The city of Huntington Beach has many surf dudes, but none express themselves as poignantly as Corky. Corky, the surfing columnist who has won more awards than you can shape a board at, says the city’s look has changed. He goes on to add that its soul hasn’t. In honor of the 100th year anniversary of Huntington Beach Corky reflects about Surf City and draws some interesting conclusions, and has some great observations. He began his search in the 60’s, a boom time for surfing in HB, a time that he believes the city grew to become “Surf City”. No, the name is not officially changed to Surf City, but maybe it should. People have a difficult time spelling “Huntington”, and they confuse it with the Huntington Library & Gardens in Pasadena.
United States Surfing Championships was born in 1972 during concerns over the Vietnam War, and surfing was on a national decline, says the spokesperson for California Beaches and surfing lifestyle. Dewey Weber and Hobie, the big surfboard shapers at the time, were slipping in sales to the “underground” brands and the likes of Corky Carroll, himself. Corky observes that the surfing scene in California took a dive off that wave of previous success which peaked in the late 60’s, then nose-dived into the 70s. Hawaii and Australia became the center of focus, and locals were glad to have their surfing spots back without the fanfare of the media, and all the posers coming to town.
Corky dropped out to ski in another state and to improve his musical talent. He couldn’t leave his surfing forever, so he came back and even played the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach. But mostly he sold ads for South County’s Surfer magazine. He also taught tennis, one of his many talents. He managed surf shops such as Windansea and Huntington Surf n Sport and watched the surfing vibe pick back up as Hilton and a huge Hyatt Convention Center were built, and Maxwells was torn down, replaced by Duke’s, where Corky performed as a musician at a tiki bar.
In conclusion, the surf kahuna is glad to see gone what he considered a surf ghetto, and he pays homage to the surf icons and hang-outs of the past, plus the people fondly remembered: David Nuuhiwa, Golden Bear, Lindborg Tennis Club, the Bread Crumb, and still standing–Sugar Shack and Huntington Beach High School. The three-time international and five-time U.S. surfing champion is a cool dude with an HB attitude.