Rip Curl Sunny Rays Long Sleeve Surf Shirt with a 50+ UPF sun safety rating, you’ll be safeguarded the entire day. Poly Elastane Textile 50 UPF Sunlight Safety Comfortable In shape. Watersports, rashguards. The Surfing Heritage Foundation is the brainchild of Dick Metz, a longtime surf industry stalwart who was the brains behind Hobie Sports. Metz has an extensive personal collection of surfboards and other memorabilia.

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Over the years, he has joined with Spencer Croul, Steve Pezman, Bob Mardian, Bill Blackburn, and other like-minded folk to create a tax-exempt foundation for the collection and preservation of surfing heritage. Walking into the Surfing Heritage Foundation loaded with more than a hundred historic surfboards is like being the first archaeologist gazing into King Tut’s tomb.

The board collection is truly amazing, beginning with Hawai’ian olo and alaia and going through all the ages to Pacific System Homes, Kivlins, Quiggs, Simmons, Nolls, Velzys, Currens, Brewers, Lightning Bolts, and all the way to Laird Hamilton’s tow board. The collection grows monthly, and will probably blossom when the world sees what these guys are up to.

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The list of Foundation projects stretches off into the future. The first big project is to digitize the photo files of LeRoy Grannis, updating LeRoy’scurrent system of negative storage. “We also plan to digitize every magazine ever made, and have it indexed,” Metz said. “Matt Warshaw has already donated his index and we are going to perfect that.”

The Foundation archive in San Clemente will grow with the help of the surfing community and the surf industrial complex. They are providing a safe, permanent home for surf culture and are looking for contributions of time, money, and artifacts from the surfing world.

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In December 1992, Laird, Buzzy, and Darrick motored out in a sixteen foot inflatable Zodiac to a surf spot called Backyards, just beyond Sunset Beach on Oahu’s North Shore. Backyards is a grand piece of ocean real estate with lots of giant, shifting bluebirds that are beauties to observe, but not easy to catch when the surf gets huge. Laird and gang went after them on their traditional big-wave boards from a towrope behind their Zodiac.

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They swung into those waves from way, way outside, got into them early, and streaked all the way through the Boneyard that usually keeps surfers from making the connection to Sunset Beach. The pack at Sunset were shocked as the trio came flying past them at flank speed, then kicked out into the channel to be picked up by the boat and taken out to the back of Backyards to do the whole quarter-mile ride all over again.

Where past big-wave surfers were content to catch maybe a wave an hour, Laird, Buzzy, and Darrick were catching as many waves as they could handle–ten giants an hour. They gorged where, for so many years, big wave surfers had gotten scraps. The boat was wrong and their boards were too long and they didn’t yet have straps on their feet, but the times were about to change dramatically for big wave riding.

After that one afternoon on Oahu’s Backyards, surfing would never be the same again. Laird and company were not riding waves significantly bigger than what Greg Noll and other guys had ridden in the past. It was how they were surfing those waves. Riding big waves was limited not by the size of wave, but the need for speed to catch the wave.