Four surfers stand in front of their boards- black and white

Beach Culture

One of Southern California’s great international exports has been its beach culture. This episode explores how surfers, bodybuilders and acrobats taught Californians how to have fun and stay young at the beach — and how the 1966 documentary “The Endless Summer” shared the Southern California idea of the beach with the rest of the world.

In this episode, we cover the evolution of surfing with surfer Dick Metz, including the contributions made by legendary early Hawaiian surfers George Freeth and Duke Kahanamoku. Metz inspired Bruce Brown’s film “The Endless Summer,” and his collection at the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center covers every development in surf technology, which has been heavily influenced by aerospace. We also chat with the first female professional surfer, Joyce Hoffman, about the appeal of Southern California beach culture and its export to the rest of the world.

LA as SubjectA collaboration between the USC Libraries and KCETLink, Lost LA features the member collections of L.A. as Subject, a research alliance dedicated to preserving and telling the sometimes-hidden stories and histories of the Los Angeles region.

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