L. J. Richards "2006 Surf Champion"
California's original surf champ
PHOTO: L.J. Richards
PHOTO: L.J. at Tamerack
PHOTO: David Nuuhiwa, Skip Frye, L. J. Richards &
PHOTO: L.J. on the cover of Surfer Bi-Monthly, A John Severson Production
Little John (L.J.) Richards is as much of a California mainstay as Santa Ana winds or summertime fog. Oceanside has been his home since his birth in 1939, and today Richards remains a staple in the town’s deep surfing heritage. Richards began surfing at the ripe age of 13, often sharing waves with schoolmate Phil Edwards.
By the 1960’s he was already a legend. Not only was he a premier member of La Jolla’s famous Windansea Surf Club, his contest results had earned him international acclaim. In 1963, Richards catapulted to stardom after winning the West Coast Surfing Championship, then backing that up by finishing second in the United States Invitational a year later. Soon he was invited to the inaugural World Championships in Sydney, Australia and finished fourth despite a minor injury in the semi-finals.