Greg Noll, Da Bull, the living legend of the big wave surfing, the-first-to-surf-something guy, a longboard shaper... All that in one person! Never heard about him? You are at the right place!
Previously, we’ve told you about Eddie Aikau, whose picture is on the cover of our first surfing journal. Who is the second hero of this surfbook?
“It was like my board, a bar of wax and my shorts, and you don’t do anything else in life, you don’t need all that shit” We definitely agree with this philosophy!
Greg Noll is a living legend of the big wave surfing. He was born in 1937 in San Diego, California, and moved to Hawaii at age of 17. Why is he famous? Well, just because he is known as the man who surfed the “biggest wave ever ridden” in the XX century, in 1969, at Makaha. It was his unofficial record maintained for over twenty years. No one knows exactly how big the mythical wave was, any record wasn’t made. Maybe it’s better this way, let this legend stay the legend, passed from one generation to the next.
How would you recognize him? Simply by his everlasting and exclusive striped black and white boardshort (to be sure that there would not be any confusion with other black shorts surfers!) and his huge neck that gave him his nickname of “Da Bull”.
Pioneer by nature, Greg Noll was often the-first-to-surf-something guy. For instance, he was the first to surf a 25-30 feet Waimea Bay wave, even before the Hawaiians did it, in 1957! Also, he was the first to explore the Outside Reef of the Banzai Pipeline. Or one of the first to shape longboards, introduced to shaping by Dale Velzy.
Definitely, this desperately daring and free man is the living symbol of the surf spirit