Bob Freeman’s Surfing Memories- My memories of Gary Propper

  January 1, 2022 Read more of Bob’s stories at   The first time I saw Gary was in 1965 at a surf contest in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. He was traveling with Dick Catri’s Surfboards Hawaii Team. The team bus had just parked at the contest site. Gary stepped out, paused for a moment […]

‘Surfing Miami’ exhibit comes to Florida Surf Museum in Cocoa Beach, staying until March

  Hillard Grossman Reprinted from FLORIDA TODAY       Windex-colored water, pastel-painted buildings and bronze bodies typify South Beach. But lost in the world of models, muscles and “Musica Latina,” the now-glamorous area of Ocean Drive proved to be a big push for surfing’s evolution, starting in the 1930s. “It’s a very important part […]

FSM newsletter and Updates

Hello Museum Supporters- The last two years have been challenging for all of us but we seem to be turning the corner and the museum is ready to get busy again. We have many activities coming up, not the least of which is Surfing Santas of Cocoa Beach! We are live and back on […]

A North Shore Adventure- Florida Style

Story by Gregory Hall      Christmas makes you think of good friends and good times with them. As was with me being one of the few Floridians that actually lived on the North Shore of Oahu for a number of years, surfing was all encompassing in our lives. THE YELLOW HOUSE In the early […]

Pete Dooley’s Magic Fish Tale

  Pretty incredible surf community we live in: The owner of Core Surf has a surfer a bring in a pretty destroyed Natural… Posted by Pete Dooley on Tuesday, September 29, 2020

First Florida Shape Off Board Added to FSM Collection

Paul Eaton, founder and organizer of the annual Florida Shape Off competition, has donated the winning surfboard from the first shape off in 2008.  The event is a competition that  challenges the industry’s finest craftsmen to duplicate as closely as possible a selected board for each year. Paul decided to organize the event after going […]

Brave or Foolish? A Waterman’s Tale

Story by Chuck Evans Here is a story I sent to my daughter through StoryWorth.  She provides a question a week.  I respond and the stories are printed into a hardbound book at the end of a year.  This story was in response to her question, “What is one of the bravest things you ever […]

South Beach Memories, by Mark Waldman

My family moved to Miami Beach from New York City in 1948, when I was 2. My grandmother had been in real estate there for a long time, and my father went into business with her. In 1951 my father built a house on 71st St, on Normandy Isle, right across from Normandy Isle park. […]

Kook Box Joins Museum Collection

Board collector Brian Wenzel brought an interesting piece to the museum to add to our collection- an 8ft blue kook box. The term kook box was slang for early surfboards made of frame and plywood with a hollow core. The legendary Tom Blake first invented and patented the hollow surfboard/paddleboard design in 1930 which was […]

Healing Waves-Invisible Wounds and the Road to Recovery

  By Nate Dinger As conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq continues, members of the United States military faithfully pack up their lives and deploy in support of their nation’s call.  Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines engage the enemy, provide security, and establish community outreach programs intended to stabilize the regions most affected by war. Despite […]

Soldiering On

  Article by Justin Housman. Re-printed from Surfer Magazine, May 30, 2016 When duty called in Afghanistan, Captain Nate Dinger took his love of shaping with him.     If most surfers learned that they were about to be sent to a landlocked, militarized war zone, their first thoughts would likely lie somewhere along a […]

Ricky Carroll Donates Catri Memorial Board

It has been more that three years since Dick Catri, the Godfather of East Coast Surfing, passed away. Always larger than life ,even in death, His legacy was celebrated in a paddle out at Monster Hole, a larger than life wave suitable to the Captain. Attended by hundreds, including many legends and and this out […]

Tales of South Beach- ” Is Mr. Surf In?”

