Friday, May 01, 2009

Surf Fridays!

LeRoy Grannis surfing Hermosa Beach, 1969 - around his neck is the Calypso amphibious camera, invented by Jacques Cousteau. Photo by John Grannis.

The famous sticker was designed in 1963 by Stuart Lough and is a collectors' item. Grannis still gives one out to everyone he meets.

I am the overjoyed recipient of the beautiful book, Leroy Grannis - Surf Photography of the 1960s and 1970s. The book is 276 pages of gorgeous photographs and rich history lessons and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

LeRoy "Granny" Grannis started surfing in 1931 at the age of fourteen, on a borrowed redwood plank that weighed close to a hundred pounds. He was raised a block from the ocean in Hermosa Beach and began photographing the surf scene during the longboard era of the early 1960s in California and Hawaii. In 1966 Leroy was inducted into the International Surfing Hall of Fame as best photographer.

Leroy dedicated this book to his wife Katie, who passed away last December. It reads, Dedicated to my wife, Katie, for being behind me all those years, making it easy for me to shoot pictures, and waiting patiently for me on the beach.

Hap Jacobs, Hermosa Beach, 1963
Jacobs handcrafts one of his prized boards. Today, a mint-condition Jacobs from this era can fetch thousands of dollars at auction.

Mike Hynson, Hermosa Beach, 1964
The brash and stylish San Diegan went on to costar in the 1966 documentary The Endless Summer.

Johnny Fain, Miki Dora, Malibu 1965
The infamous Dora "tap" - Dora loved scams and pranks. His most famous caper was releasing a jar of live moths during a surf movie premier.

Greg Noll Factory, Hermosa Beach, 1965
A pair of Australian surfers drove this classic Westfalia Kombi throughout Europe before shipping it over to pay homage to surf mecca.

Malibu, 1967
When Grannis returned with a friend to Malibu shortly after World War II, they found a crowd of twelve people surfing. "That's it," he said. "This place is ruined."

Margo Godfrey-Oberg, Makaha, 1968

Aikau Family, Sunset Beach, 1967
Myra, Mama, and Sol Aikau watching Eddie compete in the third Duke Classic. Eddie won the contest in 1977, and died three months later.

Duke Classic Finalists, Sunset Beach, 1969
L to R: Joey Cabell, Eddie Aikau, Billy Hamilton, Fred Hemmings, Gordo Barreda, Paul Strauch Jr., Mike Doyle, Rolf Aurness, Felipe Pomar.

Midget Farrelly, Pupukea, 1970

Makaha, 1975

I hope your weekend is as poetic as Leroy Grannis' photos. A heartfelt thank you, Mr. Grannis. The surfing community is very, very grateful for you.


Q.Perps said...

I scored this book in Guadalajara for 10 bucks! it's in spanish, but still so awesome right?! have you heard about Grannis' financial problems? something about the executors eating it up. more info here.

resintint said...

His body of work is amazing...gonna have to look through his book again,

Jamie Watson said...

Good you guys, yes it's so awesome! Ed, I did read that today but I'd like to find out more. Clayfin posted a letter on 6ftnperfect from a guy who visited Leroy today in his nursing home, and said that Leroy would like visitors - for those of you close to Torrance. Details here:

rebeccajane said...

Thanks Jamie!

Joe said...

Dang, nice mining Jamie!

conversaction said...

Thanks for these photos Jamie - and the link to Endless Summer - the guys would find a different picture at JBay now.

A Fanciful Twist said...

I wish I could surf. Heck, I wish we had water here. Even a drop in fact ;)

What a fab looking book! And when he thanks his wife, for waiting for him on the beach.. sigh...

Happy Saturday!! ;)

Maggie said...

My lab handled all his scans for his book..
i just saw a great interview with him on KPBS [ i think] the lady was kind of a kook but Leroy's story telling is out of this world!!

Paulo Ribeiro said...

Inspiring photos!!
Txs Jamie.

LINDSAY said...

I love that bus! and, boy surfing does a body good! Lovely photos :)

kyle said...

does anyone know how to acquire rights to one of mr. grannis' photos?

Jamie Watson said...

Hello Kyle, I would try to find his son John Grannis, who lives in Hermosa Beach, according to the obit. Good luck!