KFMB-TV, channel 8, is San Diego's longtime CBS affiliate. Tune into CBS Evening News and you'd see (depending on the decade) Walter Cronkite or Dan Rather or Katie Couric. Watch the local news and you'd very quickly see reporter Harold Keen, the Bronx-born "Dean of San Diego Journalists." The footage here consists of Keen interviewing three notable local surfers, Mike Diffenderfer, Mike Hynson, and Bill Caster, plus B-roll shots of the beach and ocean in front of the still-undeveloped Tourmaline Canyon, just south of La Jolla. The material was edited into a short news feature about the newly-approved Tourmaline Surfing Park—the first designation of its kind—which opened in 1965. The finished segment itself no longer exists, but the voice-over transcript was as follows:

The city of San Diego is planning to spend $150,000 developing a park for surfers in what is now a rugged canyon area. It’ll be graded to provide an access road, parking facilities, and conveniences for the rapidly growing number of surfers. Three champion surfers claim this will be a waste of money, and we spoke to them today at the site—Mike Diffenderfer, Mike Hynson, and Bill Caster. City officials today said the complaining surfers are mistaken–that the other seven surfing areas which have been established will continue to remain available—and that Tourmaline Canyon, because it does have a comparatively mild surf much of the time, will be ideal for the great majority of young surfers who are not champions such as the three we interviewed. Tourmaline Canyon, they say, will provide access to other very good surfing areas, such as on private property and the foot of Archer Street, while eliminating the congestion that led to disturbances in the past.

The "disturbances" mentioned here had to do with a long-running low-intensity beach-rights turf war between surfers, homeowners, lifeguards, and property developers. While variations of this battle played out on beaches all across Southern California, as well as portions of the East Coast and Australia, the San Diego problem was unique in that red-baiting was thrown into the mix, with surfers portrayed, as one beachfront property owner put it, as "unknowing tools of the Communist cause."

For a full account of how things unfolded in the years leading up to San Diego's purchase of land at the mouth of Tourmaline Canyon and developing it into a surfing-only area, read "Tourmaline Canyon: Surfers vs Homeowners," by Brooke Johnson Schmitt, or watch PBS' A Line in the Sand: the Story of America's First Surfing Park.

But the short version is that the surfing park was approved in 1963, then complained about and resisted and even vandalized while under construction, and then opened in 1965 with a parking lot, bathrooms, and outdoor showers. The surf at Pacific Beach Point, immediately to the north, was often good. The beachbreak waves in front of the park, however, was generally poor, almost to the point of being unrideable. "The idea was," as one local later recalled, "'Take Tourmaline Canyon, make it a surf park, give it to [the surfers], and that'll keep 'em quiet. They can surf there and we get the rest of the beaches." Or as another local put it, "They made the surf park to get rid of the surfers."

That part of the plan didn't work, as surfers continued to ride nearby breaks. But the Tourmaline Surfing Park did produce a detente between all parties. Endless Summer star Mike Hynson, who had earlier vandalized the construction site, later recalled with a laugh that he cut the ribbon during the Tourmaline Surfing Park opening ceremony.

An influx of sand along the coastline in years to come—some of it brought in by dredge, some produced by storms—improved the wave quality in the years and decades to come, and as more beginners and more families took to the surf, the Tourmaline Surfing Park eventually grew to become both a social hub and a source of community pride.