By Brooke Johnson Schmitt

The Journal of San Diego History
San Diego History Center Quarterly
Summer Fall 2016, Volume 62, Number 3 & 4
Tourmaline Canyon: Surfers vs. Homeowners during the 1960s (PDF)

Beach access and development are complex issues in coastal communities worldwide. In California alone the list of stakeholders is long: recreationalists, property owners, and residents; local state and federal governments and agencies; biologists, archeologists, environmentalists, researchers, and educational institutions; commercial fishermen, boat captains, and longshoremen; oil, construction, shipping, power and development companies; the Coast Guard, Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps; and surfers. In the 1,100 miles from the Tijuana Sloughs to South Beach, Crescent City, there have been many battles in the  California  beach access war. The fight has played out in the media, the courts, and the legislature, ultimately leading to the establishment of the formidable California Coastal Commission in 1972. One such fight is currently happening north of San Francisco in San Mateo County over access rights to Martin Beach. It is one in a long list that grows exponentially when taking into consideration beach communities on a global scale.

The following is an in-depth look into one such conflict that erupted in San Diego, California, during the first half of the 1960s. By this time, surfers had joined the coastal access fight as both antagonists and advocates. The struggle  is gleaned largely the same way average citizens of San Diego would have seen it—through the lens of newspaper articles published in The San Diego Union and Evening Tribune. In a time when headlines were dominated by the Cold War, the Space Race, Nazi war criminal trials, the Civil Rights Movement, and Vietnam, these events received a remarkable amount of media coverage.

Tourmaline Canyon, 1960-1967 

During World War II, Carlos Tavares was a concrete ship builder, but when the war ended, he turned to real estate.1 In San Diego County, Tavares helped to develop much of Pacific Beach, San Carlos, Chula Vista, and Clairemont (named after his wife); in addition, he built subdivisions in the California communities of Rocklin, Novato, and Whittier.2 In the early 1960s he owned a parcel of vacant land in San Diego Pueblo lot 1783 on the north edge of Pacific Beach and the south side of La Jolla. The land encompassed all of Tourmaline Canyon—from Loring Street and Mission Boulevard to Wrelton Drive and Turquoise Street—down to the mean high tide line. It was void of streets, curbs, residences, concrete and development.3 At the corner of Loring and Mission, La Jolla Boulevard did not veer to the left and travel north as it does today; it started at Turquoise Street. A person standing in the middle of Tourmaline Canyon in 1960 might have thought him/herself to be somewhere in Baja California. It looked like no man’s land; in reality, it belonged to Carlos Tavares.

The area, referred to as “The Canyon” by local surfers at the time, was used as beach access and camping grounds. Tourmaline in the early 1960s was not the break it is today, a family-friendly longboard haven. It was mostly rocks with little sand, and approximately 20 years passed before that changed. Nobody surfed near there during the summer months but, during the winter, especially when big north swells were closing out the beach breaks, the froth factor around adjacent Pacific Beach (PB) Point—also called Sun Gold Point, False Point, and Gunners Point— was high. The main access to the point was not through Tourmaline Canyon, but through the nearby neighborhood at the foot of Linda Way and what is now Sea Ridge Drive. For half of the year, the surrounding area was a quiet, surfer- free neighborhood, but surfing was growing. The city was restricting surfing on bathing beaches so, when the surf was up, residents would find surfers parking, changing, hooting, honking, and generally “amping” up their neighborhood. It got so bad that the kind of disturbances that happen in any neighborhood were blamed on surfers. The presence of surfers in the neighborhood became such a contentious subject that, by the winter of 1960-1961, residents from the Sun Gold Point subdivision were gearing up to put a stop to surfing in the area.

Protests and Ordinances 

On December 17, 1960, big surf, warm weather, and Christmas vacations brought an unusual number of surfers to Pacific Beach and La Jolla. Lew Scarr, a columnist for The San Diego Union wrote:

By the narrow gauge of the clock, Dec. 17 [1960],  from sunrise   to sunset was a disaster…Dec. 17, a Sunday, was a meteorological freak, even for San Diego. A capricious Santa Ana condition brought 80-degree temperatures to San Diego and only San Diego. A petulant ocean warmed itself to near 70 degrees. And, wonder of wonders, the surf was also up. That universal cry, ‘Surf’s Up!’ was carried by the wind…throughout Southern California and every surfer who could remember where he last put his cake of paraffin shot the tube for San Diego. Surfers arrived in San Diego by the thousands, descending on… Windansea…In the time that it takes a lifeguard to grab a bullhorn, Windansea was jammed with boards. Soon, they spilled onto no- surfing beaches north and south. Flower beds and lawns in nearby homes were trampled in the crush, and in these places, residents raised hackles. The nearest street corner was good enough for a dressing room for some. Incredulous citizens thought jail was too good for others.4

Many residents panicked. One sobbing woman telephoned Les Earnest,  San Diego City Park and Recreation Director and told him that “she feared surfboarders would actually tear her home down.”5

Captain Carl A. Schlack, USN Ret., complained on behalf of local residents.6 One night, surfers and young people had congregated on the beach below his house. He awoke in the morning to find that gasoline had been poured on his lawn and burned. He complained of broken windows, destroyed garden, surfboards on his lawn, an irritated pet boxer, and surfers that cut through his property to get to the beach. On December 27, 1960, the Pacific Beach Coordinating Council met to address the growing tensions. Schlack told the group, “I’ve had enough. It’s gotten to the point where my wife and I are afraid to leave the home because of the damage that could occur to it or us.”7 Don Vynne, San Diego City Aquatics Superintendent, added “The devil is breaking loose on the beaches…Suddenly homeowners have had enough. I’m checking reports on 24 miles of beach frontage about kids gathering in gangs at night and raising the devil.”8

A recent change in the nature of the sport had drawn more teenagers into surfing. Vynne explained, “Three years ago a surfboard weighed 150 pounds and it took a big man to handle one…Now they weigh 45 pounds and it seems like every kid in San Diego owns one.”9 Local surf clubs denied any involvement in the incident, but Schlack was persistent, saying, “I know who they were. I have proof.”10 He added, “It is an expression of decay that occurs in a great nation…When they feel that everything belongs to them, they’re playing the Communist role.”11 Around this time, many surf access disputes were happening up and down the coast of California. Similar conflicts were occurring in Laguna Beach, Oceanside, and Carmel.12 In Maroubra Beach, Australia, south of Sydney, surfers were being blamed for “cluttering up the beach” and “party-crashing on a grand scale.”13 In San Diego alone there were several neighborhoods that were logging grievances against young surfers. The ones who gained the most traction in the media, however, were in the residents of the Sun Gold Point subdivision in south La Jolla and Law Street in north Pacific Beach.

