Inspiration Library: Golden Age Surfing’s Revolutionary 1960s and 1970s

-1
Although I grew up in Arkansas, my family spent time nearly every summer back in my birth state of California visiting my mom’s best friend in San Clemente, who lived near Trestles, one of the most famous surf spots in Southern California. As a teenager, I tried my luck at surfing only a handful of times – my idea of fun was taking the inner tubes out past the waves and floating for hours. The town is home to Surfing Magazine, The Surfer’s Journal, and Longboard Magazine, so even if I wasn’t catching a wave, there was plenty of surfing to watch. This book, A Golden Age: Surfing’s Revolutionary 1960s and ’70s,  by Australian photographer John Witzig. The book primarily focuses on surfing culture in Australia in the 1960s and ’70s, but it does branch out to include images from John’s travels in Europe and Hawaii.  The best part of the book aren’t the photos but the captions – where John shares the backstory and his observations about that moment in time. It makes even the most novice surfer an insider.   –Amy

-4
Caption from A Golden Age: Surfing’s Revolutionary 1960s and ’70s: “I figure that this strange outfit that my brother had on is the one that Rommel wore during the tank battles in the deserts of north Africa during WWII. I suppose that it suited the environment. ”

-3

See more surfing photos after the jump!

-9

DSC_0652

-5
Caption from A Golden Age: Surfing’s Revolutionary 1960s and ’70s: “The lineup at Margaret River in Western Australia. Someone else wrote of this picture that it has the ideal car-to-wave ratio. Even at dawn, even in 1970, this didn’t happen all that often. It’s hard to get a sense of scale from this picture but there’s quite a drop down to the beach, and those waves are probably 10 feet – and there’s no one out. The myth was that there was only ever you and a few friends.”

-2

-6

-7
Caption from A Golden Age: Surfing’s Revolutionary 1960s and ’70s: “Angourie really can be a beautiful wave. This was shot in 1970, when a good swell had hit the entire east coast.”

-8

 

 

  1. This book looks so cool! What a fun and interesting time in California.

  2. Bejjess says:

    LOVE! This Just came back from the Vans US Open and I love to see post like this.

  3. Jeanne says:

    Last year, Trestles was demolished and rebuilt. Sadly, it’s done in concrete now to meet safety standards. You were so lucky to spend your summers with the classic bridge still intact!

  4. kate says:

    it was a great time to be in California, but an even better time to be in Australia where all these pictures are from!!

  5. Ambyr says:

    Amazing photographer! Bought one of his prints online for my partners birthday. Turns out he handles all of the purchases and despatch himself. Was great to email with him directly. He even put in a handwritten birthday card!

LEAVE A COMMENT

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.