Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Don Oakey Leaves Us

From Jane at the California Surf Museum, via Joe Tabler: 

 "We lost a huge pioneer in San Diego surfing history - Don Okey - the other day. He was one of the first to surf WindanSea, the designer/architect of the shack, head chef of the magnificent luaus there, made foam boards in '51 for Ed Cudahy, patented a board-shaping machine in '65 and produced hundreds of boards with it, was a life-long cohort of Woody Brown's, was an inventor, entrepeneur and raconteur extraordinaire. And a damn good surfer..." Don Oakey was also one of the Slough Riders that rode with Legendary Surfer Dempsey Holder and others at Imperial Beach. To read about Don and the Tijuana Slough Riders, go to: Dempsey, Don Oakey and the Rest of the Sloughs Crew

The Enforcer Pulls Out

As many of you know by now, Ray Kunze -- "The Malibu Enforcer" -- passed on early this month.

Here's an email from Tom Morey to Kemp Aaberg after Kemp told him about Ray's passing:

"Good God, how bitchin'! What a classic way to go!! No one could write a better script than that!. He and Misto George were always, to each other, the main thing in surfing.

"I'm taking ever more hits in this 70th year, as death, like the mean o puddy tat, is cweepen up on all of us. Ray was like 72 or 73 !

"What is the next breaking section going to bring?

"It's one thing to be fighting through the soup, trying to get back around the white water until, you're fully functional in the green again. But eventually you know you're already too far down the line for there to ever be a decent green water opportunity.

"Picture this. You and I are surfing Malibu. Dora's out there, Kuntz, Misto, Cleary, Franny, Bobby Patterson, Munoz and Dewey. There we are out at the point or scattered along inside riding little sections, catching wave after wave and loving life. Just a dozen of us with all of Malibu to ourselves, the surf pumpin' 4-8'.

"You catch a great one at the flag pole line up, climb, arch, drop, crank big cutbacks, and nose ride. Tubesteak, and Bags, even Fisher on the beach playing chess with Hugo, they all stop, look up and take notice.

"But then, as you come into that long shore break where the wave is ever faster breaking yet junky, the lack of shape no longer supports any of your best moves. Instead, it has you pinned to the board, in a stupid crouch. You kick you ass that again you've allowed yourself to get lulled into that last 30 yards where it's too sloppy to nose ride, too shallow to cut back.

"So you pull out!

"Butch does an El Drinko pull out. Bobby has a heart attack in the middle of a big deal. Dewey's does his own brand of exit. Hasley, drives into a tree. Ray, picks up the phone, calls Misto and then drops dead! Whatever, kick out, standing island... the soul does SOMETHING so that it's OUT, and paddling back toward the Primal Point for more bitchin' waves!"


(Courtesy of Tom Morey and thanks to Bob Feigel for another coconut telegraph)