Thursday, May 18, 2006

Old School


N WIND 15 KT.
WIND WAVES 2 FT.
W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
TONIGHT NW WIND 15 KT...EASING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT.
WIND WAVES 2 FT.
W SWELL 7 FT AT 10 SECONDS.

Preston "Pete" Peterson...considered California's top waterman in the 1930's... surfer, paddler, sailor, lifeguard, boatbuilder, inventor, stuntman, fisherman, diver...if it involved the ocean, he did it...the first person to paddle from the mainland to Catalina Island, he won the Pacific Coast Surfing Championships 4 times...in 1932, 1936, 1938 and 1941.

Nat Young wrote of a curious Oregon connection: "In 1920, at the age of seven, he [Peterson] acquired his first board. It was 12' long with an 11" wide tail, 18" at its widest point, and made of solid redwood which for some obscure reason had to be shipped from Oregon via Hawaii. It had no rocker, egg-shaped rails, and the redwood planks were held together with lag bolts running inwards from the rails."

C.R. Stecyk writes about a truly impressive Peterson "training exercise" that occurred on November 21, 1939:

"The Palama Kai, a mahogany masterpiece of a boat, and the flagship of the Santa Monica Guards, motors north along the coast. The occasion for this journey is what was euphemistically referred to as a 'training exercise.' On board, Preston 'Pete' Peterson and cohorts scan the horizon scoping out a massive west swell. Malibu and Dume have size, but the tides aren't quite right. Pete is anxious to try out his newly built racing paddleboard, so he convinces his associates to drop him off at the far end of Anacapa Island. Alone, Pete paddles/rides the massive open ocean bumps all the way back to Santa Monica Pier, a distance of over 30 miles. The next day back at the point, Peterson tells the boys, 'Yesterday I figured out how to railroad.' Pete describes gliding on the crest of open ocean swells at high speeds for extreme distances. They surf and later motor the Palama Kai up to the teaming lobster beds north of County Line to capture dinner. Santa Monica Guards trained hard and played harder."

Pete Peterson died in 1983.

4 comments:

reverb said...

...damn,
...good photo
...whats the black line in the photo?

Chum said...

I gotta get me some of those trunks...

foul pete said...

where's the stecyk quote from?

Doc said...

The Steyck qoute is from Legendary Surfers...

http://www.legendarysurfers.com/surf/legends/ls09.shtml

The black line is an anchoring cable to something...what I don't know...but definitely wouldn't want to take off behind it!!!