Beach Road Surfing Brotherhood

Beach Road Surfing Brotherhood

The Beach Road Surfing Brotherhood

Beach Road and its Capistrano Beach was the focal point of the so-called “Dana Point Mafia”*, so named (perhaps inappropriately) by the Los Angeles Times, and others associated with developing the surfing industry. Brief descriptions of these men in alphabetical order follow:

Alter, Hobie: surfer, tandem surfer, skier, motorcyclist, swimmer and all-around waterman in his youth; became synonymous with the foam and fiberglass surfboard in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s; designed and manufactured successfully in surfboards, catamarans (largest classes in the world), skateboards, remote-controlled gliders, apparel, and sailboats; became the Henry Ford of the waterways, making sailing available without the price of a yacht.1

Brown, Bruce: produced and directed The Endless Summer, the most influential statement made about surfing; “the surfer was no longer perceived as the archetypical beach bum or social laze about, but rather he became the symbol of a healthy and glamorous lifestyle that during the later 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s would greatly influence the look and tone of fashion, language, and leisure time activities throughout the wet and dry world.”2

Clark, Gordon “Grubby”: glasser for Hobie Alter; helped Hobie Alter adapt high-density foam for surfboard use; later formed Clark Foam in 1961 and soon became the largest foam-blank manufacturer for surfboards in the world.3

Hoffman, Walter & Philip “Flippy”: among the first California surf figures to ride the Hawaii’s big waves in the early ‘50s, Walter introduced Hobie Alter to surfboard making; both now provide authentic lifestyle fabrics to the surf fashion industry.

Metz, Dick: a pioneer in the sport and surf industry;4 Hobie Alter and Steve Pezman associate; owned and managed Hobie Sports stores; established one of the more significant personal collections of early wooden surfboards; organized the Surfing Heritage Foundation for the collection and preservation of surfing heritage.

*Severson, John: founder of Surfer Magazine in Dana Point; founder of surf art; filmed “Surf”, “Surf Fever” and other early surf movies. “Before John Severson, there was really no surf art, no surf magazines, no real surf films, no surfwear industry, no pro surfing, no Surfrider Foundation, no surf culture as we know it. In a very large sense, he made it all happen by synthesizing the sport of surfing into various expressions of his art.”5

[1]Local historian, Doris Walker, in her book about Dana Point, Home Port for Romance

[2] Leonard Lueras,



[5] Surf historian, Drew Kampion,

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *