Wax On, Wax Off: Documentary on Early Newport Surf Scene

Categories: Wax On, Wax Off
An anonymous reader was kind enough to send in this video about the early Newport Beach surf scene, circa 1950s and 60s. Apparently an early look at an enigmatic documentary project called Living it Forever  (coming in spring 2010) the clip includes conversations with a diverse selection of Newport locals ranging from early greats like Don Craig, John Peck, Tom Miller and Ilima Kalama to current retro connoisseurs like Alex Knost.
1960s surf3.jpg
Flickr user shanan
1960s surf1.jpg
Flickr user Christian Montone
In its early days, surfing became popular as an outlaw culture rife with misfits, partying and other mischief. Most local legends were nonprofessional surfers who spent countless hours out in the water, devoting themselves to the then-thankless sport.

"The surfers at school were basically scene as a bad crowd, and everyone knows...the surfers up and down the coast...it's troublemakers...they just live to surf...and that appealed to me," says Ed Hardy.

In Newport, this lifestyle meant membership in the Newport Beach Surfing Association, an exclusive group of like-minded surfers from the area.

"Everybody came to Newport. Newport was the spot..."
1960s surf4.jpg
Flickr user Benjamin D. Hammond
says Don Craig in the opening lines of the clip. Ilima Kalama adds later, "the camaraderie that we had shared was something very very very special."

From their grungy style of dress to their legendary local feats like backflipping off the Lido bridge, the surfers of Newport carried the torch of surfing's rebellious side, and set the tone for future generations of Orange County surfers. The documentary is set to be released early in 2010.

Stay tuned for more info on this exciting project...

1960s surf2.jpg
Flickr user shanan

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