|Avila Beach Pier and town. Notice the red rectangle?|
Music is all about association. In March of 1963, I turned 8 years old. This post is about my childhood in the 1960's and the associations I have with California beach culture growing up on the central coast. For me, Avila Beach and the Beach Boys are joined as sand is to the surf.
|Left of the pier, sunning by the wall.|
|A vintage "Surf Mat"|
When we got a little older, we would rent the inflatable canvas blue and yellow rafts for 50 cents a hour under the pier and ride the waves in the pre-Boogieboard days (see the photo on the left I found on the Internet called, "surf mats"). Typically Avila waves are not a left or right break at all. On bigger days (3-5 ft.) the swell would develop and just slam straight down. A great ride was being in the wave and when it slammed, the industrial strength rental raft just bounced and you held on for dear life and rode that buckin' bronco in a wave of white foam. A bad ride was usually catching it a little too early on top and going over the cliff of the wave to be body slammed. Now as an 8-9 year old, if you did that in the shallower water, you'd get slammed into the sand. By 10 years old, you were a pro, and if you were going to get slammed, it would be on bigger waves in deeper water, or what everybody called, "the washing machine."
It was so fun. You would spend about a hour in the water, and the water was not like Southern California that warmed up in the summer. The water in Northern and Central Coast beaches are cold. You would see kids come out of the water shivering and their skin would be blush red. I remember, running from the surf with my raft to my beach towel cooking on the sand. I would dive into that big beach towel as my shivering would turn to roasting, and then running back into the surf to repeat the whole cycle. I was stoked.
The Wilson brothers (Brian, Carl and Dennis), cousin Mike, and neighbor David Marks had tapped into the early sixties beach culture and surfer music. Sixty years later, why would anyone ever want to leave that scene, you gremmies.
Enjoy my friends.
- Beach Bum: Someone who spends most of their time at the beach, usually a surfer.
- Cowabunga: The surfer's cry "Cowabunga" as they climb a 12 foot wall of water and "take the drop."
- Ditching: Skipping school to go surfing.
- Gremmie: A beginner surfer.
- Gun: A long surfboard used for riding big waves.
- Hang Ten: A term used to describe a surfer's ability to ride a wave with both feet at the front of the board, toes over the edge.
- Hotdogging: Showing off one's surfing skills, often involving radical maneuvers and tricks.
- Kook: A surfer who is inexperienced or lacks skill.
- Nose Riding: Riding the front of the board while balancing on the nose.
- Soul Surfer: A surfer who embodies the spirit and culture of surfing.
- Stoked: A feeling of excitement or happiness.
- Tubed: To successfully ride inside a wave's hollow barrel.
- Wipeout: Falling off the board while surfing.
|Avila Beach today, minus the oil storage tanks on the bluffs, and that's another story.|