A pose on the beach
11 Images

Riding a photographic wave back in time

Del Mar city lifeguards pose for their yearly photo in 1971. Kneeling left to right are Tom Cozens, Robert Maurer, Robert Smith, Vernon Rye III and Brad Smith. Standing left to right are Dan Jago, Petey Hoff, Gardner Stevens and Dave Grossman. Joyce Hoffman, the female lifeguard, was a U.S. and world surfing champion. (Tom Keck)
In this photo from the 1960s, Mike Turkington glides across a wave in Hawaii’s Yokohama Bay. Two young women watch the action from the safety of the shore. (Tom Keck)
The 1964 U.S. Surfing Championships are staged next to the Huntington Beach Pier. On the platform at right is Jim McKay of ABC, who is taping the contest to be shown on television. (Tom Keck)
Corky Carroll, right, congratulates Mike Doyle on winning the Diamond Head Paddleboard Race in Hawaii in 1964.  (Tom Keck)
Thousands of slides from numerous photographers await digital scanning by archivist Steve Wilkings at the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center in San Clemente. Wilkings, a noted surf photographer in the 1960s and ‘70s, pioneered bolting a camera to the front of notable surfers’ boards and triggering it from the beach by radio control. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Photographer and archivist Steve Wilkings looks through Kodachrome slides. He has digitized and edited about a quarter of the center’s collection. At 66, he figures someone else will have to finish the job. “We got so much stuff, sometimes it’s overwhelming,” he said.  (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Steve Wilkings looks through Kodachrome slides by the late surf photographer Warren Bolster. Some of the 140 collections held by the center are encyclopedic -- thousands of photos of surfers hanging ten on longboards, dropping into steep pitches or shooting through curls.  (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Surfboards from the early days of the sport to the present are displayed at the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center. “Surfing has an origin story that everyone loves,” said Matt Warshaw, author of “The Encyclopedia of Surfing.” “It’s the story of kids on the beach inventing this whole thing that today is a zillion-dollar industry.” (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
In this 1996 shot from the Wedge in Newport Beach, Chris Dixon falls off his surfboard while a bodyboarder might be wondering what will happen when the giant wave breaks on both of them. (Tom Keck)
A surfer takes on a tubular blue wave in Hawaii in this Steve Wilkings photo titled “Beauty and the Beast.” (Steve Wilkings)
A 1972 photo of Steve Wilkings with the handmade waterproof housing he used for some of the earliest up-close action photography of surfers in Hawaii.  ()