Look Who I Found

Bill T at LJ Shores, 1963. In an article titled “San Diego Scene”. Aug/Sept 1963 issue of Surfer Mag.
Photo by Roy Porello.

That photo was taken in May 1963, during a raging Santa Ana. That was my third session that morning, wearing a borrowed wetsuit. That was the only time in over two years that I wore a wetsuit. It didn’t fit well, and if you look close you’ll see the Beavertail flapping behind me. The board is a 9’ 7’’ x 21.5’‘, 33 pound, WindanSea Special. Thick foiled 8 inch deep reverse fin. Ahhhh, the good ol’ days.

Wow, total skills. Was there any rocker in that board??? EPIC photo. Nice wave Bill

Yes, approx. 3.5’’ nose, and a ‘‘kick tail’’ of approx. 5 inches. Thickness was forward, in gun proportions, and WP was behind center… Board was quite fast, and try as I might, I could not spin it out, no matter how hard I punched it. And I really tried. I was trying to find the board’s performance limits. The board was quite robust, in construction. Double 13.5 oz deck, and double 10 oz bottom. Rails were fully lapped. Both sides. I wanted to survive any rail to rail collisions. I was 19 yrs old, when I made that board, in 1960.

Kind of like the makaha machine models except WP was 1-2" north or center. That Photo makes your sunset avatar look like just an average day in the surf. I would only wish I could be in that situation and pull it off. Total props with that photographic evidence Bill. AWESOME!!!

My avatar photo taken at Sunset in 1968, shows me well to the left of the peak, driving to the right. In very short order that wave became a larger version of the LJ Shores wave. The wave ahead of me in the avatar, is larger and more critical, than the portion of the wave that I’m on. I had the luxury of riding boards fast enough to let me get away with that sort of thing. The avatar photo was taken right before the ride got a bit more exciting.

An outamzings memory fer detail. What did yous have fer lunch dat day?

Awesome Bill

Most likely some local fish, that I speared. Menpachi, or Aweoweo, two of my favorites.

Bill, Comments like yours make this forum worth reading even more. Thanks for sharing your stories and all the surf history lessons. Really appreciated, especially from a guy like me, born almost 30 years after your picture was taken :slight_smile:

He probable used a homemade sling and dove with some legendary waterman, too. Thanks for sharing, Bill. Mike

All true. My Hawaiian Slings, made with Aluminum Tubing, sealed and neutrally buoyant, are very fast when fired under water. Pat Curren gave one of my spears to Alan Nelson, declaring it to be ‘‘the best spear in the world.’’ The design originated with Buzzy Trent. My contribution to the design was developing a means to seal the tube, so that it would almost float. The result was a spear that was faster, more accurate, and with a greater range. The result was more fish, on the dinner plate. One of my favorite spears, which I made in 1968, still sees occasional use. I once speared a Gopher that was tearing up my lawn, with it. Perhaps the only time a Gopher has ever been speared with a Hawaiian Sling.

Hey Bill, I think building a Hawaiin Sling would be a cool thread. At least I would be interested haha. It not surfing but I think most Swaylockians can dig it. I’m gonna make one!

Count me in as being interested in that “Hawaiian Sling” thread too. Still have my “Hawaiian Sling” (well, the Aussie version of it) sitting in the shed from when I first got interested in spearfishing - after I moved on to a the speargun the sling’s been mostly gathering dust. So if Bill’s design looks like it’s an improvement on it, I might try and modify mine to match.

Glad it got mentioned too; Christmas is just around the corner and it’s reminded me I really ought to get out for a dip and try to pick up some squid for the family Christmas meal.

Cheers & Merry Christmas to all!

I’s had a salad of raw abalonie and losters, I cought dem with my teeth, dem balconies are hard to grabs, then suck down. Is yo favorite fish da orange one, or is it da ones with the camoloking scale a massage. Ackually I was not born yet but jets a twinkiels in me pappies ies. Inset it hard to spearfish at da beach?

Saw “surgical tubing” in an Ace Hardware here in Oregon the other day. First time in a long time. Glad that I was able to pass that issue of Surfer onto you Bill. Had some nice pics of many of the local boys from that time. Local spots like Boomer, Bird etc. Lowel

If I remember correctly; I think that was a Roy Porello layout. Amazing how good the “Shores” can get. And then there’s their big brother and it’s deep water canyon right up the beach. L

I don’t know. Maybe shoot Bill a PM. Be respectful of your ‘Uncles.’ Offer to buy some lunch. A lemonade. See if he’ll talk story. How many of you know someone who has surfed, dived, shared meals with BT (not Bill T). Priceless experience if you are interested in the history and legends of surfing. They’re not getting younger. The guys who were there. Mike

Post up some more of the photos from that layout Sami. As I said I think the layout(i.e. All photos) were Roy Porello. He was a pretty active Surf Photog in San Diego around that time frame.