Jumping off the Cliff At Steamer Lane In 1956

That’s me jumping (age 21). I’m wearing an old-fashioned wool bathing suit underneath my first wetsuit, a vest from the Dive ‘N Surf shop in La Jolla, Calif., in 1956. This predated O’Neill’s wetsuits. I sent my measurements to Dive ‘N Surf and they mailed me the cut-out parts along with a can of Black Magic glue; I glued the edges together and then glued strips over the seams.

This was an improvement, but we still tried to stay dry as long as possible. On certain swells, we’d jump this 6 to 8 feet down to the water and if done properly, the upper body would stay dry.

 Chris Thompson is a filmmaker working on the story of Northern California surfing during the 50s and 60s (a far cry from surfing in the warmer Southern California waters). Recently I loaned him a bunch of my old photos, which he scanned; this is one of them.

A post 9 years ago about that time period in Santa Cruz: https://www.lloydkahn.com/2007/04/14/aloha-dave-devine_14/

Photo by Spike Bullis

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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