raw appeal of surfing.


Riding Waves


Steve Pezman on Orange County and the rise of the surfing industry.


The Reward Was Worth It 


Steve Pezman remembers surfing Trestles Beach in the 1960s.

An Amazing Experience


Pat Sparkuhl recalls his early affinity with surfing and his friendships with other Laguna Beach surfers.

We Were So Free

Pat Sparkuhl considers the influence of surfing on his appreciation for the Arts & recalls an incident at Trestles.

It All Started Here

Kip Kennedy considers changes in Orange County’s surfing community and the surf retail industry.


Dawn Patrol

Allan Seymour on being “the world’s worst surfer” and living (and surfing) in South Orange County.

The Stoke

Allan Seymour remembers popular surf spots and sneaking past Marine patrols to surf Trestles.


Allan Seymour on collecting and promoting surf memorabilia and organizing surfing events.


Promoting “The Endless Summer”


R. Paul Allen on promoting “The Endless Summer” to sold out crowds in Wichita, Kansas.

Making Surf Movies


R. Paul Allen on filmmaking and Dale Velzy encouragement of local filmmaker Bruce Brown.

“The Dana Point Mafia”

R. Paul Allen on Orange County’s role as a surfing cultural center in the 1960s.


It’s Been Real Good

Jeff Bartlett shares his love of surfing and reflects on his experiences surfing in southern California.

Never Had a Bad Wave

Chuck Herpick on body surfing in South Orange County and what it means to, “Surf Life.”

Lucy’s El Patio Cafe


Jack Saunderson, remembers his mother, Lucy, and her love of surfing.