In 1981 I interviewed Mike McCreary, a surfer who also owned a surf shop on Highway 1.
Michael McCreary (MM): When I first started surfing [at the jetty] in high school, I called it the breakwater but it’s becoming known as “Surfer’s Beach” or “El Granada Beach.” I call it the “breakwater” still. Generally, it’s a small spot, no big waves, sheltered from the open ocean so the swell has to wrap ’round the headland to get in there. By wrapping ’round it loses some of its strength, strength breaking on reef off Half Moon Bay so there’s not too many dangerous currents and it doesn’t get that big and it’s a beginner-intermediate surf spot.
MM: The more advanced surfers surf at Venice and Kelly Street…The waves get very large, too large to surf but you can surf to about six or eight feet. Last winter (1980?) was the biggest swell we’ve had since 1969…I’d say the swell got up to 20-25 feet.
MM: Nobody surfed. When the swell gets that big, you have to go to Santa Cruz or Monterey. There’s so many new surfers in Half Moon Bay, at least 100. A lot of young kids, a lot of kids who boogie board.
MM: Cowboy (Craig MacArthur) is probably one of the most famous [Coastside surfers] due to the fact he’s been surfing the area for a long time, since high school. He’s a good surfer and he makes boards. Cowboy’s kind of a legendary surfer. He stands out..he’s six feet tall…
MM: Cowboy makes his own brand of surfboards and he almost makes a surfboard for us [McCreary] called the Miramar surfboard. We have our own brand, Miramar surfboards, and we have a couple of people making boards, one of them lives in San Diego.
Note: Visit Cowboy here…http://cowboysurfshop.com
…to be continued…