Story by Uncle Bill In the same era of the late 1960’s when a Miami surfer rode over to the beach to surf for the day, they often found it flat or too small, so the day just ended as a sit out. As we had no cell phones or other instant information media at […]

Dick Catri’s Personal Gun Joins the Museum Collection

The museum has received many donations over the years from our generous supporters. But every so often something special comes through our door. We were recently visited by Steve and Kelly Casanova who brought with them Dick Catri’s personal big wave gun. This board was shaped by Dick himself and was his travel board that […]

Tales of South Beach-The Saga of “Holy Joe”.

Story by Uncle Bill- I would imagine most every man, woman and child who surfed or even went to South Beach, Miami, FL on any given Sunday during the late 1960’s or 1970’s would remember “Holy Joe”. Joe was a small man who magically appeared every Sunday around mid day. He was a small person, […]

Buddy’s Daily Driver Donated to FSM

FSM was recently paid a visit by surfing legend Kevin O’Dare. Kevin was in town competing in the Annual Rich Salick NKF contest at the pier. He had brought with him his 9’0” Bud Gardner noserider to compete in the legends division and generously donated it to the museum collection after the event. Kevin explained- […]

Twofer Board Donation for FSM

    We recently received a visit from Bill Stimson and his fiance Betty at the Florida Surf Museum. In the back of Bill’s cherry  2002 4Runner were a Bing Nuuhiwa Noserider and a Design 1 transition era shortboard. Bill began surfing in Miami Beach in the  sixties, and like many south Florida surfers, roamed […]

Tales of South Beach-Road Trips by Uncle Bill

Uncle Bill grew up in Miami and began surfing south beach and points north in the early 60s. He shares his tales with us for your enjoyment.       I still have a 1968 Bing David Nuuhiwa 9’-6” nose rider (If I must brag a little, I became quite proficient at riding it). I […]

Central Florida Road Trip Visits Florida Surf Museum

WUCF’s popular series “Central Florida Roadtrip” recently featured the Florida Surf Museum in this episode. The show recounts how the space program transformed a sleepy beach town into a center for space exploration and how that created the conditions for Cocoa Beach to become the epicenter of surfing in Florida. The founding of Florida Surf […]

(Very) Early Florida Surfing History

Duke Kahanamoku. The Duke is an icon and legend who is widely credited with introducing surfing to the world. In 1912 after his triumph at the Olympic games in Stockholm, where he won gold and silver medals in swimming, he returned to the US- specifically Atlantic City, New Jersey- where he gave a surfing exhibition […]

Bob Freeman’s Silver Bullet

In the late '60s Catri and Propper lured me away from Hansen Surfboards to join the Hobie Team and gave me one of Hobie'… Posted by Free Surf on Tuesday, June 18, 2019

RIP for Legendary Shaper Bud Gardner

Bud was a true gentleman and eternally stoked on surfing and surfing culture. The quality of his surfboards was legendary and his artistry extended to resin paintings, furniture and anywhere his creativity took him. Bud was inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame in 2010 as well as the International Shapers Hall of […]

60s Space Coast Surfing: Bob Reeves’ Photo Album

Bob Reeves and his brother Jack were early pioneers of surfing on the Space Coast in Florida. They were representative of the early migration of surfers from around the country who settled in the area in search of waves and a place to build and market surfboards. In the very early 60s there was a […]

Rare Tomb and Reeves Joins Museum Collection (More photos, More History!)

Florida Surf Museum has added another classic surfboard to our collection thanks to a generous donation from Dale Eldred. The new addition is a rare Tomb and Reeves single fin from the 70’s. Dale grew up surfing in the Eau Gallie area and started surfing in 1972. His surfing buddies included Ronnie Kruger and Arno […]

Greg Noll Surfboard Donated to the Museum

The Museum has added a classic Greg Noll surfboard to our collection thanks to the generosity of James and Faith Jones. James, who grew up in Sanford, bought this board in 1965 from Parker Boats in Orlando for $165. The board still has the original SlipCheck spray-on traction that was popular in the 60’s. He […]

Historic Pensacola Label Board Donated to the Museum

We are proud to add an iconic label surfboard from Pensacola to our collection. Hutson Surfboards was one of the earliest line of surfboards from the area and this one is believed to have been made around 1962. The museum received the donation from P’Cola native Mike McCrory. Mike is commercial diver with many decades […]

FSM Surf Magazine Archive Updated!

