Photos with Surfing Santa, toys for Beach Cities Toy Drive
Surfing Santa and his South Bay Boardrider Elves will pose for photos with families, and collect toys for the Beach Cities Toy Drive on Sunday, December 11, from 9 a.m. ’til noon, at 22nd Street in Hermosa Beach. Then, from noon to one, Santa will surf with families. Bagels, coffee and donuts will be served. For more information, visit SouthBayBoardriders.com.
Once again, for the third year in a row, Hermosa Beach chiropractor and Hermosa Beach Surfer’s Hall of Fame honoree Derek Levy donned the big red wetsuit and candy cane colored surfboard to hit the waves and pose for the annual Easy Reader holiday cover
We brought the cameras to the Neptune lifeguard station in Manhattan Beach, which borders Hermosa Beach, and documented Levy’s transformation from mild-mannered local surf enthusiast to the Surfing Santa.
The Easy Reader Surfing Santa in 1978 when retired lifeguard Paul Matthies brought the cartoon character to life by paddling out at the Hermosa Beach pier in a wool Santa Suit. When the suit got wet, he almost drowned. The following year, Body Glove made Santa a red and white, neoprene wetsuit, which Matthies surfed in for the Easy Readers holiday issue for the next two decades. When Matthies retired the suit was passed on to surf instructor Vince Rae, who surfed in it for Easy Readers holiday cover for another two decades. Derek Levy took on the Surfing Santa roll in 2020.
For a walk down Surfing Santa memory lane, check out the video episodes from 2021 and 2020.