Follow the Money

Pro tour prize money was ramping up. Or was it? Photos circulated of world champ Mark Richards in mirrored aviator shades, behind the wheel of his brand-new silver Porsche 911SC. On the other hand, he was still living at home, rent-free, with his parents.

California was the sleeping giant of pro surfing. Nothing much changed here during the second half of the '70s in terms of surf-world commerce and production. Wetsuits, trunks, skateboards, skimboards, bodyboards, logo T-shirts, surfboard blanks, car racks, and every other specie of beach culture merchandise—most of it was designed and assembled, packaged, warehoused, and shipped out of Los Angele...

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