Mike Purpus

Surfer Walk of Fame inductee Leininger was surfing stalwart

Surfer Walk of Fame inductee Leininger was surfing stalwart

by Mike Purpus John Leininger almost certainly has sold more surfboards than anyone else in the South Bay’s storied surf industry. Shortly after graduating from Bishop Montgomery High School in the mid-’60s, Leininger went to work for Walt Slike and Jim Wells at Skeg Surf Shop at 1st Street and Hermosa Avenue, in Hermosa Beach. […]

 Mike Purpus

Hermosa Beach surfer Pete Briggs ‘rode the nose’ ’til the end

Hermosa Beach surfer Pete Briggs ‘rode the nose’ ’til the end

Pete Briggs had a smooth, Kemp Auberg style with a beautiful drop knee cutback while Ronnie and I went after the Dewey Weber hotdogger look. Last summer, at 68, Pete was still walking the nose at San Onofre.

 Mike Purpus

A Purpus Endless Summer: 60s and 70s surf star Mike Purpus is inspired by Bruce Brown’s “The Endless Summer”

by Mike Purpus In the early 1960s, surf movie posters were hung in the windows of all the hangouts. Hermosa Beach’s Foster’s Freeze, Winchell’s Donuts, (both long gone) and Mickey’s Deli (still kicking) and Stan’s Liquor Store in Manhattan Beach (also long gone) were just a few of the establishments with posters in the window. […]

 Mike Purpus

Poznik loved spearing white sea bass, riding white sharks

Poznik loved spearing white sea bass, riding white sharks

I first met Taras Poznik about 10 years ago when my next door neighbor Bob Carlson

 Mike Purpus

Fog, big surf add drama to ET/South Bay Boardriders contest

Fog, big surf add drama to ET/South Bay Boardriders contest

The December South Bay Boardriders’ contest was canceled because the waves were too small. The January and February contests were canceled because the waves were too big. Then Saturday morning, the fourth contest date in the six contest series looked like it might have to be aborted because, as SBBC president Mike Balzer said, “Hey, we have waves. You just can’t see them, yet.”

 Mike Purpus

Ratopia Surf Contest: South’s Browning rips at Torrance Beach

Ratopia Surf Contest: South’s Browning rips at Torrance Beach

By Mike Purpus and Ed Solt The 11th Annual Ratopia Surf Contest got underway in 1 to 3 foot frozen zippers last Saturday morning at Torrance Beach. It was so cold judging the first heat that the judges thought we were up in Big Bear waiting for the chair lift to open. “The water is […]

 Mike Purpus

Hermosa Hotdoggers Championships Longboard Surf Contest Presented by Subaru Pacific

Hermosa Hotdoggers Championships Longboard Surf Contest Presented by Subaru Pacific

In the ‘60s Hoppy Swartz with the help of Leroy Grannis and the Kerwin brothers put on The Hermosa Beach Surfing Championships for The United States Surfing Association as part of The International Surfing Festival. It was one of the biggest surfing contests of the year. Eddie Solt wanted to bring it all back and did just that last Saturday on the South side of the Hermosa Beach Pier.

 Mike Purpus

Pipeline: West and Beck Adler [PHOTOS]

Pipeline: West and Beck Adler [PHOTOS]

In this year’s South Bay Boardriders Surf Contest  season,  Beck Adler had total control over the Grom Division and was a consistent finalist in the Boy’s Division. Beck’s older brother West was in every Longboard Division Final. I met the Adler brother’s dad, Gary, at the SBBC “King of the South Bay” contest and told […]

 Mike Purpus

Surf community mourns for Bay Cities Surf founder ‘Griff’ Houston

Surf community mourns for Bay  Cities Surf founder ‘Griff’ Houston

Bay Cities Surf Club founding member and former Jacobs Surf Team rider Tommy “Griff” Houston passed away from an apparent heart attack at his Hermosa Beach apartment last Saturday night. He was discovered by his landlord Bob Reinhart, collapsed inside his apartment. He was 67. In the early ‘60s, Houston was a smooth, but radical […]

 Mike Purpus

Pipeline: Nathaniel Harris

Pipeline: Nathaniel Harris

Mike Purpus interviews up and coming grom Nathaniel Harris

  Five years ago my cousins, Rick and Paula Bickford, came up for one of their bi-monthly photo shoots. The Perfect Day Surf Camp was in session right next to our photo shoot. I noticed a skinny, nine year old that looked like the late Buttons Kaluhiokalani learning how to surf trying to catch a […]

 Mike Purpus

Surf Karma in the emergency room at Torrance Memorial

Surf Karma in the emergency room at Torrance Memorial

The kid had a look on his face that said, “Oh my God. I just killed Mike Purpus.” I said “It wasn’t your fault. But I need you to paddle as fast as you can to George, whose on the big red surfboard and wearing a hat. He’s a paramedic.”

 Mike Purpus

Pipeline: Prunauer credits Torrance neighbors for surfing inspiration

Pipeline: Prunauer credits Torrance neighbors for surfing inspiration

Andy Prunauer is a young local shaper who is making waves with his progressive designs, “Proper Surfboards.”

 Mike Purpus

Barela, Benevidez the Yin Yang of Hermosa Surfer’s Walk of Fame

You can’t put Chris Barela on The Hermosa Beach Surfer’s Walk of Fame without Mike Benavidez at the same time. They are yin and yang. They are closer than brothers. In the ‘70s one couldn’t have survived without the other. It was the winter of ‘72 and Doc had recently bought the pro surfer Dru […]

 Mike Purpus

Pipeline: Cody Purcell Interview

Pipeline: Cody Purcell Interview

15-year-old Mira Costa Surf Team member Cody Purcell is one of the area’s rising talents. Mike Purpus interviews Purcell for the latest issue of Drop Zone LA.

 Mike Purpus

Back to Japan: Nothing lost in translation

Back to Japan: Nothing lost in translation

Four decades after last visiting Japan, former pro surfer Mike Purpus returns for an emotional reunion with the Japanese surfing community.

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