David Nuuhiwa "2001 Local Hero & 2005 Surf Champion"

Dynamic noserider and 1960s subculture icon

PHOTO: Courtesy of Dan Merkel
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PHOTOS: Courtesy David Nuuhiwa
David Nuuhiwa at Lower Trestles 1964
PHOTO: 1964 Lower Trestles 1964 David Nuuhiwa on an inside left at Lower Trestles on an uncrowded afternoon. Courtesy Leo Hetzel.

David Nuuhiwa was born in Honolulu Hawaii in 1948, and quickly rose to prominence as a teenager under the Donald Takayama after relocating to Southern California, finally settling in Huntington Beach, CA.

Considered by many to be the greatest surfer of his era. He was a 1960's cultural linchpin who spearheaded the noseriding era dominant during the late 1960's. As a gifted and dynamic surfer who cultivated a rock star persona-complete with beautiful girlfriends, expensive cars and groupies- his godhead status was a polarizing force in surfing as it teetered on the cusp of the shortboard revolution in the late 1960's.

His classic duels with Corky Carroll in the U.S. Championships at the Huntington Beach Pier exemplify one of the best rivalries in the history of U.S. competitive surfing. Although best remembered for his noseriding prowess, his transition to shortboarding is often overlooked despite his progressive experimentation with "fish" designs on the North Shore.

David made the crossover into the mainstream when his surfing was featured in the psychedelic rockumentary about Jimi Hendrix's time on Maui, Rainbow Bridge in 1971. After placing 2nd at the 1972 World Championships and appearing in starring role in Five Summer Stories (1972), he disappeared from the scene again for nearly a decade.

Nuuhiwa returned in the early 1980s to his rightful place on the noseriding throne amidst the nostalgia-laced longboard resurgence of the 1980s and 90s. David hold the distinction along with Corky Carroll of being inducted for both the Surf Champion and Local Hero for the Surfing Walk of Fame.

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PHOTO: Courtesy David Nuuhiwa
PHOTO: Courtesy Lew Harrison
David Nuuhiwa
PHOTO: 1965, December Rocky Point, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii. Courtesy of Leo Hetzel
David Nuuhiwa at Huntington Beach Pier
PHOTO: 1965 Huntington Pier, David Nuuhiwa. Courtesy of Leo Hetzel
David Nuuhiwa at Rocky Point 1965
PHOTO: 1965 December Banzai Pipeline, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii. Courtesy of Leo Hetzel
David Nuuhiwa at Rocky Point 1965
PHOTO: 1965 December Banzai Pipeline, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii.  Courtesy of Leo Hetzel.
David Nuuhiwa at Huntington Beach Pier Contest
PHOTO: U.S. Surfing Championships at Huntington Pier, September 1966. David Nuuhiwa won the contest with incredible nose rides like this one— the standout ride of the event. At the time, David was considered to be the world’s best surfer and best-ever nose rider. He was inducted into The Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame twice: in 2001 as a Local Hero and in 2005 as Surf Champion. Courtesy of Leo Hetzel
David Nuuhiwa at Huntington Beach Pier Contest
PHOTO: 1966 U.S. Surfing Championships at Huntington Pier. Courtesy of Leo Hetzel
David Nuuhiwa
PHOTO: 1966 Baja California, Mexico, San Miguel, surf contest. Courtesy of Leo Hetzel