The meeting of the Pacific Beach Coordinating Council—attended by 25 people including Vynne, Les Earnest, and San Diego City Councilman Ross Tharp—resulted in the proposal of 5 possible regulations:

  1. Assign a senior lifeguard to work with surfers to set up clubs and assist in helping them regulate their own
  2. Relocate surfboarding areas away from residential
  3. Modify the present ordinances to further restrict the number of surfing areas, a step which Earnest said he [preferred] not to
  4. Require a license for
  5. Set hourly limits on surfing.14

In the days following, City Park and Recreation Director Les Earnest reinforced his support for relocating surfing areas and back-pedaled from his initial stances on surfboard licensing and restricting surfing areas. On December 29, 1960, at a meeting of the San Diego City Council, the proposal of a surfboard licensing law was ruled out after a close examination of the Laguna Beach ordinance. In agreement were Les Earnest, Police Chief Jensen, and City Attorney Jean DePaul, deeming such a law unenforceable. Earnest came to the conclusion that the answer would be:

  1. Restrict surfboarding to the six areas [then] designated for the sport, where more patrolling [would] be ordered. They [were] La Jolla Shores, Windansea, two beaches in Pacific Beach, South Mission, and Ocean Beach and
  2. Closer coordination of the surfing clubs, the city, and property owners.15

Earnest tried to justify this shift in viewpoint by saying, “The remaining six beaches are big enough for all the surfing we have now and we can open more areas as the need arises.”16

As this story played out in the media, many concerned citizens wrote in both major San Diego newspapers and expressed their views in a number of editorials and letters to editors. The coverage of the story weighed heavily on the side of the residents, but these editorials gave surfers their first voice in the matter:

  • With all the fuss about surfers, the places they surf, and the things a few of them do, I feel that something should be said for the surfers.17 – John G. Paul
  • Surfing and vandalism have nothing in common. Surfing is a clean, healthful, challenging sport. The vandalism is the product of certain members of our society.18 – Neil Larsen
  • It seems to me that beach and property owners don’t like people. With the growth in our population, where are we poor souls to go, but in the ocean?19 – Mrs. B. Luther
  • It would be nice for a change if we had somebody to represent us.20 – Pat Fiddler
  • Pathways leading to surfing areas would ‘eliminate 90 percent of the problem’ created by surfers having to cross private property to get to beaches.21 – John Anderson, CA State Beach Head Lifeguard
  • The time has come to defend the people who surf. Their freedom to ride the ocean waves is being endangered by proposed punitive legislation designed to make surfing semi-extinct.22 – Mrs. Robert W. Town
  • The complaints of householders about vandalism and rowdyism should naturally be given proper attention; however, this element has nothing to do with surfing or any other sport. It is a case of delinquent human behavior and should be dealt with accordingly.23 – A.A. Rose

On January 4, 1961, Schlack published his own editorial in the form of a letter to the editor bearing the title, “All Parents Should Know of the Red Menace.” He suggested that the editor publish more articles to show “how parents may become or be unknowing tools of the Communist cause through lack of close supervision and control of their children.” He made the following comments with regard to his recent experiences with local surfers and their parents:

The laxity in discipline of children and juveniles…seem effective softening methods preparing youth for the acceptance of the communist doctrine. Ridicule of the policeman, demands by parents and others to reduce the authority of those sworn to uphold the law particularly as it pertains to juveniles on the pretext that it is brutality, are but a sample. In general, the trend towards lack of self-discipline and disrespect for authority makes youth and many adults ripe for plucking by those who would undermine our way of life.24

Twelve days after his letter to the editor was published, Schlack attended a quarterly meeting of the La Jolla Town Council held at the La Jolla Community Center. At the meeting Claude Ford, chairman of the parks and beaches committee, told trustees, “Eventually it will be a necessity to consider a surfboard a deadly weapon just as an automobile.”25 Ford argued, presumably with Schlack in agreement, that surfers and/or their parents should be required to have liability insurance. At the same meeting, trustees voted to sponsor a six-week adult education course through the Northwest Adult School called “Democracy vs. Communism.” Meanwhile, the Pacific Beach Town Council met and adopted a resolution that they then passed on to the San Diego City Council suggesting, “More supervision, not a change in surfing areas.”26

One solution was to get young surfing fans organized into clubs. Vynne told of the effort to “get surfers to organize into self-policing clubs to reduce rowdyism.”27 It was reported that about 175 surfers had signed up for five main clubs including:

Ocean Beach Surf Club, 40 members, ages 13-16. Sunset Cliffs Surf Club, 30 members, ages 16-19. South Mission Beach Surfing Club, 40 members, ages 13-16. The Mallihines, a girls’ club, 21 members, ages 14-19. La Jolla Shores Surf Club, 40 members, ages 16-18.28

Vynne, told of an upcoming mass meeting of club members, said, “We hope to have more clubs and eventually have a surfing council composed of representatives from each club to plan contests and entertainment events.”29 These hopes would come to fruition in the following years.

In February 1961, despite the Pacific Beach Town Council resolution, the City of San Diego introduced an ordinance that would relocate some surfing and swimming areas in Pacific Beach and open up new ones. The changes would switch existing surfing areas away from residential areas and into commercial zones.30 Opposing the ordinance was a representative from the council who presented a petition signed by seventy-one business owners who complained that their customers and hotel guests would be inconvienced by moving the swimming areas.31 An attorney for one of the motel owners said, “300 feet is a long way to walk for an elderly person, a person carrying beach equipment, and children.”32

Despite the petition, the city moved forward with Ordinance No. 8452, moving the surfing zone from Law Street and replacing it with a swim zone.33 Councilman Tharp explained, “The question was whether you should have the rowdyism in a residential area or in a commercial area which has more parking spaces and can be more easily policed. We wouldn’t allow a trampoline center or a miniature golf course in a residential area, so why should we allow a recreational activity like surfing?”34 Les Earnest said, “This is an attempt to get something that will be acceptable to most people. We know some people will be unhappy no matter which way we go.”35

Ordinance No. 8452 did not, however, appease the residents of the Sun Gold Point subdivision, whose area remained undesignated.36 Schlack, for one, applied to the City Engineer’s Office for a permit to install a fence at the foot of Linda Way in order to bar access to the beach.37 He also brought twenty-five La Jollans before the City Council to seek a surfing ban on beaches below the subdivision. They reported, “women [were] afraid to walk in front of their homes and that police [had] been called to the subdivision 45 times since November in response to rowdyism complaints.”38 The group presented a petition signed by seventy residents; photographs showing teenagers drinking and changing clothes; a diary of incidents that Schlack had kept since December; and movies taken on the beach. Schlack said, “We beg with you, we plead with you to help us…We are helpless.”39

In response to resident outcry, a two-person committee consisting of San Diego councilmen George Kerrigan and Ross Tharp was appointed to look into the disputes between surfers and ocean front residents. Based on the committee’s findings, the San Diego City Council ordered a study of San Diego’s ocean front. Kerrigan explained that he foresaw a time where increased private land ownership would continue to block access. He said, “Unless we do some orderly planning now, we’re going to have more and more problems in the future.”40 The solution

being explored involved the city’s purchase of land in the Tourmaline Canyon. On March 31, 1961, the San Diego City Council proposed an ordinance restricting surfing to certain designated between Ocean Beach and La Jolla and making it a misdeameanor offence to surf outside those areas. If adopted, the ordinance would:

…restrict surfers to seven areas, totaling about one mile of beach at: 1. Foot of Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach. 2. South Mission Beach. 3. Foot of Pacific Beach Drive in North Mission Beach. 4. Feldspar- Diamond Street area in Pacific Beach. Windansea, La Jolla. 6. La Jolla Shores. 7. Ocean side of Mission Beach opposite El Carmel and Santa Clara points.41

Ford and Schlack, both members of the La Jolla Town Council, voiced full support of the new ordinance.

