01/17/13 - posted by norm
One needs to understand the surfing scene in SF during the longboard era and into the short board revolution. Kelly's suffered from having a rep of poor surf and a certain degree of localism existed. Still many folks started there. BUT, what is important is that it was not the focus of all SF surfers or SF surfing.

Groms started the path with skim boards, moved to mats, and then often scored a used board, followed by a new board. Boards by O'Neils, Hickey, Olsen were local in nature. As shops opened up in Cruz there was more opportunity for boards our of Southern California. One could always order one as well directly. GET even carried boards...pop-out Royal Hawaiians.

The idea of a leash was foreign...so if you lost your board you had a long swim.

Those with a car quickly learned that the surf was generally better at Pedro Point (Linda Mar) or at times Bolinas. Of course, If one could get the gas money together, the folks would head to Santa Cruz. (That also assumed that the $35.00 car or panel truck would make it past the county line.)

If you were willing to get busted by the MPs you might go to Ft. Point. Deadman's was often interesting as was Rockway. No one had a clue about Maverick's although folks might go out at Princeton.

Ocean Beach was broken apart by the name of the street that dead ended there. This was for a quick after school surf (assuming you were not cutting class). Lincoln surfers would be there early after 5th period, and Lowell surfers after 3:10 pm at the close of 7th period (explains why they are all the elite today).

In the fall of each year for Lincoln and Lowell surfers it was the happy times at the foot of Sloat. Well-formed, glassy waves...with warm weather to boot.

Surf movies would come to SF and be shown at A.P. Giannini (that's not spelled correctly).

Wetsuits were generally beaver tails or farmerjohns. O'Neils were certainly worn by many, but even the Bamboo Reef Dive shop downtown sold a decent wetsuit. Nobody had a full body suit then. Winter tended to be a downtime until wetsuits caught up with the needs. (This would be a time for skateboarding on metal or clay wheels...loved hitting a pebble.)

Folks read Surfer, Surfing, Surfer's Guide and occasionally a magazine from OZ could be found. One always hoped for an article on Northern CA but such was not often the case.

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