This was an improvement, but we still tried to stay dry as long as possible. On certain swells, we'd jump this 6 to 8 feet down to the water and if done properly, the upper body would stay dry.
Chris Thompson is a filmmaker working on the story of Northern California surfing during the 50s and 60s (a far cry from surfing in the warmer Southern California waters). Recently I loaned him a bunch of my old photos, which he scanned; this is one of them.
A post 9 years ago about that time period in Santa Cruz: http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2007/04/aloha-dave-devine_14.html
Photo by Spike Bullis