Oahu

Oahu was the island of my birth and where I grew up. I was there during a wonderful time in the history of the Sport of Kings that, for obvious reasons, also became my chosen lifestyle. Of all the islands of Hawaii, I’ve always thought Oahu was the best one for the waves. I started surfing in Waikiki and to this day, am still able to easily find the magic that made it such a special place in spite of all the changes and development that’s occurred since I was 10 years old. All my schooling and early years were in Honolulu and the memories of growing older alongside the growth of this bustling and lively place as it went from a sleepy town to a colorful city, are splendid.

As my surfing skills improved, during the winter season, I would spend my time on North or West shores for the big waves found there. There were times when we would drive around the entire island several times in a day looking for surf but that was when gas cost $.25/ per gallon and between Kaneohe and Haleiwa, one might see less than a handful of cars coming the other way. In surfing, I found a life I wouldn’t trade for any other and I also found a livelihood that sustained me through today.

 

Early Waikiki / circa 1955

 

Huntington Beach / 1967

 

Huntington pier | p. Art Brewer | 1968

I like to think the saying came out of that first adventure.

The profound simplicity of the expression has helped me many times over the years in situations other than just surfing. Somehow we all discover that surfing lessons often have a lot more to do with life than they do with surfing. When your're wondering about that step your're about to take but haven't yet, remember...


"When in doubt, paddle out."

- Herbie


Waikiki with Dad / 1950

Hawaii State Surf Championships with Bon Ching and Rell Sunn / p. David Darling | 1965

 

Who can say when it all began?

It's hard to remember anything from that long ago. Backtracking through the haze of memories is like looking for footprints in a swamp. Surfing was an easy hookup, even before I got my own surfboard. It was undeniable. Just watching it, I could see surfers were having a great time.

 

USA Championships Huntington Beach | Art Brewer | 1968
 

 

Early Pipeline | p. Art Brewer | 1968

Gerry with the latest surfboard design | p. Art Brewer | 1969

 

Ala Moana | p. Gordinho | 1969

 

Pipeline | p. Art Brewer | 1970

Gerry, RB and Reno Abellira, aspiring yogis | p. David Darling | 1969

 

Sunset Beach, Herbie Fletcher and Barry Kanaiapuni | p. Jeff Divine | 1971

 

Golden Breed Expression Session | p. Jeff Divine | 1971

 
 

First cover shot, Ala Moana | p. John Severson | 1971

A SATURDAY AT ALA MOANA

Wayne Santos and I were on a rare trip, for us together, to Southern California in the early fall of 1971. 

 

B.K. the man at Sunset Beach | p. Steve Wilkings | 1971

Inside Sunset | p. Jeff Divine | 1971

Sunset Beach | p. Jeff Divine | 1971

 

Pipeline | p. Steve Wilkings | 1971

 

Big Pipeline | p. Steve Wilkings | 1972

 

Pipeline | p. Jeff Divine | 1972

 

Pipeline | p. Steve Wilkings

 

First real job, Surfline Hawaii | 1972

1972 | p. Jeff Divine

 

The Hang Ten Surf Contest, Sunset Beach | p. Jeff Divine | 1972

 

Summertime at Ala Moana, Herbie Titcomb, Brother Kit | p. Steve Wilkings | 1972

 

Ala Moana bowl with Reno Abellira | p. Steve Wilkings | 1972

 
 

Ala Moana | p. Steve Wilkings | 1972

 

Smirnoff Contest, Waimea Bay | p. Steve Wilkings | 1975

1973 World Championships, Ocean Beach California | 1973

 

p. Merkel