When surfers just used their feet

Anyone remember (so very long ago) when grabbing a rail was the mark of a kook?

A while back I was out at a well-known northern cal point break, but the waves were so poor there were only a couple of people out on longboards. Between long waits, I got to chatting with this young guy. I mentioned that I had surfed the spot a lot in the 60s, before the shortboard era. He replied that normally he wouldn’t ride a longboard “because it was too easy”. Finally a set came and I took a wave. As I’m paddling back out, I see him take off on a waist high peeler and proceeds to do the pigdog railgrab thing from behind the middle of the board. Hmm, I sez to myself, I guess it would have been “too easy” to walk to the nose for the great tip ride that the wave offered.

I remember seeing this in an older surf mag about Makaha: “Grab rail, ride over”

now,when i was a kid they hadn’t invented wood yet- surfboards were made of stone, a 10’ weighed 675 lbs. we used to have to walk to first point malibu in the snow and in those days it was uphill both ways. times were hard and sex wax cost a nickle. now Ishi- he was a nice guy- he was pretty kind to us considering he was a real local and we were kooks. His board was made of pumice- it was a lot lighter- we use to trade him acorns and abalone shells to use it.when they invent oxen thing start to get a little better. kids these days have it so easy- they have no idea.

check out EVOLUTION again to see some classic, functional grabs: nat, ted, wayne et al

chuck Yara told me that at the early Makaha contests points were deducted for crouching…this helps to expplain the DEWEY WEBER “I got robbed” attitude when he didn’t win the contest.That was when the polynesian cruise control approach met the enthusiastic exuberance of Youth exibited by the then young energetic Dewey …rail grab… the kid in my neighborhood mid summer was was wheeling his initial turn in a crouch with his hand on the rail switching stance then coming out of the turn assumed regular stance in forward trim an’…then maybe he will progress to standing up this manuvre once he feels confident… I feel somewhat responsible not having been ripping toe ball turns for his benifit ahh,if he only saw that one wave I got after dark or didnt burn wave after wave in that insatitable pace to feed that insatiable wave appetite…GO KID… I’ll catch’em when you in skoo … and… slow an’ …deliberately… masticating fully …each wave as…close… to the strand… before terminating …the glide… then ride the rip… or side shore inhale …exhale… to sync up my breath with the…pulse… o’ the planet … ambrose…shoulder’s almost better maybe tomorrow sunset glow session…you goin?

yeah, I’m going

Actually, its your wave-go ambrose!

Yea…Kooks grab rails.I was at Radford High School in around 1964 and John Peck who was a former student got this great photo at Pipeline that was turned in to a poster.Everyone called him a Kook and such but in the end we were all jealous.Its still a cool poster to this day.After that everyone started grabbing rails backside in two foot slop.How about the “Paul Strauch Stretch Five”…we all copied that move also.Fossil is obviously of my generation. R. Brucker (not to mention Nat Young’s “Paddle out Entry”) or…??