Encountering Da Bull

greg_nollI’m a bit of a surfing history buff. I usually read my Surfers Journals and other magazines cover to cover. I’ve also enjoyed a few biographies including All for a Few Perfect Waves, the Mickey Dora story. I highly recommend it.

In the early 90’s I read a great book about Greg Noll. Those guys had so many good adventures back in the day. Round about 2002 or so I was getting out of the water at my home surf spot and a truck pulls up really close to me. The window rolls down and a voice booms, “I wanna shake your hand”. I could hardly believe my eyes, it was Greg Noll! In Southern California and other places it’s quite common to see a surf legend I imagine. But I live in Oregon and it’s not (Greg just happens to live nearby). He says he’s stoked to see me out there by myself on a shitty day with no one caring to watch me. I was thinking, “Yeah that’s my surfing experience in a nutshell”. We talked for a while and then he left.

A couple years later he had a book signing in my hometown. On display were a number of his handmade boards. Many of which are featured in the book Greg Noll – The Art of the Surfboard. It was fun to encounter him in the two contexts, one at a book-signing being larger than life, and the other as just a guy on the beach stoked at a kid having fun in the waves.


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