David Nuuhiwa and John Gale, Laguna Beach CA, 1971. “Surfer Magazine wanted me to go hang out with David Nuuhiwa. A lifestyle shoot for a day. Nuuhiwa was considered the best surfer in the world at the time and was surfing a lot down at Salt Creek. I hooked up with surf artist Glen Chase and we drove north from La Jolla to meet up with Nuuhiwa and friend John Gale.
We ended up in Laguna Canyon in a small neighborhood called Canyon Acres. There in the back yard we laid out the latest Rainbow Surfboards for a quiver shot. Unbeknownst to me Gale was a major drug kingpin in the Brotherhood (see the book Orange Sunshine, by Nicholas Schou) a sophisticated hash — weed importing group. At that point in time in California, weed was considered in the same class as heroin.
When I returned to the Surfer offices later that day publisher (Steve) Pezman was shocked at where I had been, letting me know that I was probably under surveillance the whole time. The photo editor at the time reacted by throwing away most of the whole photo take commenting that it was all too satanic.”
The Talk Story Series is about speaking with the creators of surfing’s most iconic images and letting them tell us in their own words, the story behind their image. To find out more about Jeff Divine’s surf photography, click here. To read David Nuuhiwa’s interview with Liquid Salt, click here.