Thursday, February 12, 2009

Guest Post: Randy Whited

Hi, I am Dredd Blog blogger Randy.

In the photo to the left I am the one standing up with hands on hips, with sunglasses on, but no shirt.

The photo was taken in my youth during an economic revolution of sorts. At that time the world economic headquarters of surfing was of course California and Hawaii. The west.

A couple of years before the photo was taken I had moved to Florida to finish my last year of high school. I was on a surf team out of Mission Beach, California (Challenger Surfboards), so I received respect from the Florida surfers.

I even convinced a pal Fletcher Sharpe to join our team for awhile. Before he went bigger time. Another of our team members won the US Championships in Santa Cruz as well.

We really knew and understood the art form or sport of surfing.

Anyway, after living in Florida awhile and observing the east coast scene I expected the economics of surfing to switch from the west to the east coast.

For whatever reason the east coast young Americans had not been all ablaze over surfing as the west was. But I could not help but notice how that was changing.

When that change was at full power years later, ten to twenty boards were sold on the east coast for each one board sold on the west coast and Hawaii.

I returned to Mission Beach and convinced Tinker that we should move the production to the east coast. He had been a rocket scientist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena before I met him, and it did not take him long to figure things out.

We were the first California surfboard company to move production from the west coast to the east coast. We chose New Jersey because of its proximity to population centers and its good waves.

Dale Dobson, Jimmy Dalton, Carl "Tinker" West, and I built a surf truck that winter (later called the 'White Whale') which carried about 20 surfboards on its specialized racks. We travelled in it to the east coast, going from New York to Florida showing off our surfing skills and surfboards.

It paid off because we picked up dealers for our boards on the east coast. We decided to move our surfboard factory to New Jersey the next spring.

The photo is a picture of the motley crew that was a bit ahead of the curve. We were incredibly quality conscious, had that reputation in the industry, and worked hard at our craft.

We learned that radical waves of change can and do take place in our nation. Like the ocean waves in New Jersey or like global climate change.

During that time we also experienced a change in rock and roll music. We made friends with Bruce Springsteen, a local rocker there in New Jersey, who was about to make some changes too.

These days I paint, do software, hang with my grandchildren and children, hang with Christie and our cats, and blog with you folks.

PS, I still have a surfboard in our garage.


  1. Please don't take this the wrong way, but when i saw the pictures, I thought of Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High saying, "I know that dude!"

    The pictures look cool. One of them looks like a chemtrail white-out. Not to hijack your thread, but do you think the white-outs are deliberate?


    I can barely swim yet alone surf. But it looks like a lot of fun, must be exhilarating.

    As for climate change, I doubt a surf board will help ride twenty foot high waves.

    I think we can prevent and minimize this, but unless we can take all that wasted money out of the pathological war and spy industries, and put it into wind and solar power, we are up the creek.

    Here's a strange quote from Colin Powell in 2002 when he addressed the Johannesburg Summit.

    We are committed not just to rhetoric and to various goals, we are committed to a billion-dollar program to develop and deploy advanced technologies to mitigate greenhouse-gas emissions.

    I don't think chemtrails have anything to do with geoengineering, which is the term used to represent Dr. Evil ideas about off-setting global warming. But perhaps they could be for blocking out harmful uv-b rays and for sopping up a lot of moisture in an effort to minimize severe weather.

    If they are good for us, then make the program public. No need to make up kooky hoaxes around them. Or prove that commercial airliners are involved, that chemtrails are contrails. I don't think that can be done.

  2. socrates,

    I don't do much photography. When I do I often do enhancements to fit the theme.

    I can't remember any white out on that one. Maybe so.


  3. Surfers have some seriousness when it comes to protecting the environment which we must maintain in order to survive on earth.