Local surfers, unhappy about being pigeonholed as hoodlums, organized. On Saturday, April 8, 1961, freshly groomed and donning ties, young surfers gathered downtown to protect both their good name and their access rights. Bearing signs that read “Save Surfing” and “Surfers Also Have Rights,” the surfers marched from the San Diego Civic Center to Horton Plaza at Fourth and Broadway.42 The Evening Tribune sent a photographer and a reporter, but they provided little coverage of the march. A single image of the protest appeared on page A-21 the following Monday. These events, combined with a lack of voice, caused local surfers to embark on a mission of self-advocacy over the course of the next several years.

Amid much controversy, the measure went before the city council on April 11, 1961. In an hour-long hearing in front of a packed city council chamber, both Ford and Schlack reiterated their previous endorsement of the ordinance. Several teenagers also spoke, opposing the ordinances and asking for designation of more surfing areas. Ron Church, a Scripps Institute of Oceanography diver and underwater/surf photographer, gave the council  petitions  signed by 875 persons opposing the ordinance. He said, “when a drunk is driving down the street, you don’t close the street to all drivers. You arrest the drunk. Why pick on all surfers for the actions of a few?”43

As a result of the heavy pushback from surfers, the city council promised to delay the ordinance so that further consideration could be made. Local politicians, meanwhile, capitalized on the situation by appearing to be sympathetic to the surf community. Kerrigan was reported saying, “the city should acquire access rights to protect the beach for surfing.”44 Tharp said, “The people who use the beaches are entitled to thoughtful planning and  preservation.”45

The city council considered relegating surfers to specific areas, even building a Surf Park.46 The problem was that they focused on an area, Tourmaline Canyon, that had unsurfable waves. Not all residents or surfers felt that creation and implementation of “parking… supervision, and other facilities” were great ways to preserve Tourmaline Canyon.47

On April 21, 1961, in what would be a precursor to the San Diego Interclub Surfing Council, Ron Church chaired a meeting of seventy-five surfers representing twelve different clubs. The group discussed the “antisurfing” ordinance that was up before the city council and planned to ask the city council “to reword the ordinance so areas not designated for swimming [could] be used for surfing.” The group also discussed the need for surfers and clubs to self-police in order  to “eliminate rowdyism and littering.”48 Surfers left the meeting with pledges of support from the beach area’s chamber of commerce and Ford who represented the La Jolla Town Council.

On April 25, 1961, the controversial surfing ordinance went up in front of the city council again. More than 100 surfers showed up at the hearing, occupying all of the seats in the council chamber and standing along the walls. According to one reporter, “The surf board riders were neatly dressed and restrained in conduct.” Andy Jones, one of three spokesmen, presented a substitute ordinance that closed access to La Jolla’s Archer Street beach area via Linda Way and Archer Street in the Sun Gold Point Subdivision, but otherwise left things as they were. The beach itself would not be closed. This substitute ordinance was backed by petitions containing 3,513 signatures. Surfers promised to police themselves and keep away from Sun Gold Point subdivision. The city council, once again, opted to postpone final action on the restrictive ordinance. Shortly afterwards, the city barricaded access via Sun Gold Point and organized another study committee  to be chaired by Ford.49

In late July, a new surfing ordinance, No. 8502, was introduced to the city council. The new ordinance did not close any beaches to surfing, but gave city officials the power to do so “if surfers using it [were] deemed to be contributing to a public nuisance.” At this meeting Ford presented the recommendations of the study committee: “1. The city continue its efforts to acquire Tourmaline Canyon” and “2. A public toilet and changing facility be built at La Jolla’s Windansea Beach as a convenience to beach users.”50 The City would go on to develop Tourmaline Canyon. La Jolla residents, meanwhile, successfully opposed the construction of a bathroom and changing facility.51

The city council passed Ordinance No. 8502 on August 1, 1961.52 At the end of the month, the body adopted a resolution establishing some authorized surfing areas, but they did not repeat their attempt to restrict surfing to designated beaches. That idea, according to The San Diego Union, “has been withdrawn after it stirred up a storm of protest.”53

1962: The Purchase of Tourmaline Canyon

Over the next ten months, the City of San Diego continued with their misguided plans to create a Surf Park, focusing their attention on Tourmaline Canyon. Negotiations began with owner Carlos Tavares and his associate Robert Collins who hoped to rezone Electric Avenue (now La Jolla Hermosa Avenue) from R1 to R4.54 This caused an uproar as residents of single-family homes disliked the idea of an apartment complex coming into the neighborhood.55 Complaints and petitions started to circulate regarding the park development.56 Residents thought that it would cost too much to develop and saw that Tavares and Collins would benefit the most, especially if they got the remaining land rezoned.57 In October 1962 the city council accepted a $161,000 plan to develop part of Tourmaline Canyon. This went against the wishes of at least 200 local residents who had signed a petition to turn the enire canyon into a park.58

Among the many critics of the plan was Citizens Coordinate led by Thomas I. Crist. Citizens Coordinate urged the City Council to hold public hearings on the Tourmaline Surf Park proposal saying, “this whole project deserves a close reevaluation by the City and by the taxpayers.” The group alleged that the $50,000 price that Collins and Tavares were asking for the land was “entirely out of line with the current market.”59 The city was alleged to be willing to pay Collins an inflated price for the land, which he would then turn around and put back into the project for his own benefit. The money would go toward paying for the sewer pump, something necessary for apartment complexes.

A week after Crist proposed public hearings, the price of the land the city wanted to buy was dropped to $42,500 for 2.4 acres.60 In the end, San Diego City Manager Tom Fletcher negotiated the purchase of 3.4 acres for $45,000.61 After Collins added an additional acre for $2,500, Fletcher said, “I believe Collins bent over backwards to help us obtain the land we need.”62 That the development company would have done this without some return benefit added to community suspicion.

