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Spring sale happening this weekend at ZJ Boarding House ! Save up to 70% on Apparel, Bikinis, Wetsuits, & Accessories! Save on Killer deals throughout the entire shop–inside and outside! Parking lot starting at 10am Friday March 22nd-24th and again Friday March 29th-31st.

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2619 Main St. Santa Monica, CA
(310) • 392 • 5646
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A short video from Beck Adler's recent trip south of the border.


Dick Dale, whose pounding, blaringly loud power-chord instrumentals on songs like “Miserlou” and “Let’s Go Trippin’” earned him the title King of the Surf Guitar, has died at age 81.


Dick Dale, whose pounding, blaringly loud power-chord instrumentals on songs like “Miserlou” and “Let’s Go Trippin’” earned him the title King of the Surf Guitar, has died at age 81.

His former bassist Sam Bolle says Dick Dale passed away Saturday night. No other details were available.

Dale liked to say it was he and not the Beach Boys who invented surf music — and some critics have said he was right.

An avid surfer, Dale started building a devoted Los Angeles fan base in the late 1950s with repeated appearances at Newport Beach’s old Rendezvous Ballroom. He played “Miserlou ,” ″The Wedge,” ″Night Rider” and other compositions at wall-rattling volume on a custom-made Fender Stratocaster guitar.

“Miserlou,” which would become his signature song, had been adapted from a Middle Eastern folk tune Dale heard as a child and later transformed into a thundering surf-rock instrumental.

His fingering style was so frenetic that he shredded guitar picks during songs, a technique that forced him to stash spares on his guitar’s body. “Better shred than dead,” he liked to joke, an expression that eventually became the title of a 1997 anthology released by Rhino Records.

Dale said he developed his musical style when he sought to merge the sounds of the crashing ocean waves he heard while surfing with melodies inspired by the rockabilly music he loved.

He pounded rather than plucked the strings of his guitar in a style he said he borrowed from an early musical hero, the great jazz drummer Gene Krupa.

“Dale pioneered a musical genre that Beach Boy Brian Wilson and others would later bring to fruition,” Rolling Stone magazine said in its “Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll” adding “Let’s Go Trippin’” was released in 1961, two months ahead of the Beach Boys’ first hit, “Surfin.’”

The magazine called Dale’s song “the harbinger of the ’60s surf music craze.”

Although popular around Southern California, Dale might have remained just a cult figure if surfing had not exploded in worldwide popularity during his peak creative years.

When the first of a series of “Beach Party” movies made to cash in on the phenomenon was released in 1963, it included Dick Dale and the Del-Tones performing “Secret Surfing Spot” as teen heartthrob Annette Funicello danced on the beach.

Dale had released his first album, “Surfer’s Choice,” a year earlier. He followed it with four more over the next two years while appearing in several “Beach Party” sequels and other surfer movies.

Other popular Dale songs included “Jungle Fever,” ″Shake-N-Stomp” and “Swingin’ and Surfin’.”

His star dimmed after the Beatles led music’s British invasion onto the pop charts in 1964 and his record label dropped him. His career also was sidelined by a battle with cancer in the 1960s and a serious foot infection in the 1970s that was the result of a surfing injury.

His musical influence was profound and included guitar virtuosos Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan and movie director Quentin Tarantino, who selected Dale’s “Miserlou,” as the theme song of his 1994 film “Pulp Fiction.” That helped pull the guitarist back into the pop-culture spotlight. Dale himself had begun to launch a comeback with the 1987 film “Back to the Beach,” which reunited Funicello and her co-star Frankie Avalon as a middle-aged couple returning to their old surfing haunts. He teamed up with Vaughan to record the classic surf instrumental “Pipeline” for that film, earning the pair a Grammy nomination.

In 1993 he released “Tribal Thunder,” his first album of all new material in nearly 30 years. He followed it with “Unknown Territory” the following year.

Dale continued to tour into his 80s, in part he said to pay the medical bills that advancing age was saddling him with. Having beaten cancer in the 1960s, he suffered a serious recurrence in 2015.

Born Richard Anthony Monsour in Boston on May 4, 1937, Dale moved to Los Angeles with his family in 1954, where he immediately fell in love with surfing and the electric guitar.

As a child, he listened to Lebanese and Polish folk tunes played by his parents. Eventually he graduated to big band, swing, country and rockabilly.

Self-taught on guitar, the left-handed Dale couldn’t afford a custom-made model, so early on he played a standard right-hand guitar upside down and backward. That ended after a meeting with legendary guitar builder Leo Fender, who offered to make Dale his own left-handed model if he’d test a line of guitars and amplifiers Fender was developing.

“I became Leo’s personal guinea pig,” Dale told The Associated Press in 1997. “Anything that came out of the Fender company, I played.”

He played so loudly that he blew up one amplifier after another until a frustrated Fender built him a “Dick Dale Dual Showman” doubled-sized amp. It was a model that would become popular with aspiring Los Angeles guitarists.

As he began to become well known, he began calling himself Dick Dale, explaining years later that a radio disc jockey had suggested it was a better name for a rock star than Richard Monsour.

His surfer buddies had already nicknamed him King of the Surf Guitar, a title he said he initially resisted, fearing it would limit his audience. When the spirit of surfing caught on everywhere, however, he came to embrace the crown.

Dale is survived by his wife, Lana, and a son, James, a drummer who sometimes toured with his father.



