Growing up in England, going to the beach meant putting on every winter coat I owned and sitting on pebbles the size of golf balls while battling the wind in an attempt to barbeque sausages. If we were lucky, we’d find a patch of sand, filled with tiny seashell fragments, and make sandcastles in the shape of racecars—but that was only if we were brave enough to get close to the piercing cold water.
Now that I live in sunny California, going to the beach has an entirely different meaning. I remember visiting my dad’s cousins in Half Moon Bay (home of Mavericks) when I first moved to California. I became fascinated by the surfers lined up in the water, waiting to “catch a big one.” My dad’s cousins, who owned a surf shop, explained the concept of surfing to me, and while I still haven’t had the courage to try it myself, I’ve loved watching surfers ever since.
Recently, someone told me about a different kind of surfing competition: the Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition. This prompted me to search YouTube for videos of my favorite furry friends riding surfboards. In the process, I found many other interesting surfing videos, such as home-footage of surfers from the ’70s and videos describing some of the history of the sport and the equipment. I even found videos of little surfing rodents! All these and more can now be viewed on our Vintage Surfboards page.
Needless to say, the search for surfing dogs then led me to the dry-land version: skateboarding. There I found just as many (if not more) videos of pets on boards. But the real jackpot was the hilarious vintage skateboarding safety videos, and even a 1975 news report. Check them out on our Vintage Skateboards page. (If you know of a great vintage surfing or skateboarding video we’ve missed, send it to us!)
Moving to California showed me that summer means different things to different people, depending on where you live. For some, that means donning their favorite vintage swimsuit (be it a modest woolen one-piece or a funky retro variation with an exposed middle). For others, summer is going to a music festival or eating garlic fries and peanuts at a baseball game. The only rule is to make it fun!
For me, I’ll be enjoying the rest of my summer simply watching other people surf, but if dogs and rats can do it, perhaps one day I’ll build up the courage to try it myself.