After another failed attempt to rezone part of the canyon in 1965, this time to R3 to build a hospital, Tavares and Collins eventually got the areas that they wanted to develop rezoned to R4.63 Between 1966 and 1970 four apartment complexes were built on Tourmaline Terrace: Casa Del Sur, Casa Del Norte, Casa Hermosa, and Casa Del Mar.64

1963: A Surfing Park, Thor Svenson, and Windansea Surf Club

Citizens Coordinate proposed an entirely different development plan for the park. They proposed a “narrower service road following land contours along the western slope”; parking for only 50 cars; a bathroom on the upper level, and no sewer construction. They also recommended “retention of the present streambed by shoring up banks where needed and planting native shrubs to control erosion.” Aggravated that their own architectural plan was overlooked in favor of the Collins/ Tavares deal, Citizens Coordinate called the size of the parking lot excessive and argued that construction would require “severe cuts in the canyon wall.’” They labeled the park plan “playa del black top” and claimed that the city:

  1. Failed to use the service of professional park designers;
  2. Bypassed citizens groups in reaching its decision for the [$160,000] park;
  3. Failed to hold a public hearing on the proposal.65

When the San Diego City Council officially approved the park plan on February 28, 1963, Crist called for an investigation by the City council. Asked by Mayor Dail if he thought that there had been anything irregular that should be investigated by the grand jury, Crist stopped short, saying, “we don’t believe that is necessary.”66

At the same time, but for different reasons, surfers were circulating their own petition against the Tourmaline Surfing Park. Organized by 19-year-old Bill Caster, the petition collected 1,000 signatures in a two-day period. Caster told   a reporter for the Evening Tribune that he planned to go to the city council with the petitions and that if the city council ignored them, “surfers [would] stage a mass protest.” Caster said, “We want an alternate site…The money the council plans to spend on Tourmaline Canyon will be wasted money because it won’t be used by surfers.”67 There was no wave there, an important point that seemed to escape local politicians.

Despite the objections of Citizens Coordinate and local surfers, the City moved forward with the Tourmaline Canyon park.68 On April 4, 1963, the contract was awarded to A.A. Baxter Corp. of San Diego.69 Work on the development started soon after.

While the media was consumed with the bureaucratic details of the controversial land deal concerning Tourmaline Canyon, surfers worked to clean up their image. Seeing that their rights were being threatened, they began forming organized surfing clubs, including Windansea Surf Club. Established by Chuck Halsey in 1962, Windansea quickly became the most formidable and high profile club in San Diego.70 This was in large part due to the public relations work done by one Thor Svenson, aka William Alfred Rushward.

Svenson—a one-time San Diego school system and theater group teacher, theatrical arts and surf writer, opera and theater director, day camp leader, and radio host—appeared constantly in the San Diego media in the early 1960s.71 He played a large role in helping to legitimize surfing in San Diego in the early 1960s, but he was also a controversial figure accused of dark deeds. These accusations cast a shadow on Svenson’s motives for being involved with young surfers.72

It is likely that Svenson was brought in during the Sun Gold Point conflict of 1961, but he did not get a stronghold in the mainstream media for surfing until 1963.73 Svenson worked with the city and made public statements to newspaper reporters when, in May 1963, the City of San Diego removed ‘Hot Curl,’ the over six-foot-tall, 400-pound concrete, steel-framed, mop-headed, trunks-wearing, beer- drinking Windansea statue created by Lee Teacher and Mike Dormer.74 When the statue was replaced on the beach  in the middle of July 1963 and then destroyed by vandals on July 27, it was Svenson who was deferred to in order to determine whether ‘Hot Curl’ would be buried or rebuilt.75

Beginning with their win of the first Annual Malibu Invitational in 1963, Windansea quickly became the juggernaut of the club scene. The team took all five places in the individual competition. They also came in “first in the paddle board relay to win the tourney’s team and perpetual trophy.”76 Concurrently, the City of San Diego was  pushing  to  complete the construction of the Tourmaline Surfing Park. In October 1963 the San Diego Union reported that the Tourmaline Canyon improvements had been delayed by vandals: “On at least four occasions youths had removed barricades from the parking area and raced cars on a fresh asphalt surface, tearing holes in it.”77 What was initially projected to be an 8-month project ended up taking much longer than expected. The parking lot was completed within weeks of these delays, but the completion and dedication of the park did not happen until 1965.

In the winter of 1963 Svenson became instrumental in helping the Windansea team fundraise and obtain an invitation to the world  surfing championships   at Makaha. He obtained the support of Duke Kahanamoku who “agreed to underwrite the expenses of one Windansea member to the championships and to entertain the team during its visit.”78 He also arranged for the media to be present at the airport for Windansea’s departure and return.79

The 1963 International Surfing Championships at Makaha turned into one of the most notable years on record for the event. Windansea surfers Phil Edwards, Butch Van Artsdalen, Mike Burner, Gary Cooke, Joey Cabell, and Rusty Miller all qualified for the semifinals, with Cabell and Miller advancing to the finals. In 12 to 15 foot surf, twenty-five year-old Joey Cabell edged out defending champ Midget Farrelly to take the win. Windansea also “took four first places out of seven events held off Waikiki…in the surfboard paddle race section of the International Surfing championships.” Four of the twelve women’s finalists were also Windansea club members including Joyce Hoffman and 1959 Makaha winner Linda Benson, but all four failed to place.80 The contest was broadcast on NBC’s Wide World of Sports and the team got considerable positive coverage in The San Diego Union.81 When seventy-five Windansea surfers left for Hawaii two years later, their farewell dinner was attended by several local politicians including the mayor.82 With them, Windansea carried keys to the City of San Diego and a letter of introduction from Governor of California Edmund Gerald “Pat” Brown.83

The Western Regional Surfing Championships

Windansea and Svenson stepped up their public relations campaign to improve surfing’s image. In 1964, the San Diego Interclub Council on Surfing was formed in order to organize surf contests and engage in community outreach. Toward the end of that summer the group went door to door, taking surveys and asking for suggestions about how to improve their public image. Learning that most homeowners were concerned about litter, they organized an “End of Vacation Clean-Up program” in Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, and Imperial Beach. William White, chairman of the War Against Litter Committee, commended “the surfers’ clubs of San Diego and also recognize their council chairman, Thor Svenson, for this type of leadership training and public service.”84 Toward the end of the 1964, Windansea sent a team of forty-seven to the Makaha event to defend its team title.85  Joyce Hoffman won the Women’s title, and Fred Hemmings Jr. took home the Men’s Junior title.86

The surfing ordinance controversy of 1961 was said to have helped bring the prestigious 1966 U.S. Surfing Association championships to San Diego.87 Lew Scarr, columnist for The San Diego Union wrote, “City Aquatics Superintendent Don Vynne fought (and that’s the right word) for separate surfing areas and now, five years later, he has them and with them San Diego has the Surfing Olympics.”88 The contest was held in the fall of 1966 at La Jolla Shores and South Mission Beach, with the final event next to the newly erected pier at Ocean Beach.89