We are excited to announce that we have added more historic Florida surf magazines to our digital archive! New additions include: US Surf Magazine– Published by Carol Holland, Rob McGrath and Kevin Welsh from 1983 to 1984. This high-quality magazine only lasted for seven issues but picked up where Waverider left off in quality and […]

The Original East Coast Surfing Magazines- Article by Doug Fiske

  Fans of East Coast surfing magazines were fortunate that the surfers who launched the four detailed below hadn’t learned much about magazine economics before they paddled out. Had they done hard-eyed business plans, they would have found the chances of sustained success were extremely slim. That harsh economic reality probably would have stopped them […]

FSM Swapmeet (Paying It Forward)

A fun, hot day at the FSM swapmeet today. Special Olympics surfing athlete Jake Snyder (pictured with his dad Dean and… Posted by Florida Surf Museum on Monday, July 30, 2018

Remembering Yancy…

Imagine paddling out on a beautiful winter day at Pensacola Beach way back in January, 1975. This is what you would… Posted by Tom Hutson on Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Rare Tomb and Reeves Joins Museum Collection

  Florida Surf Museum has added another classic surfboard to our collection thanks to a generous donation from Dale Eldred. The new addition is a rare Tomb and Reeves single fin from the 70’s. Dale grew up surfing in the Eau Gallie area and started surfing in 1972. His surfing buddies included Ronnie Kruger and […]

The Florida Connection: Carl Schaper

Re-printed from Aulta Surf   Carl Schaper Occupation: Surfboard Shaper Hometown: Waialua, Hawaii Carl started surfing at age 13 growing up in Virginia Beach. He later moved to Cocoa Beach, Florida where he built his first surfboard in his garage. He was fortunate enough to land his first surfboard job at Dick Catri’s factory working with […]

Vintage Surf Movies Discovered

The Florida Surf Museum recently acquired 400 feet of 8mm surf movies from Greg and Pat Harlowe. The brothers ran ESA contests in Florida and  the Outer Banks in the early 70’s. Video historian Will Lucas re-edited around 25 minutes of video into 7 minutes. Highlights include Jeff Crawford and Gary Propper (on a […]

Beginner’s Break

Article written by Dan Reiter In the summer of 2001, I was couch crashing up in Topanga Canyon with a crew of lunatics and musicians who’d set up a commune under the pretense of a dog-sitting job for the screenwriter of Space Cowboys. We were young and wild and unstrapped, and figured we could clean […]

Mint Overlin Surfboard Donation Has Special Meaning

The museum recently received a special donation from local resident Mark Lucas- a nearly mint 70’s era Overlin surfboard. The board belonged to his late wife Rindy Arnone-Lucas who passed away on April 1st 2005. Rindy, or Rose as she was known in high school, was a lifelong Merritt Island resident who spent her youth […]

East Coast Surfing Explosion

             History Of Surfing: But Will It Play On   The East Coast? Re-post From Surfer Magazine online Why the ’60s surf boom exploded loudest out east October 11, 2017 By Davis Jones  America’s top-selling board of the ’60s was not from the quiver of a West Coast superstar; it was the Hobie signature model of […]

Digital Archive: The Florida Pro 1979

Take a little time and read this hilarious article by Jeff Johnson in the Winter 79 issue of Wave Rider Magazine. Raging parties, raging hang-overs and raging hurricanes. Bikini contests, Karate demos, pier weirdos and surfing too- featuring world famous surfers such as Shaun Thomson, Peter Townend and Pat Mulhern battling it out for big […]

