TERRY “TUBESTEAK” TRACY
“An avuncular regular foot surfer from Los Angeles, California; Malibu trendsetter in the mid-late 1950s; model for the “Kahuna” character in the book and movie versions of Gidget. Tracy was born in 1935 and raised in south-west Los Angeles. He began surfing at age 15. In the summer of 1956, he lived inn a palm-frond shack on the beach at Malibu where, as surf journalist Craig Stecyk recalled decades later, he “held court with humor and ruled with a velvet-shrouded iron hand.” Tracy later claimed he was nicknamed “Tubesteak” because he worked at a Malibu restaurant called Tube’s Steak and Lobster House.
Surf lore holds that Dora owned the waves at Malibu, while Tracy owned the beach. It was Tracy who looked at Kathy Kohner, a 16 year old Malibu newcomer, and nicknamed her “Gidget,” short for girl-midget. Teenage surfers flocked to Malibu in the late 50s. Gidget was published in 1957 and the movie followed two years later. Tracy overwhelmed by crowds and new LA county beach restrictions, dropped off the surf scene for 25 years.
Later, in a Life magazine feature Tracy said that he hadn’t surfed for years, but still lived by a surf-inspired code: “You can have a pressured Mercedes life, or you can get from A to B in an old Ford and die of natural causes.” He appeared in the 1958 surf movie Search for Surf, and was featured in the 1987 documentary The Legends of Malibu. In the late 80s and 90s he wrote surfing articles for H2O and the Surfers Journal under the pseudonym Bruce Savage. Tracy was married and has seven children. Tracy died at age 77 from complications of diabetes.”
“Cool-handed regular footer from Honolulu, Hawaii; arguably the finest all-around surfer of the 60s; cofounder of the Chart House restaurant chain. “He’s Mr. Perfect” California surfer Mickey Munoz said of Cabell “Everything he does, he does well.” Cabell was born in 1938 and raised in Honolulu. He began surfing at age seven. By the late 50s he had studied the moves and countermoves of surfing competition as if it were chess, and won easily, unemotionally.
After years of competition he spent two years in Colorado. In 1962 Cabell and partner Buzzy Trent opened the first Chart House restaurant in Aspen and it was an instant success. Branches soon appeared in Redondo Beach, Newport Beach, and Honolulu. Cabell created the Chart House ambience, selling the menu items, designing the wood paneled decor, and dressing the staff in brightly colored aloha shirts. The Chart House became a kind of surfing institution, as generations of Californian and Hawaiian surfers took jobs there as waiters and bartenders, as to free up daylight hours for surfing. Cabell sold his interest in the chain, but retained ownership of the Honolulu Chart House in the early 70s.
In 1968, Cabell became one of the shortboard movement’s key figures, putting forth his “speed surfing” theory, wherein the surfer rides in a crouch with his feet and his knees together, seeking out the fastest line across the wave. Cabell riding a pointy 8’3” homemade board called the “White Ghost”, seemed to be riding faster than any surfer alive.
“He is a leader”, Pipeline surfer Gerry Lopez said in 1970, by which time Cabell had grown a full Moses-like beard, “whose followers seldom realize they’re being led.” Cabell appeared in more than a dozen surf movies. He was named to Surf Guide magazine’s First All-American Surfing Team in 1963. In 1985, Surfer magazine named him as one of “25 Surfers Whose Surfing Changed the Sport”
Cabell has been married twice and has three children. His oldest daughter, Raina, was married to 2000 world professional surfing champion Sunny Garcia.”