In February 1965, with the recommendation of the Pacific Beach Town Council, the San Diego City Council officially approved the use of the Tourmaline Canyon Development as a City Park.90 Not long afterwards, Svenson’s public relations work culminated in a full page of articles published in The San Diego Union with the main headline reading “Area Surfers Working to Improve Their Image.”91 One article announced an upcoming surfing clinic to be hosted by Windansea while another covered local girls interested in signing up for surf teams through La Jolla Youth, Inc.92 An article entitled, “Going to Try Surfing? Club Members Give Tips,” quoted one Windansea club member as saying, “Surfers right now are trying to improve their appearance on land. It used to be that they would wear grubby old army jackets. Now they have gotten to be more clothes-conscious. They have their own style, with stripes and bands, and regular good clothes.”93 Another club member said, “The beach is not the place to turn on your bad conduct.”94 For his part, Svenson spoke of the clean-up efforts, the San Diego Interclub Surf Council, self-policing, and how lighter boards—beginning with those designed by Bob Simmons—had helped make surfing more accessible to a large number of Californians, igniting the surfing boom of the early 1960s.95

The public relations campaign seemed to work. In May 1965, San Diego Union sports editor Jack Murphy titled a column, “Surfer Bleached Bum? The Stereotype Seems Dated.” He wrote:

A surfer, by popular definition, had long, bleached hair, the  physique of a lifeguard, and the manner of a juvenile delinquent. He violates property rights, litters beaches, drinks excessively, smokes pot, stages wild parties, surrounds himself with adoring beach bunnies, and earnestly avoids work in all forms.96

Murphy used the examples of Ricky Grigg, a PhD candidate at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and Windansea club president Rusty Miller, history major at San Diego State University, to show that this was an unfair generalization. Murphy wrote, “Perhaps Grigg and Miller aren’t exactly typical of competitive surfers, but they are more representative of the sport than the symbolic ruffian whose identity as shaped by police blotters, distorted movies, and newspaper headlines.” He also quoted Vynne, saying, “There’s been a dramatic change—the behavior of surfers is 100 percent improved over what it was three years ago. Even two years ago we had chaotic conditions.”97 Both Vynne and the surfers credited Svenson with sparking the reform.

Tourmaline Surfing Park was the first of its kind in the United States. The formal dedication took place at 10 o’clock in the morning on May 29, 1965, in conjunction with the ninth annual Pacific Beach Aquafair and the Western Regional Surfing Championships. Barry Adams, a sixteen-year-old Clairemont High School sophomore, was slated to accept the canyon on behalf of surfers.98 On May 28, The San Diego Union printed an article titled “Dedication of Park to Feature Surfer.” There was to be an offbeat parade of surfers, led by a fire engine, from Ocean Front Walk to the head of Tourmaline Canyon and then down to the surf. It included champions from the Windansea Surf Club as well as a pep band directed by surfer Rusty Miller.99

On Saturday May 29, 1965, over 350 surfers showed up at the foot of Emerald Street, north of Crystal Pier and south of Tourmaline Canyon to compete in the Western Regional Surfing Championships. The contest could not run at the new Tourmaline Surfing Park because, at that time, there was no wave there during the summer months. Even during the winter, the wave surfed was not Tourmaline proper, but PB Point. In front of some 5,000 spectators and in moderate surf with “erratic five-foot waves,” the field was trimmed down to 120 finalists for the closing day.100

At 10 a.m. the same day, young Barry Adams, Point Surf Southern Surf Club and San Diego Interclub Surf Council member and representative, paddled up to Tourmaline from the contest site. Waiting for him at the dedication site were Mayor Frank Curran; William Taggart, president of the sponsoring Pacific Beach Town Council; Miss Pacific Beach and Aquafair chairman, Andree La Pointe; and San Diego city officials.101 Adams accepted the newly dedicated canyon for surfers and the city council proclaimed the last week in May to be surfing week in San Diego, a proclamation that was made again during the World Championships in 1966.102 The following day, the finals of the Western Regional Surfing Championships were held in improved conditions and in front of a media estimated 15,000. Rich Chew of Long Beach took the title edging out Rusty Miller, Donald Takayama, and Skip Frye. Joey Hamasaki, Windansea club member, took the women’s open title upsetting Joyce Hoffman who came in second. Mike Doyle and Pauline Luton won the tandem competition while Margo Godfrey (Oberg) won the San Diego County resident women’s title. Windansea won both the team title in the open classification and the paddleboard races. George Rotgans took the individual paddleboard race title and “then [furnished] a strong second leg to pace a Windansea quintet in the relay.”103    The same group of dignitaries, plus Svenson, was on hand to present trophies to the contest winners at the contest site.

The events between 1960 and 1965, relating to the Tourmaline Canyon development, did much to help legitimize surfing in the eyes of the San Diego public. Thanks to the work of local surfers and their public relations advocate Svenson, the San Diego press had begun to portray surfers as respectable athletes. As Lew Scarr later wrote, “If you look at Dec. 17 [1960], by itself it may appear to have been the bleakest day in all of surfing history for San Diego. But if you give it the long view, Dec. 17 [1960], shines as the very brightest.”104

These efforts did not end the dissatisfaction of the Sun Gold Point residents. No one was using the Tourmaline parking lot because the wave was not there. Instead, surfers continued to access the beach at Archer Street and Linda Way. Discouraging signs put up by Schlack did not help. Conflict between residents and surfers erupted again in October 1967. The Evening Tribune assigned a photographer to go down to Archer Street to take pictures; a reporter also went down on three separate occasions. In the ensuing article, City Manager Walter Hahn said, “One of the most important assets a city has is its access to beaches…If we close Linda Way, people all over the city are going to ask us to close access near their homes.” Schlack, for his part, said, “I am about ready to give up.” 105 In January 1968, the issue was raised again at a meeting of the La Jolla Town Council. Ford was quoted saying that the access point was “a source of lawlessness, a public indecency, and a flagrant violations of property and person rights.”106

Tourmaline Canyon Surfing Park Today

Years later, the City of San Diego made use of the sand dredged from the San Diego River, depositing it up the coast. The rocks in the cove at Tourmaline began to fill in. Reinforced in the early 1980s with the help of several large El Niño storm systems, the sand seemed to take hold more permanently and helped form a wave that began to attract scores of surfers to the Tourmaline Surfing Park. What began as something that surfers fought against had turned into a positive. Tourmaline today is a place where surfing, for many San Diegans, begins and ends.

