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1968 World Contest
Rincon, Puerto Rico
November 5-14, 1968

(Click on pics for enlargements.)

Beach Scene during the Finals:
Can you find Rod?  Those pretty chicks on
the beach are former classmates.

Beach Scene Close-Up of Me.

Nice shot of Bruce "Snake" Gabrielson's
friend, David Nuuhiwa,
on one of the infrequent lefts in Rincon

This pic readily conveys one of the main reasons
I enjoy surfing in PR.
 Mike Purpose in the pocket.

Mike Doyle on a nice overhead wave.
I spent most of the semi-finals and finals
surfing 2nd Rock at Maria's Point with the
surf in the 8-12' range.
Mostly rode my
but also spent some time on
a friend's McTavish V-Bottom.
Nat Young in LaBarre, France, preparing
for the World Contest.
These pictures were scanned from Surfer Magazine, Vol. 9, No. 6, Jan 1969.
Photos by David Singletary.

This issue of Surfer Magazine has become one of my all time favorites. The World Contest article is immediately followed by one entitled, "Drag - Surfboard Hydrodynamics," by Terry Hendricks (part of a series he wrote that are posted here). I remembered reading this article some 30 years ago... but little did I realize that Terry and I would become friends some three decades hence after exchanging several postings on the alt.surfing newsgroup. After a couple of years exchanging AS postings and e-mails, we finally met in person on the 4th of July a few years ago (see pic of Terry and the gang at La Jolla Shores).

World Contest Results: (1) Fred Hemmings, (2) Midget Farrelly, (3) Russell Hughes, (4) Nat Young, (5) Mike Doyle and (6) Reno Abellira. We grommets didn't care too much for the California group, nor for Fred Hemmings. They all seemed so constipated on their long boards and went about town with an inflated sense of self-importance. David Nuuwiha and Reno Abellira rocked on down-the-line speed and the Aussies were lot's of fun with their progressive approach to wave riding and friendly dispostion--they also would loan us groms their boards! Drew Kampion captured these feelings correctly in his coffee table book, Stoked! [see snippet of Kampion, Drew. Stoked!: A History of Surf Culture. Salt Lake City: G. Smith, 2003. PDF and JPG.]

Other articles of note in this issue of Surfer Magazine:
  • Editorial--Contests, Surfers, and Hair (by Lord James Blears)
  • The Fantastic Plastic Machine (by Eric Blum)
  • Artificial Reefs (by Rick Grigg)
  • Evolution--The Short Board--II (by Drew Kampion)
  • Bad Karma at Huntington Beach (by Drew Kampion)

  • Removable fins advertisements:  W.A.V.E. Set (adjustable wave set on the way!); Fins Unlimited.

    There's even an add for Holmesy Surfboards, maker of the infamous "Sidewinder" noserider. They offered to sponsor me back around that time but I preferred a shorter board and was spending more and more time on my paipo (incidentally made from a Holmesy Sidewinder that snapped in half at Bridges on a 4' day -- no reflection on the workmanship, just the wave!).

    Save on a SURFER subscription... $3.50 (for an entire year!).
    Check the rinconpr.com site for another interesting article on the 1968 World Contest, including some video footage.
    The Loss of a Legend - Just before Christmas a pioneer of Puerto Rican surf culture was lost and the boricua surf community is still coming to grips with the passing of Edward "Duke" Michael. Read the Surf Caribe article and the plans for a memorial paddle out at Tres Palmas on Sunday, January 18th at 3:00 pm. The article is also reproduced here in HTML and PDF formats (the PDF  file includes the Surfrider Chapter announcement).

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    Last updated on 07/14/09