San Onofre, 1938
Whitey Harrison, 1935. Photo: Doc Ball
LA surfers with lobsters, 1936
Mary Ann Hawkins. Photo: Doc Ball
The Depression did good things for surfing in America. Being poor on the beach in Southern California was a lot better than being poor in the Nebraska plains or on a New York street corner—or anywhere else in the country, for that matter. Surfers were already familiar with living on the cheap: they made their own trunks and surfboards, pulled lobsters and abalone from the sea, gathered wood for th...