Surfing Santa Delivers a Christmas Memory

Written by John Hughes- pictures and story provided by Eddie Legge.

A lifetime of surfing naturally accumulates many memories. They are meaningful in different ways, but nothing lingers in the mind more than the many surfboards that carried you across the waves. The tactile, solid state of foam and fiberglass, the interface to the ephemeral liquid state of the ocean.

Perhaps the one that is seared into your synapses is the board that went on that trip to Mexico, Hawaii or Bali, the one that put you deep in the barrel. The magic board that never failed you day in and day out at your local break. Or the dog of a stick that that was a complete waste of your precious savings. Or that old log that smacked you in the head so hard you almost passed out.

But in the hierarchy of memories, your first surfboard holds a special place. It doesn’t matter if it was shiny and new under the Christmas tree or dragged out of the neighbor’s trash. That first surfboard was a magic talisman, a portal to the mysterious world lapping at your feet on the shore. It was your first step out of the life of a child, dependant on others, to a life where you were dependant on nothing but your wits and determination to surf.

Lifelong surfer and Rockledge local Eddie Legge recounts the story of his first surfboard and how his friend, and Surfing Santas founder, George Trosset made a fellow surfer’s memory a reality:

Eddie Legge and Doug Moore with their first surfboards. Rockledge FL 1966

Eddie Legge and Doug Moore with their first surfboards. Rockledge FL 1966

I’m the skinny, tall kid holding the James and O’Hare. That was my first board bought with $10 down and $5 a week from Ted Lund at Ron Jon, when it was located in the little strip mall across from Slow & Low. That is Doug Moore holding the Atlantic by Surfco, also his first board. We were 14 and 13, respectively, most likely in 1966. We both continue to reside in the area to this day.
Many years ago I found an old Atlantic on eBay and bought it and had it shipped here with the idea to someday have it rebuilt and give it to Doug to commemorate a lifetime of friendship. I was able to befriend a great surfer and shaper by the name of Darin Craig, and with my memory and the old black and white photo, Darin refurbished the board.

Surfing Santas at the beach house 2010. Doug's board is 4th from the right, in wrapping paper.

Surfing Santas at the beach house 2010. Doug’s board is 4th from the right, in wrapping paper.

It was wrapped completely with Christmas paper and was a prop on the beach for one of George Trosset’s early Surfing Santas. I asked Doug to help carry some boards up from the beach at the conclusion of that particular Surfing Santas and asked him to remove the wrapping. Of course, everyone but Doug knew what was under the wrap. I gave him the board and wished him a Merry Christmas.

Eddie Legge and Doug Moore. Doug's replica of his first surfboard.

Eddie Legge and Doug Moore. Doug’s replica of his first surfboard.

And so it goes- childhood memories can fade but they never really go away. Like waves on the ocean they recede and surge again at the most unexpected time and place- like a present under the Christmas tree- carrying shared experiences and lifelong friends along for the ride on the endless wave.


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