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surfer : mickey dora

Mickey 'da Cat'  Dora
(19xx - 2002)
"Life's a waste of time, and surfing is a good a way to waste it as any." - Dora, 1975

Sunset Beach, circa 1963
Photograph : Grannis

Source Documents
1965 Mickey Dora: Dora Speaks Out.
Interview in Surfer Volume 6 Number 3, July 1965.
Micki Dora : Authorative Small Wave Selctions, 1968
This commentary by Micki Dora is edited from an article Authorative Big and Small Wave Selctions published in Surfing Magazine, early 1968, pages 19 to 25.
The images are from alternative sources.
No problem is so big or so complicated that it can't be run away from.

My whole life is this wave.
I drop in, set the thing up and, behind me, all this stuff goes over my back; the screaming parents, teachers, police, priests, politicians—they're all going over the falls headfirst into the reef.
And when it starts to close out, I pull out the back pick up another wave, and do the same goddamn thing.

Waves are the ultimate illusion.
They come out of nowhere, instantaneously materialize, and just as quickly they break and vanish.
Chasing after such fleeting mirages is a complete waste of time.
That is what I choose to do with my life.

Catalogue Entries:
Born : ?
Beach : Malibu, California
Competitive Record
Invitee to Duke Contest 1967,
1967: The infamous  Malibu Moon,


Dora Story #512 : Bob Cooper, as told to Andrew Farrell, editor Australia's Surfing Life.
One time he (Bob Cooper) told me this classic Mickey story.
Apparently Dora would never show up at Malibu unless it was just pumping.
And when he did show up, he'd say something offhand like; "Hey, man, I was over in the Valley and I just knew it was going to be cranking so I came down."
The whole crew was always baffled.
It was a big mystery as to how Mickey could be so on it and never get skunked.
Then one day Bob turns onto the freeway and whoah! ...he just happens to be right behind Dora!
So he thinks to himself, 'I'll just follow him for a bit and see what he gets up to.'
After a while they wound up in Malibu and Mickey turned down some little side road beside a house, just poking the nose of his car out far enough to check out the point.
It seems that if the surf was good, then he'd just swing into the carpark.
If it was bad, he'd just go home with no one the wiser.
How classic is that?!
- Andrew Farrell : The Tale Spinner
Australian Surfers Journal Volume 3 Number Two,  Autumn 2000.  Page 68.

1966 da Cat by Mickey Dora : Greg Noll Surfboards

da Cat fin 
Molded ABS
8 x 8 b @ n/a inches  (Approximation)
Micki Dora da Cat Model
Greg noll Surfboards, USA
Base tounge and indent to lock into corresponding fin box.

C. R. Steck Collection
Photograph : Douglas Congdon-Martin
Schiffer  page 58

Rensin, David:
All For a Few Perfect Waves - The Audacious Life and Legend of Rebel Surfer Miki Dora
Liquid Attractions, 2 Ibis Street, Doncaster, Victoria 2108, 1998.

Web Page
Legendary surfers


 Surf Guide Oct 1963: Miki Dora

Surfing World v
2 n4 1963 June
Surfabout v1 n4 1963
Rusty Miller riding, Dora paddles out.

The Endless Summer  1964
Ride the Wild Surf 1966?
Free and Easy 1967
Pacific Vibrations 1973
Surfers - The Movie 1994?

Mickey Chapin (Dora) and Benny Merrill, Trestles, 1950.

Mickey Dora, sequence from a black-and-white film in 16mm, Malibu, California,1960.
Photographs: John Severson, Surf (2014)

Malibu, 1960.

Photograph: Leroy Grannis

July 1976 

Volume17 Number 2 Page 55.

 Rincon, circa 1962.

Photograph: Ron Stoner

Surfer Magazine

June 1981, Volume 22 Number 6 page 41.


Malibu, circa 1963.
Photo: Grannis

Malibu, circa 1964. Photo: Bruce Brown.

Rincon, circa 1963.
Photos : Grannis

Stern and Cleary (1963) page 57.

Surfer Magazine
Feb - March 1964, page 37.

Malibu, circa 1964

Malibu Left, circa 1963.  Grannis, Stern and Cleary (1963) page 98.

Mickey Dora casually
glancing back at  Phil Edwards,
Sunset Beach, 1962.

A rare photo of four greats in action at Sunset beach, December 1962.
Left to right:
Mickey Dora casually glancing back at  Phil Edwards,
Mike Hansan and George Downing.
(Photo: Ed Depriest, courtesy Surfing Magazine)

Grissim: Pure Stoke (1982) page 33.

Mickey Dora, Haleiwa, 1965.

Dora Speaks, 1965.

"When a surfer takes off in front of me,
he's stealing my wave ... he sets tapped.
I'm thinking of bringing my lawyer to the beach."

Mickey displays his skiing talents with Patti Chandler
during the filming of "Ski Party."

Mickey Dora surfs his home grounds of Santa Monica State Beach.
Photo by Peter Gowland.

