bev morgan : u.s. championships, 1964
Copy courtesy of
the Graham Sorensen Collection.
The men's Open Champion,
Jim Craig, was profiled on pages 34 and 37.
Noted for riding a board shorter than most surfers of the time, Craig's subsequent competitive career, unlike his fellow finalists, appears non-existent
Australian Rodney Sumpter, won the Boy's event, was third in the Pier Paddling, and a member of the winning Hobie team in the Paddling Team Relay.
The Hobie team included Corky Carroll (first in the Pier Paddling), Hobie Alter, and Phil Edwards, who's Phil Edwards Model Surfboard, said to be the first of many, introduced in this issue.
Paul Gebauer: Control Your Wipe-Out, Surfer Tips #14, page 19.
Fred Hemmings Interview, pages 10-13 and 92-93.
Fred van Dyke: Explosive Sunset Beach, photographs by John Severson, pages 42-53.
Ron Perrott: North With Cabell, with photographs by Ron Perrott and Alby Falzon, pages 57-61.
Cabell's trip to Angourie after the 1964 World Contest , the colour layout shot (pages 54-55) was later offered as a Surfer magazine poster.
Doug Walton: The Hazards of Surfing, a case for surfing helments as used at Huntington Beach, pages 63-65.
Reader Photos, pages 66-75.
Contests, page 79.
East Coast Surf Scene, pages 80-87.
The '64 Huntington
Beach Surfing Contest (now called United States Championships) will be
long remembered for its treacherous conditions.
The waves were bIg, the current strong, and the contestants in many of the events had to shoot the pier with everything against them.
Every ride on the southeast side of the pier was a cliff-hanger.
The spectators were kept on the edge of their seats for the entire two days.
In the pre-dawn
darkness of Saturday, September 26, several hundred contestants and spectators
gathered on the beach for the start of the contest.
A heavy overcast delayed the start as the judges could not see the contestants in the darkness.
There was enough light, however, for the contestants to see what was in store for them.
A strong, consistent, south swell was slamming in.
Huntington is a straight, sand beach that runs for miles broken only by the pier.
In small and medium surf, shifting sand bars form makeable breaks at many places along this beach.
When a powerful south swell comes in, one of the few places that is rideable is next to the pier.
To the southeast of the pier large waves push great quantities of water in toward the beach.
If the waves are consistent, such as they were during the contest, the water cannot flow back out through the surf.
This creates a turbulent river that
rushes along shore
between the breakers and the beach.
The pier resists the wave action, and this offers the water a point to flow back out to sea.
This rip current that flows strongly out under the pier digs a deep trough iri the sand.
The surfers at Huntington had to take advantage of the outgoing current and deep water (where waves seldom break) to get out.
The contest was
run simultaneously on both sides of the pier.
The Junior preliminaries and semi-finals, the Women's Open, and the Tandem events were held on the northwest side of the pier.
It was very difficult to get back outside after a ride if the contestants went left, so most of the contestants were going right into the rip and paddling back out.
The Senior Men's, Men's Open, and Junior Finals were held on the southeast side of the pier.
Most of the rides there were lefts directly into the pier.
The larger waves were not backing off at the pier, but were crashing right through it.
This combined with the strong side current made pier shooting very dangerous.
The majority of contestants in the preliminaries choose to straighten out before they came near the pier and prone out the initial blast as the wave came over, then go right away from the pier.
A few surfers that tried to straighten out and get away from the pier were helplessly swept into the pilings by the side current.
The City of Huntington
Beach required that all the contestants wear helmets, which were issued
before each heat.
Many of the contestants objected very strongly to this requirement.
Although there was a great deal of controversy for and against the helmets, the general feeling was that the choice of using the helmet or not should be left up to the contestant (see Special Report-HELMETS).
Saturday morning was glassy and the west wind reached 13 miles per hour in the afternoon.
This chopped up the waves and added to the difficulty in riding.
Sunday the waves were bigger, but very glassy until late in the morning.
By the finals a 28- mile-per-hour westerly was howling through the pier.
