If you looked at Goleta Surfing recently, you saw the Surfer Mag article that Keith Zandona
was nice enough to share with us. That article was written by Dewey Schurman, who
recently sent us some more great frames and some classic memories.
Here are some of Dewey’s pictures and words.
Pictured above is Les Lynch, Campus Point, January 1964.
I came to UCSB in 1961, when there were probably about a dozen surfers on campus. The
following year, there was perhaps a hundred, with maybe about 40 or so spending a lot of
time in the water…but the surf was never crowded. (Rincon, on a swell that lasted several
days, long enough to attract crowds from down south, could have 80 or so boards in the
water, but from Goleta north, the crowds were still in the future.)”
Above, Tom McCray, Campus Point, January 1964.
In 1961-63, we mostly surfed Campus Point, Lowers (also known as Poles, for the
metal poles jutting out of the water inshore), and the Cove inside. Sometimes we’d go
to Devereux (the Steps at the end of Del Playa or the point), Sands, Refugio, and El
Capitan Point, but that was about it. In spring, there were good windswells at Isla
Vista, right at the foot of the El Embarcadero ramp (which in those days, was aka “Sig
Ep” beach, after the fraternity). On some days, we would drift down toward Campus
Point, to surf what we called Depressions, two different breaks, where there were
gaps in the beach cliffs.”
Garth Murphy, Seg Ep Beach, Isla Vista, 1964
The winter of 62-63 still stands in my memory as the benchmark of winter surf in
Santa Barbara. Campus had clean, consistent swells from late September through the
entire winter. That was also the winter that Doug Roth, Judd Henkes, and I started Doug
Roth Surfboards in Goleta. If memory serves, it was the early spring of 1963 that the
Goleta Pier broke for more than a month; both sides were ridable, but the left coming
into the pier from the slough side were better.
On some days, it was possible to ride through the pier –for a handful of surfers.”
Above, Dan Crain, Goleta Pier, Spring, 1963.
That spring and summer (1963), the windswell beachbreaks were consistent, afternoon
glass-offs, days at a time, from Hope Ranch/More Mesa, north to Haskell’s and El
Capitan. That summer, Judd Henkes was a lifeguard at Refugio, and a group of us
(including the ranger’s son, Gary Flores) surfed the beach break at El Capitan most
evenings; we thought it was by far the best beach break in the area that summer.”
Judd Henkes, El Capitan Beach, Summer 1964.
Tom McCray, Refugio, 1962.
Gosh, hope all the locs don’t get mad at us for posting this shot of their secret spot.
John McRoberts, Refugio, 1962.
The following winter (another good winter of surf) a huge swell (Feb. 64, I think) arrived
with storm winds and chop at Campus. (It was the day mentioned in the Surfer story you
posted; Dan Crain lost his board at the Poles and couldn’t get in until the Goleta Pier). ”
Judd Henkes, Campus Point, Winter, 1964.
That swell changed several breaks. The Cove at UCSB, which for two years was often a
zipper-quick perfect line for a hundred yards, basically disappeared for a couple of years.
The storm also swept several feet of sand off all the south-facing beaches; at Isla Vista
beach, there was almost nothing left but bedrock. It changed the bottoms everywhere; the
Goleta Pier was never that good again, and neither was Isla Vista or El Cap beach.
Don Strong, El Cap Point, April, 1964