Bill Fury "2011 Local Hero"

Uncanny nose riding ability, drawn-out bottom turns and stylish cutbacks

Just because someone isn’t a ravenous competitor doesn’t mean they’re not a hardcore surfer. And back in the ‘60s, few could match the style and elegance of Bill Fury.

Known for his uncanny noseriding ability, drawn-out bottom turns and stylish cutbacks, Fury made a name for himself amongst those in the know, while remaining absent from the contest scene and limelight. Even the likes of Herbie Fletcher noted Fury as one of the major standouts during the early years at Maui’s infamous Honolua Bay.

Practically as adept a boardbuilder as he was a surfer, Fury shaped boards out of Seal Beach under his own logo — Fury Surfboards. He also shaped with Danny Callahan in Huntington Beach for Plastic Fantastic in the late-‘60s and ‘70s. Later, Fury continued to push surfboard innovation by experimenting with fin design and placement.

Laguna Beach surf artist Ken Auster painted a famous piece featuring Fury noseriding in Mexico with a young Tom Leonard paddling in the foreground, appearing extremely stoked on Bill’s ride. Prints of this painting are still in circulation today.

Since suffering a stroke in the 1990s, Fury’s water time became extremely limited but he’s still actively involved in the culture and lifestyle of surfing. And rest assured, Bill Fury holds plenty of glorious memories of days past.

PHOTO: Bill Fury at Huntington Beach Pier, courtesy Surfer Magazine "Ron Stoner photographer"
PHOTO: Courtesy Steve Wilkings

PHOTO: Bill Fury at Huntington Beach Pier

PHOTO: High School days

PHOTO: Bill Fury and Robert August... "go blonde". 1958

PHOTO: Birthday party, Bill on far right next to Robert August. 1961
PHOTO: Gang of Five, Bill on right. 1957
PHOTO: SWoF board member Lisa Carden at Bills birthday party
Bill Fury
PHOTO: 1965 Honolulu Bay, Maui. Photo courtesy of Leo Hetzel.
Bill Fury
PHOTO: 1965 Honolulu Bay, Maui. Photo courtesy of Leo Hetzel.
Bill Fury
PHOTO: August 1966, Inner Stacks, Baja California, Mexico. Inner Stacks was a surf spot in front of the fish cannery north of Ensenada and south of San Miguel. It is called Inner Stacks because it is inside the break water and the fish cannery has smoke stacks. There was an Outer Stacks. Photo courtesy of Leo Hetzel.