Tabeling Team Board Donation

The museum recently had a visit from Don Dickenson whose story was posted in this blog entry: Don Dickenson . Don wished to support the museum with a donation of his team board when he rode for Tabeling Surfboards in the 80’s. It is a real gem with an eye-catching airbrush and team stickers. It is […]

Perspectives- El Salvador Surf Adventure

Another surf documentary by Will Lucas, Surf 64 Productions In the summer of 1975, six young surfers from The Jupiter Beach Florida area ventured out for their first El Salvador surf trip. The power of the Pacific Ocean was new to half the group, but as with any travelers at the time, other challenges […]

Florida Pro at Sebastian Inlet Coming Soon

The Inlet is back! Announcing the Florida Pro Surf Competition presented by Florida Beer Company Sunshine State FL-Lager taking place January 18-26 at Sebastian Inlet State Park. This contest is a World Surf League qualifying event – QS6000 Women’s & QS 1500 Men’s. Plus, bonus competitions with champions & icons, featuring former world champs and […]

Paddleout for Pat O’Hare

  A Memorial Paddleout will be held for Cocoa Beach surfing legend and East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame member Pat O’Hare. The event will begin with a memorial at 10 am at Mambos Grill, located on the beach at the International Palms Resort, 1300 N. Atlantic Blvd, Cocoa Beach FL. The paddleout will be […]

Wave Rider Magazine- FSM Digital Archive Project

FSM continues its mission of preserving Florida’s surfing history with the first phase of our Digital Archive Project. We recently completed the archiving of Wave Rider Magazine, an important Cocoa Beach, Florida based surf magazine published by John and Gunnar Griffin. (John Griffin) Surfing was trying to gain a permanent image in the early seventies, […]

Tuy Hoa to Eniwetok- Don Dickinson’s Story

The 1960’s was an important era for the sport of surfing. What was once an exotic pastime for a few became an international craze thanks to the Hollywood media machine that produced Gidget, Beach Blanket Bingo and dozens of similar teen movies. Bruce Brown’s Endless Summer was the trigger that released the final wave of […]

FSM Donates to Assist Puerto Rico

The Florida Surf Museum has donated $1000 to the Waves For Water Caribbean Hurricane Relief Initiative. W4W provides water filtration systems that provide an immediate supply of drinking water to communities most in need. If you are looking for a way to contribute to an island that has provided so much to Florida surfers, this […]

Gary Propper Exhibit Grand Opening

Epic is a over-used word these days but it was a perfect description for the grand opening of the “Gary Propper-Surf /Art/Entertainment” exhibit at the Florida Surf Museum. The museum overflowed with lengendary surfers, movers and shakers, hipsters, kids and locals alike. Many who showed up were friends of Gary who had not seen each […]

From Sebastian Inlet to Margaret River

The museum recently received an inquiry from an individual concerning the history of an old surfboard he had acquired. We get messages like this quite often- mostly from someone wishing to sell it. *Disclaimer- we do not give estimates on surfboard values. The best way to determine that is to look on Craigslist or E-Bay […]

2017 Waterman’s Challenge

The 2017 Waterman’s Challenge  (held June 3-4) continued the tradition of good weather, waves and vibes this year. We squeaked in two good days between two weeks of daily rain and were blessed with a surfable swell all weekend. Everyone from  groms to  geezers to Surfriders had divisions to compete in and the competition was […]

Book Review: Surfing Florida

From the Archives: Book Review: Paul Aho’s “Surfing Florida”

Long Lost Brassy’s Surfboard Found

Brassy’s Nightclub was a legendary Rock and Roll venue in Cocoa Beach. The building was originally the A&P grocery store- located where the post office now stands. From 1979 to 1987 the club, established by Alan Hemenway, featured world class acts such as Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Blue Oyster Cult, The […]

50 Years Strong- Eastern Surfing Association

Fifty years of the best competitive surfing organization in the world…