Just caught Paul Judge's WNP article about surfing at Ocean Beach and the role played by legendary surfer (and inventor of the wet suit) Jack O'Neill. Very cool.
I have a deeply embedded memory of driving with my grandpa along Great Highway in the 1950s and watching for one of my landmarks: the tall, totem-pole like sign reading SURF SHOP plunked on lower Great Highway. Being 5 or 6, I had never heard of surfing or surfers, and wondered what a "Surf Shop" might be. How does one sell surf? Was it like a pet shop but with little waves in cages instead of puppies? Didn't know I was looking at O'Neill's proto surfer store and a touchstone of California history.
Anyway, it's great to hear more about this little-told story of pioneer surfing at Ocean Beach. Write more, Paul.