Career Move

Corky Carroll at age 18 put “professional surfer” on his 1965 tax return. Two years later, thanks to board royalties, product endorsements, and a bonus check from Hobie Surfboards for his appearances on The Tonight Show and What's My Line, Carroll earned something in the neighborhood of $40,000.

In early 1977, Southern California photographer Bill Delaney released Free Ride, and it instantly became the year’s runaway hit surf movie. The best part of the film was the knockout slow-motion camera work shot by Surfing staffer Dan Merkel, a bearded Santa Barbara hardass who cardio-trained by taping weights to his ankles and wrists and running through soft sand. Merkel figured out how to swim a...

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