Noted Surfing Historian Will Lucas Has Passed Away

Noted east coast surfing historian and videographer Will Lucas passed away on the 20th of August after a long battle with cancer.

Will was a prolific chronicler of east coast surfing history, with a catalog of over 200 self-produced videos-many culled from his extensive collection of 8mm films on his website Surf64 Productions  and the companion Youtube channel. Although he often interviewed well known surfing legends, his passion was recording ordinary surfers and lesser known surfing communities that were often ignored by the established surfing media.

Will and Karen

Because of this Will and his wife Karen had an extensive network of lifelong friends, many of whom became subjects of his videos. Will also documented his battle with cancer through the lens of his service in Vietnam where he was exposed to Agent Orange – the cause of his affliction. He faced his demise honestly and bravely, always with a sense of humor, avoiding any self-pity.

Will was a generous supporter of the Florida Surf Museum which presented many of his videos to the public. His contributions to surfing history are important and substantial and he will be missed by his friends and surfing family.


  • Thank you for your wonderful article on Will Lucas. There will be a Celebration of Life for Will on Sunday, Sept.2nd from 2 PM-4 PM at the Melbourne Beach Town Hall on Ocean Ave., next to Ryckman Park.

    Karen Lucas22 August, 2018
  • J. Skipper Funderburg, Family & Friends from Wrightsville Beach, NC, Aug. 26, 2018

    Will Lucas was a friend of mine. We have lost a patriot, who protected those in whose love we live, those the are dear to us and all Americans. Thousands of men

    and women gave their lives for America in Vietnam. Today, some of them are giving their lives for America in a Second Vietnam.

    I know one of those men, and I can tell you about him, because in many ways he represents all of them.

    Will Lucas was raised on the eastern seaboard and spent his boyhood summers on beaches sharing his friendly smile, love of sports, and gentle personality with all whom he met.

    As a young man, when the Vietnam War was at its height, He left to serve his country.

    He served in one of the deadliest places in the entire country, and during one of the worst of all times – the infamous war.

    Far away from the warmth of his home back east, Will fearlessly faced battles of intense enemy fire, heavy mortars, hell fire and deadly fog.

    He did not perish on the battlefield there and returned home as a war hero. It is said the future belongs to the brave.

    For us, the standard for future bravery was set by Will Lucas and the brave souls lost during his tour, each of his brothers and sisters in arms lost in battle over America’s 234 years.

    Will returned home to marry a girl, to raise a family, to have a career and found the girl of his dreams to marry too.

    His indomitable spirit, his passion for life, his love of and loyalty to America, and his friends and family never left us.

    Will didn’t just serve his country; he served us all.

    We pray for our dear friend today, as we might all remember those who gave their lives for America, lest we forget that freedom, however we seek to enjoy it, is never free.

    We will pray for his and you family. Love to Will, Karen, his family & friends.

    Skipper Funderburg15 December, 2018
  • I met Will through his Vietnam videos although I was in B Co. 4th Eng. and was cadre at Fort Lewis when he and all of the east coast guys went through basic in the Army’s train and retain program of 1965. I flew to Pleiku along with 60 other guys in a MATS C-131 prop job at the end of June 1966. I wish I had known Will personally as I was a surfer from So. Cal and being a draftee we had similar interests and goals. Listening to him read his letters inspired me to read the letters my folks had saved of mine and was amazed at how close some of the things we wrote were. One thing though was in his letters from August, it was B Co. leaving Pleiku to go up to the Oasis for 3 months and I was riding shotgun in a 5 ton dump. His recollections were spot on and brought back so many memories that have been suppressed for a long time. The rain, the mud, heat and the cold and the loss of guys close to you are things that unless you were there you can’t comprehend. I will always think of him as a patriot, a good soldier, a fellow surfer, and an American that stepped up and answered the call of his country. I am not sure if I ever met him or not but I sure wish I had because I am sure we would have been friends. Take care and God Bless. Bill Troop B Co. Fourth Eng.

    Bill Troop18 March, 2020

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