Two Ocean Surfing Poems at Berfrois – and a gallery of old ocean photos

“Ray, 1956” and “Watermarks from a Night Spring,” two poems with themes of the ocean, surfing, and working, were posted at Berfrois a couple of days ago, along with a few old surf photos.

Paddle on over to Berfrois and check out the surf poems.

And below find a gallery with more photos from the late 60’s thru mid 70’s. Most of these photos were taken with an Exakta 500 single-lens reflex camera (East German), with a 120 portrait lens, both purchased used and cheap to take surfing photos at local spots on Santa Monica Bay. Most are scanned from slides, Kodachrome or Ektachrome, and one is from a black and white print. The portrait lens was an affordable workaround at the time used as a kind of telephoto, and it worked ok. The camera was abused though, tossed in the sand, and over time the shutter began to stick. The photos starting coming out black. Some viewers may feel these the best photos. See etched drawing on one of the black slides. These are not “big” waves, and the surfers are locals, but the ocean is huge and alive and old and every morning new. Click any photo to see the gallery. And don’t forget to check out the poems.

Related: Watermarks from a Night Spring & Ray, 1956

Ocean Surfing Photos From the Late 1960’s

I went outside to grab this morning’s paper and the air smelled and felt like the ocean, warm but a bit wet, a “marine layer,” the weather folks call it, and I was reminded of early June mornings in the South Bay, getting up to “go surfing,” and thought I’d pull some old photos, for an ocean surfing post.

We’d sometimes go down to the Redondo Beach pier, a horseshoe shaped pier. The waves were never very good there, but the view from the back of the waves gives a different perspective on the surfers, here one paddling out, the other dropping down.

Also at the Redondo, horseshoe shaped pier, this photo was taken looking south from the north end of the horseshoe.

The last two photos above were both taken looking south from the Manhattan Beach pier.

We peeled the fiberglass off of our longboards, reshaped them into short boards, and re-glassed them in my Dad’s garage on Mariposa.

This is me at El Porto in September of 1969, (riding the board seen on the floor of the garage in above photo, an old Jacobs), the month before reporting for Basic Combat Training at Fort Bliss, in El Paso. Surfing is bliss.

Here I am kicking out at Leo Carrillo, but my board has a different idea. Now I’m going to kick out of the house and go for a walk in this marine air.

For More on Surfing, See Related Posts, Below:

The Sea Far Away

Jerry Lewis at the Paradise

Hemingway surfing and writing

Small Wave Riders 2009 annual surf trip video

John Cage, Cowboy Surf Shop, and Garage Jazz

Albert Camus on the Economic Collapse

Where weather and writing merge