Mickey Dora at Waimea Bay during the filming of "Ride The Wild Surf",
when he was asked to take planned wipe-outs in the big surf.

Miklos F. Dora III,
alias Mickey Chapin Dora.

Mickey with "Bikini Beach Blanket" cast.

Malibu Contest, 1965:
Dora and Johnny Fain, 1.

Dora and Johnny Fain, 2.

da Cat, Greg Noll Surfboards, 1966.
da Formula: Tr x R - W / Ma + Cl +A
Trim Rails + Maximum Rocker - Weight / Minimum Area + Classic Lines + Ability =

Power turns, 100% noseriding type naturally, maximum maneuverablility for shooting down the kooks.

Surfer Volume 7 Number 4, page 16, September 1966.
Greg Noll Surfboards : da Cat by Mickey Dora
Listen- da Cat is too pure and sensitive to be cheapen with commercialism.
I'm up to my mazzuza in quicksand with THE WHOLE SURF SCENE and sinking fast.
The greasy exploiters and Fast Buck, Madison Avenue Account types have tried to close in with their surf dope outfits, trying to grab a piece of the action with their nauseating phoney endorsements from has-been personality boys.
There may be a few who have tried to stay pure, but most so-called surfing greats have perverted their integrity for a grimy handout from  from promoters pushing stamped-out models through their assembly lines on to you suckers - loosely disguised with Daffey Duck decals.

But endorsements from some aging charity case surfer doesn't mean sincerity and and belief in the product.
It's hot air - stimulated by a few bucks.
Sell-out artists could care less as long as they get their grubby little pay off.

BUT DA CAT ... I designed my original prototype for one type guy only.
My only satisfaction for my partial sell-out to the Greg Noll organization is to see to see one radical rebel, one strong believer, unstained by pure group double-talk, to ride da Cat as it should be ridden, carving a name, creating new standards and techniques from the great potential of da Cat and crush, mash, obliterate, destroy and disintegrate all the tuberoonies who come his way.
Mickey Dora
Greg Noll Surfboards, Hermosa Beach, California.

See: Surfer 1966 : Yokahama Bay.

Volume 8 Number 2  May 1967.

Page 4
Greg Noll Surfboards:
After surviving '66 Da Cat promises to go for broke in '67.

'66 is behind me and rotting on the insanity heap.
Sticking my neck out to tell the truth in advertising has backfired for the most part of last year.
For shaking up the status quo and stepping on the wrong toes at the right time, strange things began to happen.
Character assassination, intimidation, and the latest frame job to put me in the Grey Hotel.
When these things occur, you know you are beginning to hit home and the foundation is starting to split.
Da Cat was here before and will be here after.
The more it is put down, the stronger it gets.

The moons and the finks and the rest of you will always be washed up because you're nothing and you stand for less and there are a few of us left who know who you are.
- Mickey Dora.

Micky Dora:
da cat by Greg Noll Surfboards.

The Men and Their Models, page 34.

Malibu Invitational Surf Classic, 1967.
Photograph:  C.R.Stecyk lll
Surfer July 1976 
Volume17 Number 2 Page 68.

There is a story about this photograph.

Mickey after winning the car race in
MacGillivray and Freeman's Free and Easy, 1967.
Surfer July 1967
Volume 8 Number 3.

Malibu discipline as administered by Micki Dora, 1969.

Malibu, 1969. Photo: Leroy Grannis

Cabo San Lucas, Baja, July 1989. Photo: Bill Delaney
Still from Surfers -The Movie, Surfer April 1990, page 125

Greg Noll Surfboards: da Blue Cat
Volume 7 Number 6 January 1967, page 20.
Copy courtesy of Graham Sorensen.

The artwork is clearly derived from The Blue Max,

 a 1966 British war film about a German fighter pilot
on the Western Front during World War I.

It was directed by John Guillermin and starred
George Peppard, James Mason, and Ursula Andress.

Dora Goes Left.
Phil Jarratt: A Conversation With Mickey Dora.
Tracks, Number 61, October 1975.

Merry Christmas from the Cat's Crypt
From deep in the archives I wish you one and all a brain strobing high holidays, and a prosperous new year,
with a hundred times
less work and a thousand times more pleasure to groove on them whats past.
May the new year bring da white water  over da land
and wash out all the oppressive concentration camp
towers, then purifying our coast line by completely deluding of every crazed, money mad, fenced
 out, and pathetic private beach
clique Mussolini type property owners.
Then once again freedom
will be ours to express ourselves to the fullest extent of our capabilities.
Things are changing and it's all happening now
Wake up and do what's needed, this next year will be
the critical turning point in our history one way or the other.
got to shake them up man before da san Andreas Fault does her shaking for you.
Sleep tight children for tomorrow we might
wake up dead.
International Surfing
East Coast Edition, January 1968, Volume 3 Number 6, page 5

da Cat's Theory of Evolution: Greg Noll Surfboards, 1967.

Malibu Pit, 1962.

Malibu Invitational Surf Classic, 1967.

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Geoff Cater (2012-2020) : Surfer : Mickey Dora.