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    Speed, Power and Flow - Honoring Surfing Great, Phil Edwards

    via San Clemente Times                            
    words by Jake Howard
    Iconic surfer Phil Edwards smiles as he walks past a statue in his honor unveiled at Waterman’s Plaza in Dana Point on Friday, June 7, 2019. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    “I never charged Pipeline, I just survived it,” Edwards said when the San Clemente Times asked him about his experience at the famed Hawaiian surf spot.

    In 1961, Edwards became the first person to successfully ride Pipeline when he finally decided to break the seal and paddle out. Filmmaker and friend Bruce Brown was on hand to document the moment.

    “Once I made up my mind to do it, I didn’t wait around too much,” Phil said, laughing. “I’d been watching it enough that I knew what wave I wanted, what swell direction and all that. It’s a little touchy on which way they come at it, but I was pretty good at figuring out which one I wanted. Anyway, Bruce later tells me that he didn’t know I was going to take off that fast. He was still walking down the beach with his camera. That’s why if you look at the footage, it’s a little shaky, because he did this hand-held thing and didn’t have time to set up the tripod.

    On June 7, Edwards’ contributions to the sport, culture and lifestyle of surfing will be celebrated with the unveiling of a new bronze sculpture in Dana Point. The Edwards sculpture will sit alongside the Hobie Alter sculpture honoring one of his lifelong friends. The unveiling ceremony will be followed by the second annual Hobie Vintage Surfboard Festival at La Plaza Park on Sunday, June 9.

    “I really love how it turned out; it’s really an honor,” Phil said. “Every detail is so accurate and realistic. I can’t believe I’m getting a bronze sculpture for going surfing every day.”

    (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)
    In 1963, he won Surfer Magazine’s inaugural Surfer Poll Awards, and Hobie released the Phil Edwards Model, the first signature surfboard model.
    In 1966, he was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, making him one of the most recognizable surfers in the world at the time.
    By the end of the ’60s, the Shortboard Revolution had taken over the sport, and Edwards’ interests shifted to sailing, building boats and working with Alter on the Hobie Cat. In 1988, as longboard surfing came back into vogue, Hobie Surfboards relaunched the Phil Edwards model, a design still going strong today.
    For all his fame and influence, Edwards has been characteristically reluctant to stand in the spotlight. But after all of these years and all he’s done for surfing, it’s time to celebrate a true surfing legend.  




    "Henry is a legendary California surfer who is a mainstay in many aspects of our surfing culture. Henry started surfing along the sand bars in the South Bay, Hermosa, Redondo, Manhattan and Torrance beaches, way back in the early 1950’s.  He was a star in many of Bruce Brown’s early surfing movies including “Slippery When Wet,” “Surfing Hollow Days” and “Barefoot Adventure.” His surfing along the North shore of Oahu during those years gained him a reputation as one of the premier “hotdoggers” of the period.

    During the era of surf clubs he, along with his pal and another classic surf legend, Freddy Phauler, were part of the infamous “Double Duce Danglers” of 22nd Street in Hermosa Beach. He was also a regular at Malibu during the summers along with such notables as the surfing “king of pop” himself, Terry “Tube steak” Tracey, Mickey “da Cat” Dora, Johnny Fain, Mike Doyle, Mickey “the Mongoose” Munoz and “Gidget” herself.

    In the early years Henry spent his off surfing hours working in the sales shop for Velzy and Jacobs Surfboards, and later Jacobs Surfboards in Redondo Beach. His gift of gab and excellent salesman attributes would eventually land him smack dab in the middle of the surfing industry. He was also a lifeguard all over the South Bay and Malibu areas.

    Henry moved to San Clemente, more than 20 years ago and spent a long period working in the Stewart Surf Shop. He also became involved in putting on surfing events, including the Rabbit Kekai Invitational in Costa Rica. He would eventually move into the apparel section of the surfing business and founded Koko Island in where he designed over 200 patterns with Hoffman Fabrics for such greats as Jimmy Buffett.

    Henry is an inductee into the South Bay Surfers Hall of Fame and has been a successful competitor in surfing competitions for longer than I can remember. Henry is one of the true colorful characters in the surfing world and is still in the thick of it on a daily basis."

    - SHCC


    "San Onofre, this is the garden spot for longboarding"



     “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.”