Windansea, Chris O’Rourke, and the Neanderthal

Real Surfers



“Neanderthal,” the Kid said with the deepest voice he could manage.

The first time I decided to surf the famous Windansea, a foggy, glassy, afterwork afternoon, December of 1971, there were, maybe, eight or ten surfers clumped around the peak. Trish was waiting in the car. I must have promised to take her somewhere. Newly married, we lived in Pacific Beach, across the street and just up from Tourmaline Canyon.

Yes, it was practically La Jolla; right where Mission turns to La Jolla Boulevard. So, why not Windansea?

When I got out of the water at dark, after something less than an hour, my bride asked me why I, notorious wave hog, hadn’t caught more waves.

“I was lucky to get three or four.” The waves I did get were insiders or those waves the various members of the local crew were a…

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About Stephen Booth

Surface Engineering, HVAF, HVOF, APS Coating technologies expert in Asia
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2 Responses to Windansea, Chris O’Rourke, and the Neanderthal

  1. Erwin A. Dence Jr. says:

    Thanks for reblogging my Windansea/Chris O/Rourke piece. I’ve been a kneeboarder, off and on since my mat surfing days; again lately when each of my knees suffered torn meniscus (one at a time). I actually love the feel of taking off, sideslipping into the tube. Done on a long board kind of takes out the one-eighties, but down the line up-and-down, so close to the power and feeling the speed… tough to beat the kneeboard barrel feel.

    • docturbop says:


      I’ve been out of the USA for 30 years. Grew up in Claremont surfed the Rock some but mostly the shoe and hospitals.

      Suppose you’re in KSUSA ?

      Lee Pattison stayed a few days with me recently.

      Keep in touch.

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