Bismarck with a Tan

Halfway through the final heat of the 1966 World Titles, Nat Young rode a wave all the way in, stepped off his board, turned beachward with his fingertips on his hips, and looked out with satisfied defiance at the judges. The first place trophy should have been rushed down and placed at his huge wet feet.

Nat Young and Bob McTavish met in 1962, but didn’t become close friends until Young returned from the 1965 World Championships in Peru, and McTavish loaned him a stack of American R&B albums—an exciting new sound for the still-callow surfer. Young also met George Greenough in 1965 and, like McTavish, he soon came to view the peculiar little straw-haired Yank as a surfing savant. The three formed ...

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