Join THERAsurf on Saturday April 27th at 1st Point, Malibu to kick off 2019 the only way we know...some surfing, relaxing, and hanging with friends. Visit THERAsurf.org to sign up for an amazing surf day.
The North Pacific is seeing a late season active pattern — taking over after a prolonged period of poor surf in Hawaii and for much of the US West Coast the past six to eight weeks. In the South Pacific, the start of meteorological fall in the Southern Hemisphere (March 1st) has brought an increase in storm activity, which progressed from the Western South Pacific to the Central South Pacific where it currently sits. All of this adds up to improved surf for both Hawaii and California in the shorter term — with a chance for XL swell in Hawaii and for portions of the West Coast as we go deeper into March.


During the next few days, the primary reason we’ll see better surf for Hawaii and California will be due to an improvement in local winds. Both regions have seen persistent onshore flow and cooler-than-normal temps for the past month, with nearby low pressure generally the culprit behind that onshore flow. As high pressure weakens north of the Islands during the back half of the week into the early weekend, trades should relax and shift to a more east-northeast to east direction, with generally clean conditions along northern shores.

Fun to mid-size swells from the northwest prevail during that time — so whether you’re surfing or watching the cams from afar, entertainment value will be there. However, keep an eye out for a wind shift as we move through the weekend with deteriorating conditions and eventually a much more significant swell (more on that in a second).

For California, strengthening high pressure over the western US will lead to an extended stretch of mild, sunny weather and favorable wind. By the weekend, temps should be above seasonal average for the first time since mid-January — many areas seeing morning offshore flow and a mix of swells running. Mid-size northwest swell will show strongest for areas north of Point Conception, but enough energy will get around the corner into Southern California for something to ride, while the best-exposed winter breaks should be fun.

We’ll also have a modest, fun-sized southerly swell in the mix, strongest through the south facing spots of Southern California. This swell is starting to slowly filter in now from a more southwest direction and will shift south-southwest later this week and weekend thanks to storm activity in the South Pacific that happened seven to ten days ago. We’ve seen good waves at locales well South of the Border in the past couple days, which is a solid indication that the southerly swell is on the way.


SoCal beachbreaks should be a good option Friday through the weekend off the mix of swells coupled with favorable wind and pleasant weather. Be sure to pack some neoprene, though: while air temps will warm this weekend, water temps are still quite cool and breezy northwest flow along the coast Tuesday-Wednesday – and resultant upwelling – cooled things further. Northern California breaks are in the lower 50s, while SoCal breaks are generally in the mid 50s.

One thing to watch out for: there is some uncertainty on how deep into next week the favorable conditions will continue for California. Just a couple days ago it looked like it could be most of the week, especially for Southern California. However, the latest model guidance shows the potential for onshore flow and precipitation to return by the middle of next week. We’ll need to work the details out in the next few days, but the bottom line is that late this week and this weekend look good for wind and weather, so take advantage of it while it’s here.

Going into the longer range we continue to watch for a stronger storm pattern to develop in the western North Pacific and eventually stretch into the central and eastern NPAC. The climate models started to advertise this shift during the back half of February, and it’s been on the long-range weather charts for a couple of weeks now as well. Under this pattern, we expect to see solid to potentially XL swell for both Hawaii and California during the back half of the month, with these swells also more ‘westerly’ for California. Again, there is some uncertainty on the specific details for size and timing of these potential swells, but confidence is slowly increasing on those variables.


On March 23, Red Bull and 300 college students will be embarking on a unique road trip from the beach to the snow, for the ultimate “California Dream Day.”

They’ll begin the day by picking students at several local colleges, including Santa Monica College and USC, then heading down to Huntington Beach for an early morning surf, and then hop a bus up to Big Bear for a shred session at Big Bear Mountain Resort’s Red Bull Plaza.

Open to all college students, it’ll be a chance to experience something that makes Southern California such an awesome place to live: surfing and snowboarding in the same day.



The $35 ticket includes transportation to/from several Southern California college campuses, as well as some food and, of course, a Big Bear lift ticket.

Students will also be joined by Red Bull athletes to further elevate this one-of-a-kind experience. The whole event is expected to last about 12 hours.



It’ll be a day for SoCal college-aged surfers and snowboarders to really push the limits of what’s possible in the Golden State.

Check out the Red Bull site for all the details about pick-up times and locations, as well as purchase tickets. They are only $35. Space is limited to 300 people.






Join Surfrider LA on Saturday for the quarterly volunteer orientation where you'll have a chance to hear from local Surfrider LA activists about their campaigns and programs and how YOU can get involved protecting our local coastal resources. The orientation will last from 10-11AM with a beach cleanup to follow from 11AM-1PM. All are welcome! Bring your family, bring your friends, and come learn about the great work that's being done to address global ocean issues right here in your own back yard. Your coast needs you and we can't wait to dial you in!

NOTE: Surfrider LA is the good Chapter of Surfrider. It's the Surfrider California Chapter that promotes a known racist, sexist individual and her scam.


We usually do a monthly recap of links to all the Surf Spot Photo Galleries and Videos we have for each month, unfortunately February was a pretty bad month. With all the storms and lack of good waves, there wasn't many surf photos shot. California Mermaid Photography did get some surf photos throughout the month, mostly from Santa Monica. You can check out the photos on her Facebook Page Timeline

Hopefully March will be better.

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