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SURF COUNTY, USA : SURF CULTURE

Surfing has emblazoned American culture with many images and symbols over the past 30 years. It has inspired movies from “Endless Summer” to “Beach Blanket Bingo”, influenced rock ‘n’ roll, and to this day set trends in fashion from coast to coast.

WHEELS

Immortalized by the hit song “Surf City,” wood-paneled station wagons like this 1940 Ford were the sterotypical mode of transportation for surfers in the 1950s and 1960s. Woodies in restored condition can fetch up to $20,000 today, sometimes more.

TUNES

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Surfing had a distinctive kind of music in the 1960s, as well as its own dance, so to speak, the Surfer’s Stomp. The Ventures, The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean ranked high on the Top 40 surveys that decade. In 1963, “Surf City” by Jan and Dean was No. 1 on the national charts for 11 weeks.

IMAGE

Just a little dab’ll do ya. National surfing champion Corky Carroll, right, has that squeaky-claen look circa 1965. It was not much different from that of other surfers of the era. Carroll’s modern-day counterpart, Richie Collins, left, sports a punk pompadour, one of several coiffures of recent years. Unlike in the 1960s, surfers in the 1990s are more individual in their tastes.

FUN, FUN, FUN

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Typical of the 1960’s were the “how many” games-how many people can you fit in a Volkswagen; how many college students can you squeeze into a telephone booth; and how many surfers you can get on a surfboard. In this case, four, There used to be five, but the person in front of Ernie Schneider fell off. In case you didn’t recognize him, Schneider-standing on one foot-is now the chief administrative officer for Orange County.

SURFSPEAK

BARNEY: Synonymous with geek or kook. A barney is someone who doesn’t surf well, gets in everyone’s way and violates the rules of the road in the water.

GAGGING BASS: Falling face first into the ocean during a wipeout-usually on a larger wave from which the surfer free falls some distance before smacking the surface.

GREGGIN’ FOR DEBS: Trying to meet women at the beach, at nightclubs or at parties. Synonymous with on the make or on the prowl.


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