Today, surfers are the caretakers of Tourmaline. The Tourmaline Tailgaters Surfing Association, led by Pacific Beach Surf Club member Greg Miller, has on several occasions organized to work with the City of San Diego and the California Coastal Commission to make additional improvements to the park. These improvements include a mural on the bathroom wall, a 911 call box, and a kiosk where surf and club information as well as lost car keys are hung. There is also a memorial that pays respect to some of the other legendary surfers of the area, including: Larry Gordon, Floyd Smith, Bobby “Challenger” Thomas, Mike Hynson, Skip Frye, William “Hadji” Hein, Emil Sigler, Doc Paskowitz, Woody Brown, Don Okey, Skeeter Malcolm, Norm Polonski, Ralph Dawson, Doc Blankenship, Bo Smith, “Captain” Dan O’Connell, Bud Caldwell, Billie “Goldie” Goldsmith, Ralph Barber, Joe Gann, Robert “Black Mac” McClendon, Holly “Papa Smurf” Jones, Ron St. John, Kanakas Surf Club, Windansea Surf Club, Pacific Beach Surf Club, and the Tourmaline Tailgaters Surfing Association. Additionally, in progress is an effort to construct a new bench for Skeeter while adding an additional bench honoring Larry Gordon (Gordon & Smith).

For surfers, aside from access rights, beach access is now often additionally complicated and dictated by the number of people in the water,  the location    of the wave, and how good it breaks. Since the 1960s, many, but not all, surf communities have begrudgingly accepted the growing number of surfers. Many things, including lighter boards, population growth, leashes, wetsuits, soft-tops, and reductions in localism have all played a role in San Diego’s increasingly crowded line-ups. Coastal access is not, however, an issue isolated to surfers. The number of individual stakeholders that annually visit beaches around the globe is indefinable. The issue is so complex that not even all members within a given stakeholder group are in agreement. There are those who want to maintain private property; those who want parking lots, bathrooms, and stairs; and those who want parks or full restoration. What remains clear is that these are not issues easily resolved.


