Mike Doyle "2003 Surf Pioneer"

A True Waterman

PHOTO: Courtesy LeRoy Grannis
PHOTO: Courtesy Sharon Marshall
PHOTO: Courtesy Sharon Marshall

Arguably the best all-around surfer in the 1960s, Mike Doyle modeled himself after true Polynesian watermen by excelling in all facets of ocean sports — surfing, paddling, tandem, rowing, ocean swimming, free diving and fishing. Doyle began surfing in the South Bay of Los Angeles, starting out as a goofyfooter for his first three years…until he surfed Malibu. From there on out, he surfed as a regularfoot. 

Doyle traveled to the North Shore in the winter of 1959 along with a small cadre of Californian surfers, helping pioneer what is now an annual migration. Doyle also worked as an apprentice to Dale Velzy and Greg Noll shaping balsa boards in 1959. He stunt-doubled in the popular film Gidget. He won his first Ironman competition in 1960 in San Diego, was runner up in the 1964 World Surfing Championships and won the Surfer poll award that same year.

Creative and innovative, Doyle’s entrepreneurial spirit shined forth as he helped invite the first surf-specific wax product, the Single Ski (a precursor to the snowboard) as well as one of the first soft-top surfboards. 

Sadly Mike passed away on April 30th, 2019.