Cormac ‘Cove’ O’Brien gets a push from dad

by Mike Purpus Last month, Cormac Cove O’Brien won the Open Men’s Longboard division at the South Bay Boardriders Surf contest at Torrance Beach. What made the win notable is that O’Brien is a 5-foot-2, 95 pound Parras Middle School seventh grader. Following his men’s longboard victory, he won the groms (12 and under) shortboard…

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Jiro is hero at International Surf Festival surf contest

by Mike Purpus The parking lot behind Bank of America in downtown Hermosa Beach was buzzing with stoked surfers from all over Southern California on Saturday morning. International Surf Festival contest director John Joseph said, “I have surfers from  Santa Barbara to San Diego, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Brazill, Costa Rica and Japan.”  Their enthusiasm waned…

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Mike Eaton was the go-to big gun surfboard shaper shaper

by Mike Purpus Mike Eaton went with fellow shaper and Palos Verdes childhood friend Phil Becker to Hawaii’s North Shore in the mid ‘70s to make big wave boards for pro surfers like Palos Verdes native like Jeff Hackman and Peter “PT” Towend and his fellow Bronzed Aussies. I borrowed a few of their big…

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Winning at Malibu, and nearly killed at Sunset on Phil’s boards

by Mike Purpus In the early ‘70s, I surfed for W.A.V.E. Hollow Surfboards, run by Carl Pope. The surfboards were made from aluminium honeycomb and were impossible to ding. The surfboards were like today’s Firewire Surfboards only stronger. But the aesthetics were not as nice as other boards, so sales slumped. To boost sales, Carl…

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A mentor in and out of the water

    Mike Doyle was as smooth on land as he was surfing Editor’s note: Hermosa Surfing Walk of Fame inductee Mike Doyle was a champion longboarder and tandem surfer, an author and painter and co-inventor of the soft top surfboard and surf wax. Doyle passed away from ALS on April 28, at his home…

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Hermosa tests hotdoggers

The Fourth Annual Subaru Pacific Hotdogger Surfing Championships drew 50 of the top-rated longboard surfers from around the world to the south side of the Hermosa Beach Pier on Saturday. The sun was out and so were plenty of fast, glassy, 3-foot tubes to ride.

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Surf Fest surf stokes locals

Neither the surf nor the surfing at the Hermosa Beach pier on Saturday matched that of the Van US Open, taking place the same day in Huntington Beach. But the stoke was just as high. “I love this contest,” Christian Steutzman said of the International Surf Festival surf contest. He had reason to be happy.…

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Carroll, Barahona, Saltzman in Blue Mango

At 71, Corky Carroll is still the coolest surfer around. The three-time International Surfing Champion, his lovely wife Raquel, Blue Mango Surfboards founder Joel Saltzman, and old friends John Joseph, Joey Lombardo and I had lunch at the HT Grill in Redondo Beach last month. I hadn’t seen Corky for 19 years, but as soon…

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Santa rewards Ratopia surfers with fun waves

Every Saturday before Christmas, Nick Weber presents the Ratopia Surf Classic at Torrance Beach. The contest was founded in 2005 to raise funds for 22-year-old local surfer Denny Bales, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Since the contest’s ounding, it has raised $150,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Every year Santa rewarded the contestants…

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Big days at the Hermosa pier

During a recent big storm swell, the south side of the Hermosa Beach pier had the best ridable waves in the South Bay. Photos taken confirmed it. But surfers had such a difficult time paddling out that some were rumored to have jumped off the pier If true, it wouldn’t have been the first time.…

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