"High-born surfing hedonist of the late 60s and early 70s; heir to the Spreckels Sugar fortune and stepson to Hollywood actor Clark Gable; contributor to the shortboard revolution. Spreckels was 5 when his mother married Gable; he learned to surf while spending time in Waikiki, not long after Gable's death in 1960.

An uncontrollable teenager, Spreckels was temporarily cut off from the family money, but soon came into a multimillion-dollar inheritance, and in the early 70s was said to own more surfboards than anyone in the world. Spreckels is primarily remembered as mysterious, decadent, and sometimes violent; surf magazines published photos of him standing shirtless with a rifle over a just killed antelope, being chauffeured while wearing a mink-lined overcoat, and inserting a hypodermic needle into his arm.

He made an important surfboard design contribution in 1969 by helping invent the “down” rail, a feature that remains all but universal on short surfboards. Spreckels was also one of the first to ride the dangerous waves at Backdoor Pipeline in Hawaii. He died of a drug overdose in 1976, at age 27. A moody soft-lit portrait of Spreckels was used on the cover of Masters of Surf Photography:Art Brewer, a 2002-published photo book. "