morey - weber : surf contests, 1966
|Morey, Tom: Surfer Tips Number - How to compete in 1966.||Weber, Dewey: The Makaha Contest is the Worst!|
second innovation, "timed" surfing, had already been used in
Contest at Ventura in July 1965.
In this contest the rider was timed by stopwatch while on the front 25% of the board" (designated by a coloured deck patch or band), with awards for the longest individual ride and the accumulated time over a maximum 14 waves.
In 1966, Morey substantially broadened the criteria-"surfers with the most accumulated time standing up on the board for wave opportunities will be the winners."
core, this was a paddling contest- the surfer who rode the
and was the fastest to paddle back to the take-off zone to
wave would accumulate the most points.
Incredibly, from a 21st century perspective, this approach, without any consideration of surfing performance, was regressive.
More immediately, it was in marked contrast to the intensive analysis of performance surfing currently explored by Australian competitors, the elite of whom were soon to arrive in California for the 1966 World Contest.
Perhaps bouyed by the enthusiasm and wide exposure of the earlier noseriding contest, it appears that no American competitor recognised the reactionary element of this format, put into use at the contest and attended. XXXXXXXXXXXX
Dewey Weber's article on Makaha voices many of the ongoing concerns of competition surfers about the structure and format of surfing contests at this time.
Ron Perrott's article on South Africa initiated the first major controversy for the Surfer staff.
In the body of the article, Perrott appeared somewhat apologetic for the policy of Apartide:
"Half believing some of the more distorted 'facts' on South Africa prevalent in Australia, I was completely unprepared for the friendliness and courtesy received from all sections of the community - whether Indian, Bantu or white South African." - page 65.
and its caption, "Durban's beaches are segregated so this
can't join these three surfers ... for a little fun in the
added by the editor), produced a unprecedented response.
In susbequent editions, a number of readers suggested that rascism was an unsuitable topic for a surfing magazine.
Twelve months later, this controversy would appear relatively minor, compared to the response to We're Tops Now, by Australian, John Witzig.
The article was originally published, with a far less confronting title, as Nat vs. Nuuhiwa ... How Do We Compare?
Surfing World Volume 8 Number 4, pages 10 to 13. January 1967.
In 1985, professional surfers buoycotted contests in South Africa in protest at that country's, now repealed, racial legislation.
The ceramic figure, illustrated in the Pipeline column on page 75, has never been referenced in any of the subsequent literatue on the origns of surf riding.
Rusty Miller Interview, pages 25-31.
John Pennings: Big Drop at Little Avalon, pages 33-35.
Dewey Weber: The Makaha Contest is the Worst!, pages 57-61.
USSA 1966 Ratings, pages 40-41.
Bill Cleary: Honolulu Bay, pages 42-49.
Richard Safaday: Some Like It Smooth, pages 54-57.
Extolling the virtues of a "smooth style", the article was perhaps a response to the "aggressive" style, as said to be promoted by Australian surfers.
Ron Perrott: "Crocodiles," Zulus and Surf Suid Afrika, pages 58-65.
Pipeline, pages 75.
Griffin and Stoner: The Banzia Pipeline, pages 83-90.
Rusty Miller and windy Sunset Beach.
Rusty Miller and Mickey Dora, Sunset Beach.
Rusty Miller, Makaha.
and the famous Makaha surf first met, it was obvious they
were meant for
With hot sectIons running into flat shoulders, Makaha was ideal for Dewey's style.
A half dozen quick steps and he was on the nose blasting through the curl, and then with incredible quickness, he was on the tail block jamming a radical cutback.
Dewey's reputation as a hotdogger was already tops when the Makaha International Contest was established.
In 1956, Dewey first entered as a junior but ran into the kind of bad luck that frequently plagues Californians in the Makaha contest. Dewey had caught his allotted six waves and the consensus of surfers on the beach was that the little hotdogger from the South Bay had won hands down.
His flag went up on the beach- indicating that the allotted rides had been completed- so Dewey caught the next wave into shore. As he walked up to the judge's stand, he was as stunned as anyone to learn that he had BEEN DISQUALIFIED FOR RIDING ONE TOO MANY WAVES- the one he took into shore!