Needless to say, it was all the contestants could do to stay on their boards in the large lumpy waves.
It was a spectator's
contest from beginning to end.
Most of the contestants would have preferred different conditions.
Several top competitors were eliminated by unlucky events.
L. J. Richards (last year's winner) took off on a big wall and received a bad cut on his chin in the wipe-out.
Gordon Duane ("Gordie") helped L. J. for a few minutes and was disqualified for not riding enough waves.
The rules of the Huntington Beach Contest were not the standard United States Surfing Association rules.
Although the methods of judging and running a contest cannot please everyone, the sport of surfing will have better contests when the standard U.S.S.A. program is used in all major contests.
1st Jim Craig, 18, Hermosa Beach
2nd Dewey Weber, 25, Venice
3rd Mickey Munoz, 26, Dana Point
4th Mike Doyle, 23, Los Angeles
5th Rich Chew, 19, Seal Beach
1st Don Hansen and Linda Benson
2nd Corky Carroll and Betty Carhart
3rd Bill Silzle and Nancy Duesler
Surf Club Relay
1st Windansea of La Jolla
2nd Long Beach
4th San Clemente
All teams disqualified for one or more rules infractions.
Race declared four-way tie and a trophy presented to each club.
Hobie competition team defeated Harbour by one foot in a close finish.
Members of winning team were Corky Carroll, Rodney Sumpter, Hobie Alter, Phil Edwards, and Bing Boka.
For Harbour were Rich Chew, Pete Kobzev, Tim Dorsey, Neil Grider, and Mark Martinson.
JIM CRAIG - FIRST PLACE
Jim Craig has
been surfing about six years.
Just 18, this is his first year in the Open Men's competition at Huntington Beach.
In the last two years he was in the Junior competition at Huntington, but did not make the finals in either year.
He started surfing near Longfellow Street in Hermosa Beach and calls the South Bay his home.
He rides a short (nine foot), light (18 pound) Jacobs surfboard.
The South Bay beach break is an ideal surf for a short board (his last board was eight foot seven inches).
The surf at Huntington was big and treacherous, but Craig proved himself the equal of it.
We asked Craig what he felt about the contest and what he thought when he was announced winner.
"I couldn't even
get on my feet when I heard I had won it.
I just sat there.
Yeah, it was all unbelievable.''
A helmet of this type was selected as the required protective headgear for all contestants in the 1964 National Surfing Championships at Huntington Beach and proved somewhat unpopular.
Surfers resented forced helmet wear and felt it affected their surfing.
A few, who had practiced with helmets, offered less criticism.
Several surfers, during the contest, received solid blows on the head and were thankful for a the headgear.
We believe that there's a time and place for the helmet.
Congested situations such as are frequent at Doheny, Huntington, and other popular beaches, warrant the use of a helmet.
In a contest at Huntington the helmet should be optional.
In big surf we do not yet recommend the present helmet because of its yet untested status.
There are foreseeable problems in the big surf with water pockets in the helmet, tightened straps, difficult swimming, problems with diving beneath waves, and other situations that may be discovered only when the helmet has been adequately tested in the surf.
that the helmet's first major public use was a forced one.
This in itself may slow its acceptance.
It has a place and the present helmet is excellent and recommended for immediate use in small surf and congested situations.
MAKAHA SURFING CHAMPIONSHIPS / Christmas
FRENCH NATIONAL SURFING CHAMPIONSHIPS / August 30 
1st Philippe Gerard
2nd Joel de Rosnay
3rd Eddy Ladd
4th Andre Plugcoq
1st Jean-Marie Lanigau
2nd Michel Clos
3rd Pierre Roumagnac
1st M. C. Delanne
2nd F. Cazayous
3rd C. Tardrew
SAN CLEMENTE SURF CAPADES / September 10-11 
Boys (14 or
1st Joyce Hoffman
2nd Joey Hamasaki
3rd Judy Dibble
The Hobie Surfboard
Shop again has gone all out to bring to its customers the best in surfing
Volume 5 Number 6
Copy courtesy of the Graham Sorensen Collection.