"Gard Chapin (far right) was an innovative but prickly surfer from Hollywood; stepfather to surf icon Mickey Dora (far left) (Mickey's mother in the middle) Little is known about Chapin other than he was the most talented and least liked surfers of the prewar era. He began surfing in the early 30s on heavy solid wood boards and developed a drop knee stance in order to lower his center of gravity, having greater command over his board. He preferred to ride "deep" and when others rode in front of him he shouted, pushed them away, or simply ran them over. Chapin married Mickey's mother in the early 40s and regularly took Dora to the beach introducing him to surfing, and had a great influence on Dora's personality. Chapin died under mysterious circumstances in Baja, Mexico in the mid 50s. Dora later told Surfer Magazine that his stepfather had been murdered." - TEOS

Photo: San Onofre 1940s