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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

Hub of the Surfing World

Herbie Fletcher on Orange County’s importance to the surfing world.

Surfing Is My Art

Herbie Fletcher shares his lifelong passion for making art.

The Wedge

Kevin “Mel” Thoman on bodysurfing at the Wedge, Newport Beach.

Surfing Trestles

OC Surfers remember sneaking past U.S. Marine patrols to surf, “some of the best waves in the world.”

All I Wanted to Do

Dino Andino on becoming a pro surfer and San Clemente’s remarkable supply of surfing talent.

Competitive Side of Surfing

Joyce Hoffman recalls her career in competitive surfing and becoming surfing’s first “international star.”

My Best Waves

Competitive surfer Sheri Crummer on her lifelong connection with the ocean.

A Peaceful Tribe

Hans Hagen discusses Laguna Beach’s surf culture and his work with the Mauli Ola Foundation.

It’s a Nice Vibe

Jenny Scott shares her love of surfing Newport Beach and recalls catching her first big wave.

Video Trailer: OC Surf Stories

Video trailer for the OC Surf Stories collection.

All Around the World

Paul Holmes on, “making a living out of a lifestyle.”

Hobie, Dale, & Bing

Paul Holmes recalls Hobie Alter, Dale Velzy, and Bing Copeland.

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 surfculture. 

San Onofre Family 

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

Building Boards 

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

Holy Grail of Surfing 

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

Wave Etiquette 

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

Addicted to Photography 

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

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 

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 surf shops as informational centers for the surfing community. 

Surfing Newport Beach 

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

From Surfboards to Clothing Lines 

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

Beginning of 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 

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 Café 

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

Early Exposure

Dick Metz recalls Hevs McClelland and George “Peanuts” Larson and his early introduction to surfing at Laguna Beach in the 1930s.  

Before & After the War

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