Huntington Beach – Surf City, USA


“Two girls for every boy!! Well we’re goin’ to Surf City, cuz it’s two for one, yeah, we’re going to Surf City, gonna have some fun.”

It’s the early 60’s. The Beatles were in Hamburg trying to make a break and in Southern California, surf music ruled (or was boss). Led by the Beach Boys, bands like Dick Dale and the DelTones (who actually influenced many modern Heavy Metal guitarists and his Miserlou provided an eerie track to the movie Pulp Fiction), Chantays (Pipeline), Jan and Dean and the Surfaris made a great some darn good music.

Jan and Dean sang Surf City, a song about Huntington Beach. Dean Townsend remains active (Jan Berry suffered a paralyzing accident in 1966 at ironically dead mans curve a place they sang about) around here as we saw a collection of his retro-surf art in a local gallery. The owner told us that Townsend actually has had a great deal of impact on Huntington as it tries to remain a quaint, village-type surfing community.


Another person to impact Huntington Beach was Duke Kahanamoku. He was one of the legends that sparked the surfing revival in Hawaii. He, would later be called the Father of Modern Surfing.” His popularity grew due to his winning of gold medals in swimming in the 1912 and 1920 Olympics and it helped him to spread the word about surfing globally. Also helping Kahanamoku were clubs that were formed to promote surfing and writers who sent articles back to the United States giving details about the sport. Jack London experienced the sport himself in 1907 and went back to Hawaii in 1915 to witness the amazing popularity of surfing that had resulted from the revival.

Duke has a statue on Main Street, near Huntington Pier. He was often here watching and judging surfing contests until his death. By all indication he was a quiet legend who loved the water, the beach and surfing.

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2 Responses to “Huntington Beach – Surf City, USA”

  1. Regina says:

    What a great article.
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