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Pure Greenough style

George Greenough

George Greenough grew up in the family mansion in the hills of Montecito, CA, above the perfect waves of Rincon to the south, the Hollister ranch to the north, and California's pristine Channel Islands off shore. First surfing on a full sized balsa board of his own creation, George evolved to ride his knee board creations called "spoons" for their dished out, low center of gravity shapes. On these speedy craft, kneeling close to the wave face, in waves of dream-like quality, Greenough learned to carve and trim across the hollowest sections in such fashion that he became, while shunning the limelight, a veritable underground legend.



The unique visions Greenough exerienced--looking out of the tube while riding inside the wave, lead him to invent ways to capture those images on film. He did so by building light weight water housings that held complex and delicate inner works to motion picture cameras that he would disassemble then reinstall into his hand made, foam/fiberglass shells. Strapping these apparatus to his back so they looked over his shoulder while he got deep tube rides, Greenough captured his dreams. In two 1970s film projects, "Innermost limits of Pure Fun" and the short subject, "Echos" with a sound track by Pink Floyd, Greenough presented us with the most intimate view of surfing one can experience.

George, currently in his 50s, is still lean, active and reclusive as ever. He surfs on simple inflatable air mats (that he makes, of course) better than most hot kids ride their new age thrusters, and films essoteric waveviews for big time commercials, using the excess 35 mm film to record underwater glimpses of dolphins surfing with his unique movie cameras.

- Matt Warshaw extract from Surf History

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