Friday, February 15, 2008

Rogue Surfer of Malibu

David Rensin has an exciting new book about the legendary surfer Miki Dora, or Miki, Mickey, Miklos, or just Da Cat, a veritable virtuoso of the waves whose life spanned the emergence, and indeed explosion of surfing as a sport. Dora's skill and grace kept him in high demand as a stunt man in beach party films of the early sixties, and he later played himself in the 1990 film, Surfers: The Movie. Notoriously, Dora made little attempt to conceal his disgust at the sport's creeping commercialization. At the 1967 Malibu Invitational Surf Classic, for instance, Dora surfed past the judges, and, as Drew Kampion put it, bent over, dropped his black shorts, and exposed his naked ass to the gathered dignitaries and spectators.

It will be interesting to see what Rensin has uncovered about this iconic rebel surfer, and apparently, he has conducted many interviews of people who knew him well. I'm also looking forward to seeing what he has discovered about Dora's later adventures after he left Malibu and traveled the world, living by his longboard and his wits, that is, before credit card schemes resulted in a prison sentence. Dora died in 2002 of pancreatic cancer. Rensin's All for a Few Perfect Waves: The Audacious Life and Legend of Rebel Surfer Miki Dora will be published in April 2008.