But undaunted, Dewey, like many top California surfers, returned several times to the Makaha contest.
Last year Dewey battled his way through the semi-finals into the finals where he turned on his famous hot-dogging style.
The all-Hawaiian judges picked him eighth.
Dewey has much better luck in non-Hawaiian contests and last year finished fourth in the United States Surfing Association competition.
Dewey's been a top performer in major competition for ten years -a record few other surfers can match.
So Dewey's pretty well qualified to say:
Yes, from the viewpoint of the guy out there in the water with the numbered T-shirt, the Makaha contest is the worst in surfing competition: a glaring example why surfing doesn't have the acknowledgment and recognition given other competitive sports on the international sports scene.
fine as a crowd event because that's exactly what it is.
This was underscored by a Honolulu newspaper, The Advertiser, that pointed out during the last contest that heat winners were the ones, in most cases, who impressed the spectators.
Little mention was given to the ability or performance shown by the competitors and, in fact, the newspaper article focused on incidents that were "humorous for the spectators."
This typical news coverage underscores that crowd-pleasing ability overshadows wave ability and performance.
Twenty-four competitors jammed into the 30-minute heats pretty well assures the spectators of humorous incidents.
competitors who year after year show up at the contest,
agreement that the regulation rules and scoring methods are
as the old redwood plank of bygone surfing days.
The Makaha contest is famous for its judging prejudices and yet year after year the big name surfers, and a lot of little name surfers, flock to Hawaii to sign up for a competitive meet that is actually detrimental to the development of surfing.
It's somewhat puzzling, but I feel the contest is supported by surfers strictly out of enthusiasm for competition as well as the honor, fame and now fortune that goes to the winner.
I competed last year because I really love surfing
competition and, too,
I felt that by competing I'm more qualified to form opinions
contest and surfing as a whole.
As a competitor, Makaha's shortcomings became quite clear, and yet I was able to see the great potential of this contest as a truly international meet.
Certainly I would be willing to give my full support if Makaha officials and the competitors would get together and- with the help of the United States Surfing Association - take advantage of the "opportunity to improve."
But with the Hawaiian attitude, the chances of this are slim.
an awful lot in the last ten years, and yet the regulations
year's Makaha championships differed only slightly from
those used in 1956
- the first time I entered the contest.
Some of the obviously out-moded regulations have been dropped, but plenty of outdated principles and even a few ambiguous rules have been added.
The regulations no longer limit the number of waves a contestant may ride, but the mass of contestants (last year, 550 signed up) make it virtually impossible for anyone contestant to ride "too many waves."
Discontinued, too, is the use of distance markers.
However, distance is still a key factor in accumulating points from the judges.
were set up thirteen years ago on the premise that big-wave
the only true test of surfing ability. Rules and scoring
the then prevalent method of scoring surfing contests on
wave size and
points were accumulated on the takeoff and ability to stay
trim with the
emphasis on the distance of the ride.
And so for thirteen years the emphasis has stayed on big-wave riding - giving points for the height of the wave and the distance of the ride.
Yet most of the Makaha competition has been run in small surf, but the judges' system still stresses the big wave, and no rules have been set up to accommodate small surf experts.
In order to
points, according to the Makaha rules, a surfer must stay in
part of the wave (the hook next to the breaking section) at
This may be a logical way to ride a big wave, but it can't be applied to surf under eight feet.
In small. surf keeping the surfer in the most critical part of the wave limits his opportunity to perform.
But any Makaha competitor who takes off, trims, limits his maneuvers and rides all the way to shore, racks up more points than the surfer who leaves the most critical part of the wave by cutting back, climbing, dropping, even though this surfer throughout the ride returns again and again to the critical portion of the wave.
Wally Froseith clarified, I think, Makaha's judging criteria when he said, "A surfer who catches a wave outside and rides it all the way to the shore definitely has more opportunity to perform and will, on the average get more points."
underscores the emphasis placed on distance and also points
ambiguous judging premises. Officials have never explained,
as far as I
know, how the judges determine if "opportunity to perform"
And if it is, how do the judges determine if the surfer takes full advantage of this opportunity to perform?