  1. California Homebuilding Foundation. (2010). Carlos Tavares: 1998 Honoree. Retrieved from
  2. “Developer Tavares Dies At Age 70,” The San Diego Union, November 23, 1975.
  3. San Diego County: Assessor, Recorder, County Clerk, Jan 7, Deed of Sale for San Diego Pueblo Lot 1783, Document No. 9073, 9074.
  4. “Lew Scarr,” The San Diego Union, September 1, 1966.
  5. “Laguna Beach Surfboard Ordinance Under Study Here,” Evening Tribune, December 24, 1960.
  6. “Study is Ordered on Use of Beaches,” The San Diego Union, March 17, 1961; “Part of Street Name Changed in La Jolla,” The San Diego Union, July 10, 1975.
  7. “Surf Riders Stir Waves of Protests,” Evening Tribune, December 27, Schlack lived at 341 Archer St. (now Sea Ridge Drive) in La Jolla. He was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War and onetime head of the Dental Technicians’ School at the National Training Center. “Capt. Schlack Services Set Here Today,” The San Diego Union, July 8, 1970. Some of the early surfers recall Schlack as an angry man who use to take pictures of them and spray them with his hose.
  8. “Surf Riders Stir Waves of Protests,” Evening Tribune, December 27, 1960.
  9. Ibid.
  10. “City Aids Propose Control of Surfers: Vandalism Curbs are Suggested,” San Diego Union, December 28, 1960.
  11. Montgomery, “Curbs Urged On Surfers At Hearing,” The San Diego Union, December 28,
  12. Martin, “Town Tags Surf Riders,” Evening Tribune, December 29, 1960; “More Surfboard Curbs Urged at Oceanside,” The San Diego Union, August 4, 1961; “Surfboarder Insurance Law Urged,” The San Diego Union, January 17, 1961.
  13. Al JaCoby, “Problems of Australian ‘Surfies’ Sound Familiar,” The San Diego Union, May 4, 1963.
  14. “City Aids Propose Control of Surfers: Vandalism Curbs are Suggested,” San Diego Union, December 28, 1960.
  15. Eischen, “Surfboard License Proposal Opposed,” San Diego Union, December 30, 1960.
  16. Ibid.
  1. G. Paul, “Most Surfers ‘Good Kids Who Stay Out of Trouble,’” Evening Tribune, April 19, 1961.
  2. Larson, “Don’t Blame Surfers for Vandal Problems,” The San Diego Union, January 5, 1961.
  3. Luther, “Where Can We Go Except to Ocean?” The San Diego Union, January 5, 1961.
  4. Fiddler, “Safe Beaches Needed for Local Surfers,” The San Diego Union, January 2, 1961.
  5. “Lifeguard Hits Surfboard License Plan,” The San Diego Union, January 3, 1961.
  6. R.W. Town, Curb-Surfing Plan Called Unrealistic, The San Diego Union, April 20, 1961.
  7. A. Rose, “Vandalism Separate from Surfing Issue,” The San Diego Union, April 23, 1961.
  8. Schlack, “All Parents Should Know of Red Menace,” The San Diego Union, January 4, 1961.
  9. Surfboarder Insurance Law Urged, The San Diego Union, January 17, 1961.
  10. Ibid.
  11. G. Martin, “Posted Area, Clubs Will Aid Surfers,” The San Diego Union, March 27, 1961.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Ibid.
  14. “City Council Gets Ordinance on Surf Board, Swim Areas,” The San Diego Union, February 24, 1961; “City Adopts New Surfing, Swim Areas,” Evening Tribune, March 2, 1961.
  15. Martin, “Posted Area, Clubs Will Aid Surfers,” The San Diego Union, March 27, 1961; “Council to Act Today on New Surfing Areas,” The San Diego Union, March 2, 1961
  16. G. Martin, “Areas for Surfing, Swimming Are Shifted at Pacific Beach,” The San Diego Union, March 3, 1961.
  17. “Ordinance No. 8452,” The San Diego Union, March 9, 1961.
  18. Martin, “Areas for Surfing, Swimming Are Shifted at Pacific Beach,” The San Diego Union, March 3, 1961.
  19. “City Council Gets Ordinance on Surf Board, Swim Areas,” The San Diego Union, February 24, 1961.
  20. “New Petition Seeks Ban on Surfers,” The San Diego Union, March 3, 1961; “Petition Asks City To Block Surfers,” Evening Tribune, March 3, 1961.
  21. A permanent fence was never constructed. “La Jollan Asks Beach Fence to Bar Surfers,” The San Diego Union, February 28,
  22. “La Jollans Ask Ban on Surfing,” The San Diego Union, March 10, 1961.
  23. Ibid; “Council Hears Plea on Surfers,” Evening Tribune, March 9, 1961.
  24. “Study is Ordered on Use of Beaches,” The San Diego Union, March 17, 1961; “La Jollans Ask Ban on Surfing,” The San Diego Union, March 10, 1961; “Council Oks Probe of Beach Access,” The San Diego Union, March 31, 1961.
  25. “Council Asks New Control on Surfing,” The San Diego Union, March 31, 1961.
  26. “On The March,” Evening Tribune, April 10, 1961.
  27. “Council Postpones Decision on Surfboard Ordinance,” The San Diego Union, April 12, Statements were also made by surfers Floyd Smith (of Gordon & Smith), Andy Jones, and Dave Anderson.
  28. “Beach Access Report Asked,” The San Diego Union, April 21, 1961.
  29. “Tharp to Back Master Plan for Beaches,” The San Diego Union, March 30, 1961.
  30. “4 More Surfing Areas Slate for Ordinance,” The San Diego Union, April 13, 1961.
  1. “Study is Ordered on Use of Beaches,” The San Diego Union, March 17, 1961.
  2. “Clubs Talk: Surfers Get Support for Beach Plan,” Evening Tribune, April 22, 1961.
  3. “Council Postpones Action on Surfing,” The San Diego Union, April 26, 1961; “Council Seeks Group Accord On Surfing Ban,” Evening Tribune, April 25, 1961; “Surf Board Ordinance Before Council Today,” The San Diego Union, April 25, 1961; “City to Barricade Surfers’ Access,” The San Diego Union, May 5, 1961“Council Delays Action on Surfing Ordinance,” The San Diego Union, July 12, 1961.
  4. “New Ordinance on Surfing Introduced in City Council,” The San Diego Union, July 26, 1961.
  5. “Windansea Rest Room Delay Voted,” The San Diego Union, July 18, 1962; “La Jolla Residents Fight Rest Room,” The San Diego Union, October 30, La Jolla residents had also blocked the construction of a bathroom in 1959.
  6. “Ordinance No. 8502: Sec. 63.20.6, Sec. 63.20.8.,” The San Diego Union, August 10, 1961; “New Surfing Law Passed,” The San Diego Union, August 2, 1961.
  7. “City Authorizes Seven Areas for Surfing,” The San Diego Union, September 1, 1961.
  8. San Diego County: Assessor, Recorder, County Clerk, October 24, 1962. Corporation Grant Deed for Pueblo Lot 1783, Document No. 203582; San Diego County: Assessor, Recorder, County Clerk, October 23, 1962. Deed of Trust for Pueblo Lot 1783, Document No. 203584.
  9. “Tourmaline Zone Case Postponed,” The San Diego Union, July 19, 1962; “Rezoning Plan Hit in Pacific Beach,” The San Diego Union, July 10, 1962.
  10. “Cost Criticized in Park Plan,” The San Diego Union, August 2, 1962.
  11. “Tourmaline Area Rezoning Defeated,” The San Diego Union, August 2, 1962; “Street Name is Retained,” The San Diego Union, October 15, 1960; “Tourmaline Rezoning Rejected by Council,” The San Diego Union, August 31, 1962.
  12. ; “Bids Slated for Canyon Projects,” The San Diego Union, January 9, 1963; “Council to Get Canyon Plans,” The San Diego Union, November 13, 1962.
  13. “Hearings Proposed on Canyon Plans,” The San Diego Union, December 11, 1962.
  14. “Canyon Site Price Reduced for City,” The San Diego Union, December 20, 1962.
  15. “City Negotiating for Canyon Land,” The San Diego Union, December 28, 1962.
  16. Ibid.
  17. “Council Oks Zone Change for Six Acres,” The San Diego Union, August 13, 1965; Interference with Surfing Park Cited, The San Diego Union, November 19, 1965.
  18. “Construction Starts on La Jolla Apartment Complex,” The San Diego Union, September 25, 1966; “Ocean View Complex Started in La Jolla,” The San Diego Union, February 4, 1968; “Realty Roundup: Home Construction Continues to Decline,” The San Diego Union, April 5, 1970; “Realty Roundup: Mortgage Official Optimistic,” The San Diego Union, November 29, 1970.
  19. “4 Changes Asked in Canyon Project,” The San Diego Union, January 29, 1963; “Group Assails Tourmaline Canyon Plans,” The San Diego Union, February 28, 1963; “Group Protests Park Plan for Pacific Beach,” The San Diego Union, January 31, 1963.
  20. “Tourmaline Park Plan Gets City OK,” The San Diego Union, March 1, 1963.
  21. “Mass Surfer Protest Vowed,” Evening Tribune, January 31, 1963.
  22. “Tourmaline Job Let,” The San Diego Union, April 5, 1963.
