David Nuuhiwa "2001 Local Hero & 2005 Surf Champion"
Dynamic noserider and 1960s subculture icon
PHOTO: Courtesy of Dan Merkel
PHOTOS: Courtesy David Nuuhiwa
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.