The legendary San Diego surfer dies at the age of 84

The legendary San Diego surfer dies at the age of 84



Los Angeles (Associated Press)-Greg “Da Bull” Noll has passed away. He combines a gregarious, oversized personality with the courage and skill to navigate bigger and stronger waves , Become a surfing legend. He is 84 years old.

Knoll lived in the picturesque seaside town of Crescent City in California and died of natural causes on Monday. Instagram posts From his son’s company Noll Surfboards. The Knoll family’s request for comment was not immediately answered, and it is not clear where he died.

Noll is the earliest and arguably one of the greatest big wave riders, not just a surfer. He is also an entrepreneur, and he helped change the sport with his Greg Noll surfboard, one of the first surfboards made of balsa wood, this material makes them easier to handle and light weight, suitable for most People use.

He also appeared in many surfing documentaries, as a photographer in the 1967 film “Surfing”, and as a stunt stand-in for James Mitchum in the 1964 film “Wild Surfing”. In 2010, he and his son Jed launched a surf clothing line.

It was the huge waves he caught, coupled with a straightforward and friendly attitude, that made Knoll’s reputation.

From the early 1950s to the 1960s, he traveled from Southern California to Mexico, Australia and the northern shore of Oahu, Hawaii, looking for the largest waves.

It was October 1957. On Waimea Bay on the north shore of Oahu, he led a few surfers to a place where the waves could reach three stories high in winter. It is said that surfing in this bay is impossible, and residents claim that since a young California surfer Dickie Cross was killed there in 1943, no one has tried.

The grainy footage showed that Noll caught a wave that could be as high as 30 feet (9 meters), and then somehow managed to stay standing because it tilted about 10 feet (3 meters) or more toward his face. From there, he walked outside and almost rode to the shore.

Years later, when Noel recalled his first thoughts after completing that ride, he would giggle and curse: “I’m still alive!”

From then on, the surfer couldn’t stop, he was wearing unique black and white “prison” shorts, and he could recognize him at a glance. He once said that he started wearing them so that people would know it was him in the waves and get out of the way.

In 1964, Noll was considered the first person to ride the wind and waves on Oahu’s Third Reef Pipeline. In 1969, at Makaha Beach in Hawaii, the surfer he rode claimed that it was the largest wave ever recorded at the time.

However, there was no definite movie footage that day. In recent years, other people said that the waves did not exceed 20 feet (6 meters), not even as big as the waves that Knoll surfed on Waimea. Nonetheless, no one questioned the size of the waves, or about Knoll’s skill or courage in dragging the surfboard into the fierce surf that day.

Soon after riding on Makaha Beach, Noll left the surfing industry, closed his surfboard factory on Hermosa Beach, and moved to Northern California, where he became a successful commercial fisherman and later a sports fishing guide .

Years later, he said that he was dissatisfied with the influence of the popular “beach party” movies on surfing in the 1960s. He said that these movies flooded the southern California coastline, and those who don’t know how to surf hinder those who can and don’t understand or appreciate the sport.

Knoll told the Associated Press in 2013: “At that particular time, the entire Hollywood scene was a mess when doing anything meaningful with the surfing community. They lived in their own little bubbles and thought that surfing was a beach party. Jump around with interesting music.”

However, by the late 1980s, commissions for custom surfboards began to flood in. Knoll opened a small shop in his garage to make them and asked his teenage son Jed to work with him.

In 2009, his son opened Noll Surfboards in San Clemente and asked his father to design a series of custom surfboards for collectors to commemorate historical surfing events or pay tribute to legendary surfers.

“This gives me the opportunity to work with my son and share my knowledge of the ocean, the board and history,” Knoll told the Associated Press in 2018.

“Da Bull” was born in San Diego on February 11, 1937. His original name was Greg Lawhead, but his stepfather Ash Noll was later changed. When he was 3 years old, he moved with his mother to the surfing town of Manhattan Beach, and soon developed a keen interest in water.

As a young man, Noll has the physique of a bodybuilder, which, coupled with his tenacious and brave surfing style described by surfers, has earned him the nickname.

Despite his disdain for the “Beach Party” movie, Knoll admits that he can become a hellish person himself and a happy party person without the surface of the water. He once said that he started surfing because it was more fun than work.

As he told the Associated Press in 2008: “People always ask,’What makes people want to give up their friends, family, and jobs and just go surfing?’ These people always classify surfing as a single item. Sports. But it’s not the case. It’s a way of life.”

The complete list of survivors could not be obtained immediately. Noll and his wife Laurie have daughter Ashlyne and sons Jed, Tate and Rhyn.


Associated Press reporter Stefanie Dazio contributed to this report. Rogers is a retired Associated Press reporter.


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