  23. “Baxter Firm Low on Park Bid,” The San Diego Union, March 25, 1963.
  24. Tourmaline Tailgater Surfing Association (2009). Honoree: Windansea Surf Tourmaline Memorial Website,  (accessed  August   20, 2016); Rhoades, “La Jolla’s New Windansea Surf Club,” The San Diego Union, September 4, 1963.
  1. “News of T.A. Groups: Barnard,” The San Diego Union, May 16, 1948; “Theatrical Proving Grounds for Area’s Dramatic Hopefuls,” The San Diego Union, April 30, 1961; “Chamber Music, Artistry Will be Featured at Tea,” The San Diego Union, October 6, 1947; “Annual Day Camp to Open Monday,” The San Diego Union, June 19, 1949; “Actor’s Quarter Taking Applications,” The San Diego Union, September 15, 1960; T. Svenson, “98-Pound La Jolla Miss, 13 Makes Big Wave In Surfing,” Evening Tribune, September 20, 1966; “Concert Group Reelects Svenson,” The San Diego Union, April 23, 1968; “Svenson Named Aid for Opera Group,” The San Diego Union, March 16, 1961; “Big Doings at KFMX,” The San Diego Union, January 30, 1963.
  2. Comments following “Windansea Surf Club: The Ecstasy and the Depravity,” The Encyclopedia of Surfing, (accessed August 20, 2016).
  3. “Surfers, Windansea,” The San Diego Union, September 15, 1963; “Get Out Front And Stay There,” The San Diego Union, September 17, 1963.
  1. Chapman, “Hot Curl: Like Kilroy, He Was Here,” The San Diego Union, May 5, 1963; O’Connor, “Fans May Regain Art (?) Object,” The San Diego Union, May 18, 1963; “Wave of Support May Lift ‘Hot Curl’ Back on Beach,” The San Diego Union, May 27, 1963; “City Rules ‘Hot Curl’ May Return,” The San Diego Union, June 13, 1963; “Vandals Destroy Hot Curl With a Sad Lack of Flair,” The San Diego Union, July 28, 1963.
  2. “‘Hot Curl’ Set For Return to Beach Sunday,” The San Diego Union, July 12, 1963; “Chairman of the ‘Board’ Returns,” The San Diego Union, July 15, 1963.
  3. “Talent Tops as Windansea Surfers Vie at Malibu,” The San Diego Union, August 25, 1963; “Windansea Surfers Win,” The San Diego Union, August 26, 1963. Competing under the Windansea banner were Chuck Halsey, Mike Hynson, Del Cannon, Skip Frye, Rusty Miller, Alan Nelson, L.J. Richards, Robert Patterson, Joey Cabell, Dave Willingham, Gary Cooke, Raymond Patterson, and Loren Swain. The winning team included Mike Burner, Mickey Madden, Bill David, Butch Van Artsdalen, and Phil
  4. “Beach Area Project Delayed by Vandals,” The San Diego Union, October 5, 1963.
  5. “Surfing Movie Slated Tonight,” The San Diego Union, October 2, 1963; “Water Logged Advertisement,” The San Diego Union, October 2, 1963; H. Monahan, “Windansea Surfers Invited to Makaha Championships,” The San Diego Union, November 1, 1963; H. Monahan, “Windansea Surf Club,” The San Diego Union, November 24, 1963; “Surfers Seek Local Support for Title Bid,” The San Diego Union, December 8, 1963; “Edwards Joins Windansea Team, Enters Surfing Meet,” The San Diego Union, December 12, 1963.
  6. “Surfers. Lindbergh Field,” The San Diego Union, December 17, 1963; “Surfers Depart for Hawaii,” The San Diego Union, December 17, 1963; “Surfers Head for Hawaii,” The San Diego Union, December 18, 1963; “Champions Return,” The San Diego Union, January 4, 1963.
  7. “Surfing Meet: Windansea Team in Semifinals,” The San Diego Union, December 22, 1963; Edwards Out: Two D. Surfers Reach Finals, The San Diego Union, December 23, 1963; “Cabell Wins World Surf Championship,” The San Diego Union, December 28, 1963; “Windansea Wins Four Firsts in Surf Meet,” The San Diego Union, December 26, 1963; “4 Windansea Girls Qualify for World Surfing Final,” The San Diego Union, January 29, 1963; “Long Beach Woman Wins Surfing Title,” The San Diego Union, December 30, 1963.
  8. “TV Sports Log,” The San Diego Union, January 11, 1964.
  9. ‘Farewell to Surfers: Curran, Schrade Guests at Dinner,” The San Diego Union, December 7, 1965; “Mayor Joins Surfer’ Sendoff,” The San Diego Union, December 12, 1965.
  10. “75 Windansea Surfers Ready for Honolulu Trip,’ The San Diego Union, December 11,1965.
  11. “Panel to Discuss Surfers’ Image,” The San Diego Union, February 29, 1964; “Surfing Symposium Slated Today,” The San Diego Union, March 22, 1964; “State Jack Schrade Award to Surfing,” Evening Tribune, November 9, 1964; “Surfers Lauded,” Evening Tribune, November 10, 1964; “Surfers, La Jolla Shores” Evening Tribune, September 19, 1964; “Surfing Clubs Slate Meeting Tonight,” The San Diego Union, August 13, 1964; “W.W. White, Surfers Praised for War on Litter,” The San Diego Union, October 2, 1964; D. Bowman, “Area Surfers Working to Improve Their Image,” The San Diego Union, April 10, 1965.
  1. “San Diego Surfers Vie in International Event,” The San Diego Union, December 19, 1964.
  2. “Windansea Surfers Conquer; Windansea Scores,” The San Diego Union, December 29, 1964.
  3. “World Surfing Event Appears Headed for D.,” The San Diego Union, October 4, 1964; “S.D. Wins World Surfing Meet,” The San Diego Union, February 26, 1965.
  4. “Lew Scarr,” San Diego Union, September 1, 1966.
  5. “Nuuhiwa Wins World Surfing Test by ‘Nose,’” The San Diego Union, September 30, 1966.
  6. “Council OKs Tourmaline Canyon Park,” The San Diego Union, February 18, 1965.
  7. “Area Surfers Working to Improve Their Image,” The San Diego Union, April 10, 1965; “City Points Out Surfing Restrictions,” The San Diego Union, April 10, 1965.
  8. “Girl Surfers Won’t Waive Wave Action,” The San Diego Union, April 10, 1965; “Windansea Planning Board Clinic,” The San Diego Union, April 10, 1965.
  9. Farmer, “Going to Try Surfing? Club Members Give Tips,” The San Diego Union, April 10, 1965.
  10. Ibid.
  11. “Area Surfers Working to Improve Their Image,” The San Diego Union, April 10, 1965.
  12. Murphy, “Surfer Bleached Beach Bum? The Seems Dated,” The San Diego Union, May 28, 1965.
  13. Ibid.
  14. “Pacific Beach Will Host Western Surf Contests,” The San Diego Union, May 22, 1965; “Dedication of Park to Feature Surfer,” The San Diego Union, May 28, 1965.
  15. “Surfing Park Dedication,” The San Diego Union, April 2, 1965.
  16. Some of the contestants included: Mike Doyle, Donald Yakayama, Phil Edwards, LJ Richards, Mike Hynson, David Nuuhiwa, Margo Godfrey (Oberg), Rusty Miller, Chuck Halsey, Joyce Hoffman, Mickey Munoz, and defending champion Skip Frye. H. Monahan, “Surfdom’s Elite Open Westerns Here Today,” The San Diego Union, May 29, 1965; “Frye Repeats Surf Victory,” The San Diego, May 25, 1964; “Challenge Frye for Surfing Crown,” The San Diego Union, May 27, 1965; “Surfing Aquabatics,” The San Diego Union, May 31, 1965; H. Monahan, “Surfing Finals Scheduled Today,” The San Diego Union, May 30, 1965.
  17. “Dedication of Park to Feature Surfer,” The San Diego Union, May 28, 1965.
  18. ; “Proclamation Signing, Mayor Curran’s Office,” Evening Tribune, May 21, 1965; “Easy Does It,” Evening Tribune, May 22, 1965; “Surfing Park Dedicated,” The San Diego Union, May 30, 1965.
  19. Monahan, “Chew, Hamasaki Capture Western Surfing Titles,” The San Diego Union, May 31, 1965; “Windansea Club Triumphs, Keeps Surfing Championship,” Evening Tribune, May 31, 1965.
  20. “Lew Scarr,” San Diego Union, September 1, 1966.
  21. McCain, “Beach Right of Way for Surfers Argues,” Evening Tribune, November 23, 1967. After a local surfer, who also happened to be a dentist, fought charges in court in 1964 after ignoring the signs, Schlack was ordered by the city attorney to take them down; “Surfers, Their Cars, and Trash,” Evening Tribune, October 18, 1967.
  22. McCain, “Beach Right of Way for Surfers Argues,” Evening Tribune, November 23, 1967; “End Access for Surfers La Jollans Ask,” The San Diego Union, January 10, 1968.

Brooke Johnson Schmitt was born and raised in San Diego. Both a student-athlete and a graduate from Serra High School and San Diego State University, she became an avid surfer. Brooke lives with her family in Ventura, California, where she teaches middle school language arts. Special thanks to Hank Warner who proved invaluable during the research portion of this project.