"MAKAHA BASED ON LUCK"
unfair to surfers, considering there's usually a dozen, even
surfers in the water in each heat.
If a surfer is lucky enough to catch the largest wave in a 30-minute heat and have it all to himself - ride it all the way to the beach - his score should not be based on luck, but rather on his ability in taking advantage of "the opportunity to perform."
That is, how well did the surfer execute his ability on the wave?
the contestants agree, as far as I know, Makaha's emphasis
on height of
wave ridden and the distance of the ride overshadows
on the wave.
In my opinion, a true international champion doesn't purposely place limits on his ability to perform.
The champion, for my money, is a surfer who displays not only endurance, judgment and balance, but also is outstanding in the water.
He's the surfer who gets the most out of each and every wave by pushing his ability to perform to the fullest.
And so since the rules at Makaha limit the ability to perform, I don't feel they produce a champion in the sporting sense of the
new in last year's contest: points were deducted for
Now no one can argue that good sportsmanship has a place in every competitive sport.
However, the way this rule was applied at many contestants didn't even know about it until after completion of the competitive events.
And it's still not clear to me what guide lines were used by the judges in determining, in their opinion, what actually was a deliberate lack of sportsmanship in the water.
The judges didn't define what they meant by unsportsmanlike conduct, but they still deducted the points.
In many cases, surfers lost points when, attempting to get the most out of the wave, they accidentally bumped the rail of another competitor's board.
In the judges' opinion, this often was construed as a deliberate act of unsportsmanlike conduct and may explain why many surfers from the mainland and Hawaii were knocked out early in the contest, even though they showed excellent ability to perform- and weren't even aware of any deliberate unsportsmanlike acts.
I think, to the point where it can obtain the recognition
given other competitive
However, even though I'm one of surfing's greatest boosters, I can't honestly .say that the sport deserves that recognition now. Every competitive sport, whether a team or individual, has a governing body setting forth uniform rules and regulations that apply to meets.
And surfing doesn't have this.
Even though the sport does have such a body - the United States Surfing Association.
and is continuing to make, a needed attempt to standardize
rules and regulations
used in surfing meets, but lack of support, principally by
public and contest promoters, has blocked this.
And so it's impossible for the USSA to enforce uniform rules at every surfing meet, whether in California, Hawaii or New York.
can surf in one contest under one set of rules and then
enter a contest
in another city or state where a completely different set of
This condition, I think, is uncommon in any other sport - yet it happens every day in surfing.
competing surfer wants surfing to be accepted as a
I know I do, but we must remember that to reach that degree of sophistication, surfers must strive for the quantities and qualities found in other sports.
We must learn to profit from past mistakes, the use of outdated regulations, poor scoring systems.
Surfers must take action to eliminate contests run under rules that hinder favorable acceptance of the sport by the general public.
must keep in mind that blame for badly-run contests such as
not entirely be put upon shoulders of a small group of
officials or sponsors.
We, the competitors, share this blame because we let it happen, we were a part of it - and a lot of us probably will be part of it again unless it's changed by us.
USSA 1966 RATINGS
of the United States Surfing Association mark a milestone in
that probably means the end of contests dominated by just a
few top surfers.
For the first time, the USSA has segregated surfers into three categories- AAA, AA and A.
This is similar to international ski ratings and means that the top competitors will battle each other in contests, while lesser-rated surfers will compete in separate AA and A heats.
USSA Competition Chairman Hoppy Swarts pointed out that not all contests on the circuit this year will be segregated.
He said there will be a number of open contests where the three categories will compete together.
That is, the AAA, AA and A surfers will be in the same heats.
But details of these open contests are still being worked out, Swarts said, and will be released later.
Under this system, surfers can move up - and also down - the competition ladder.
For example, Single A surfers can, by racking up contest points, move up to AA and even AAA ratings.
The same holds true for AA surfers.
Triple A surfers will, of course, have to defend their top position - or drop back into the AA or Single A division.
The placings were computed on how surfers fared in contests in 1964 and 1965.
A two-year spread was used so that a top surfer would not lose his position after merely one bad contest year.
