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Surfing During Paleolithic Times


"…Wanna see our pictures on the cover
Wanna buy five copies for our mothers
Wanna see my smilin face
On the cover of the Rollin Stone"

People of a certain, um, age will remember the song from the early '70s by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show.

Well, I finally made it on a cover, 61 (ulp!) years later in the just-out copy of The Surfer's Journal. I was wearing a shorty wetsuit from the Dive 'N Surf shop in La Jolla (pre-O'Neill). You sent them your measurements and they sent you the cut-out pieces and a bottle of Black Magic glue and some tape. You'd glue together pieces, glue tape over seams. Early wetsuits didn't have nylon lining so you'd rub cornstarch on your body so as to be able to slip the suit on. Underneath it I was wearing on old-fashioned wool bathing suit. A 9' Velzy balsa wood board (this was just before foam.)

This was about a 6-8' drop to the water (at Steamer Lane), there was a ledge, and we did this when the tide was right in order to stay dry. We'd wait for a wave to hit the cliff, then jump as the backwash flowed outward.

Before wetsuits there wasn't much of a crowd problem. I remember a foggy morning, 6-8' at the Lane, 4 of us out. Ah, me.

6 comments:

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

great photo Lloyd, and great photo too -- who knew?!? And you're still at it -- good for you!

Okemah said...

Saw this at Barnes & Noble the other night. Upon reading the inscription I said aloud, "THEE Lloyd Kahn?" Good times for sure.

crowldawg said...

My original board '64 was a home made special I bought from my gym teacher after he surf in a commercial for Colt 45.It wat 9'10", 6 in thick and weighed abot 50 lbs.

bayrider said...

I can 'honestly' say that I was on the cover of The Rolling Stone back in the 70s. My sister picked up the issue and saw me immediately in the center of the crowd photo from the movie version of 'Hair'. It was actually a Bonnie Raitt concert on the mall in Wash DC that was filmed to use the crowd dressed as 'hippies' as extras.

Your cover is beautiful and timeless!

graywave said...

beautiful photo of you.congratulations cover guy ! like the history of the wetsuit story too !

Laura said...

Awesome, Lloyd! I love this picture.

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