Local surfing hall of fame

Morey, Preisendorfer, Frye, O'Rourke, Doyle, Noisat, Freeth, Ekstrom, Gordon/Smith

Rusty Preisendorfer in Australia, 1984. By 1984, 10 of the top 16 surfers in the world were riding his surfboards.
  • Rusty Preisendorfer in Australia, 1984. By 1984, 10 of the top 16 surfers in the world were riding his surfboards.

Tom Morey:  "You keep working or you deteriorate."

Tom Morey: "You keep working or you deteriorate."

Tom Morey

In the beginning Morey and Faivor sold the Boogie Board through ads in surfing magazines, mail order, cash in advance. The money that came in with the first orders enabled them to buy the materials to make the boards. They continued to produce them in Morey's garage until, with sales picking up, they were able to afford a shop on Oak Street in Carlsbad.

By Gordon Smith, Aug. 24, 1978 Read full article

Rusty with two surf contest winners, 1994. "What ruined the surf industry? It was neon."

Rusty with two surf contest winners, 1994. "What ruined the surf industry? It was neon."

Rusty Preisendorfer

Rusty Preisendorfer has been well-known in the surf industry for 20 years, and for the last 10 years he has been one of its dominant figures. Not because he’s such a great surfer, but because he designs and builds the wave tools that have allowed the best surfers in the world to push the sport to today’s almost absurd levels.

By Steve Sorensen, Nov. 24, 1994 Read full article

Skip Frye got very good at the best possible time for a surfer to attract attention in San Diego.

Skip Frye got very good at the best possible time for a surfer to attract attention in San Diego.

Skip Frye

Frye is back at Gordon & Smith after a voluntary layoff of four years — "my wilderness years," he calls them — during which his marriage dissolved and he retreated, in reverse of the hermit crab, from a larger shell into a smaller, and into a smaller. He gave up his job, his dwelling, his church, his car, until he was living in a backyard shed in Pacific Beach and riding a bike.

By Joe Applegate, Apr. 14, 1983 Read full article

Doyle at Waimea Bay. "A guy could get killed in surf like that. It was scary over there."

Doyle at Waimea Bay. "A guy could get killed in surf like that. It was scary over there."

Leroy Grannis/Surfer

Mike Doyle

Bud Browne asked him to be the star of the movie he was filming that winter, of course Mike agreed, and later, when it was shown in civic auditoriums back in California, Mike Doyle became an immediate legend. Still, he knew he hadn’t put it all together yet. He was getting by on ability, but his equipment wasn’t right.

By Steve Sorensen, March 15, 1984 Read full article

Chris O'Rourke. He motions for me to touch his head, which I do, gently — three fingertips pressing the lightly yellowed skin above the ear. The skin gives, as though there's nothing behind it but pulp.

Chris O'Rourke. He motions for me to touch his head, which I do, gently — three fingertips pressing the lightly yellowed skin above the ear. The skin gives, as though there's nothing behind it but pulp.

Chris O'Rourke

Windansea is paradise — Bali Hai with a 31 Flavors next door to an art cinema, and a natural foods grocery store only one block away. And that includes Chris O'Rourke, who was the best competitor in the Western Surfing Association when he was 16, having placed forth or better in every 4A, or top-rated, contest of 1976.

By Joe Applegate, Aug. 3, 1978 Read full article

Larry Gordon and Floyd Smith. By the fall of 1959, Gordon and Smith were making and selling boards out of the garage at Smith's apartment (in an alley off Balboa Avenue, between Grand and Garnet).

Larry Gordon and Floyd Smith. By the fall of 1959, Gordon and Smith were making and selling boards out of the garage at Smith's apartment (in an alley off Balboa Avenue, between Grand and Garnet).

Ralph Noisat, George Freeth, Carl Ekstrom, Gordon/Smith

Duke Kahanamoku (considered the father of modern surfing) traveled down the coast to visit his buddy. That was around 1916 or 1917, according to local amateur surfing historian John Elwell. Elwell says Kahanamoku surfed the OB Pier, and when he did, he asked a teenaged lifeguard named Charlie Wright if he could store his board in Wright's beach shack.

By Jeannette DeWyze, Dec. 14, 2006 Read full article

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