Here's the list for men, women and juniors.
Unfortunately, space doesn't permit running the Single A competitors in each division as the list runs into hundreds of names.
1. Rusty Miller
2. Skip Frye
3. Donald Takayama
4. Dewey Weber
S. Corky Carroll
6. Rich Chew
7. Joey Cabell
8. Phil Edwards
9. Steve Bigler
10. Mark Martinson
11. Robert August
12. Mike Doyle
13. Robert Kooken
14. John Peck
1 S. Bobby Patterson
16. Mickey Munoz
1. Joyce Hoffman
2. Joey Hamasaki
3. Nancy Nelson
4. Josette Lagardere
5. Dee Dee Arevalos
6. Margo Scotton
7. Linda Benson
8. Gail Yarbrough (Williams)
1. David Nuuhiwa
2. Denny Tompkins
3. Pete Johnson
4. Herb Torrens
5. Mike Stevenson
6. Alf Laws
7. Herbie Fletcher
8. Dale Struble
9. Dru Harrison
10. Dickie Moon
11. Mike Purpus
12.. Bill Gray
13. Greg Tucker
14. Jim Irons
15. Bill Hamilton
16. Steve Schlickenmeyer
1. Mike Doyle
2. Pete Peterson
3. Don Hansen
4. Bob Moore
5. Jack Iverson
6. Mickey Munoz
7. Steve Boehne
8. Hobie Alter
9. Jim Graham
10. Joe Metzger
11. Rusty Miller
12. Corky Carroll
13. Nick Carollo
14. Sam Harwood
Durban's not always crowded, however, and during April before the July crowds, it frequently looks like this as a native carrying stacked surf riders strolls down an almost deserted main street on the strand.
Durban's beaches are segregated so this native youngster can't join these three surfers strolling along Dairy Beach near the West Street Groyne for a little fun in the surf.
some of the more distorted "facts" on South Africa prevalent
I was completely unprepared for the friendliness and
from all sections of the community - whether Indian, Bantu
or white South
HOOD ORNAMENT DEPT.
Honolulu police are trying extra hard to crack the case of the missing automobile hood ornament.
Because the 11-inch, 5-pound statuette was taken from the car of Duke Kahanamoku.
The ornament depicts Duke riding a surf- board.
A hundred-dollar reward, with no questions asked, has been posted for its return.
The ornament was torn from the hood of Duke's Lincoln Continental while the car was parked for just a few moments near the Edgewater Hotel at Waikiki Beach.
The Duke, who had loaned his car to a friend, was in New York at the time to appear on the Ed Sullivan show and attend the opening of the Swimming Hall of Fame in Florida.
It's especially tragic because the ornament was hand-carved 30 years ago by an artist now dead.
There is no existing mold.
Commented the Duke: "You know, I place great sentimental value on that statue, perhaps more than on many of my other awards." Considering all the baubles, trophies and medals that Duke picked up as the Island's greatest surfer, swimmer and Olympic Champion - that's quite a statement.
The Duke added: "I'm sure no surfer or Island fellow took it, because no one would do such a thing."
Greg Noll Surfboards: the CAT is coming, pages 6-7.
JacobsSurfboards: This is the Jacobs 422, page 11.
Hansen Surfboards: 1st in competition for 1965 Rusty Miller - Rusty rides a Doyle Model, page 22.
South Coast Surfboards: The Tip Rider, page 68.
Jacks Surfboards: Jack's all new bellyboard $39.95, page 77.
Steve Shaw: Surfboard Builders' Manual and Kustom-Kit (Shaped blank, cloth, resin, fin, etc.) $92.00-$95.00, page 73.
Bahama Shop: Mexican Huaraches, page 81.
Company: Duke Kahanamoku Speed Suits,
Surfboards Hawaii, Encinitas: 1/1300 (1300 boards built in the last year), page 82.
Con Surfboards: new Wing Nose model, page 95.
Hang-Ten: Phil Edwards and Greg Noll ride the big surf, page 99.
Volume 7 Number 2
the Graham Sorensen Collection.
Rusty Miller and windy Sunset Beach.