Today, South Pointe’s surf community is being chronicled daily by Annie Tworoger (a photographer, architect, clothing designer and former semipro surfer) via her company 3rdandOcean. “When I was coming up, Lisa Andersen, who’s from Ormond Beach, was the groundbreaking star,” she says. “But not many female pros could make a living. That’s changed, and girls get more respect on the water now.”

Some things in surf world have changed for the better, but the past still holds an allure. Dudley Whitman’s collection of surfing memorabilia, part of the Whitman Family Collection, is now housed in History Miami’s Collection Annex, formerly the Historical Museum of Southern Florida. The Whitman Family Collection is open to the public by appointment and is truly Old Miami terrain. I visited there with Robert Kahn, a surfer, lawyer and filmmaker. Kahn helped with Whitman’s film, True Hawaii: Land of Surf and Sunshine, incorporating footage shot by the Whitman brothers in the 1940s. He was also, along with Dudley and his son Todd, involved with the recently released documentary Square Grouper, a study of the 1970s marijuana trade in South Florida. The film was made by Alfred Spellman and Billy Corben’s Rakontur, of Cocaine Cowboys fame. Despite his metamorphosis into an evangelical Christian, Murph the Surf illustrated a pot smuggler’s mother ship for the Square Grouper promotional poster (though ultimately it wasn’t used).

 

  Dudley Whitman today, with well-known South Beach surfing mom Lucy Phillips

Surfing is never merely the act of riding a wave. In surf land, there’s often a sense that everyone is holding on to a fantasy—a strong, visceral dreamscape that’s always slipping out of reach. On a recent afternoon, a group of local wave riders gathered at The Standard Spa Miami Beach for a few beers. Steve Manning, an old-guard Miami surfer who now works set production for The Glades, brought a local poster from the seminal surf movie The Endless Summer, a film that inspired countless kids to embrace surfing and was shown in pre-release form in 1963 at Edison High School.

longtime local surfer Bill Whiddon  
Like what you're reading? Get it delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up now for our newsletters >>