All for a Few Perfect Waves: The Audacious Life and Legend of Rebel Surfer Miki Dora
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For twenty years, Miki "Da Cat" Dora was the king of Malibu surfers—a dashing, enigmatic rebel who dominated the waves, ruled his peers' imaginations, and who still inspires the fantasies of wannabes to this day. And yet, Dora railed against surfing's sudden post-Gidget popularity and the overcrowding of his once empty waves, even after this avid sportsman, iconoclast, and scammer of wide repute ran afoul of the law and led the FBI on a remarkable seven-year chase around the globe in 1974. The New York Times named him "the most renegade spirit the sport has yet to produce" and Vanity Fair called him "a dark prince of the beach." To fully capture Dora's never-before-told story, David Rensin spent four years interviewing hundreds of Dora's friends, enemies, family members, lovers, and fellow surfers to uncover the untold truth about surfing's most outrageous practitioner, charismatic antihero, committed loner, and enduring mystery.
sell anything. My life is going to go on without this picture. I don’t need this picture. MCDONNELL: Look, we’re simply trying to see if there is a middle ground between our conceptions of a possible film—though I am skeptical. MIKI: Okay. I can accept the prison part of it, and these two scenarios you were discussing, but instead of having the violent ending, the way I got through it all was not putting my head against the unbeatable locomotive that’s going to squash you, which is the
during the 1990s, and the two surfed, played tennis, golfed, partied, and enjoyed fine meals and wines together. Bob also doubled as Miki’s personal lawyer in negotiations for media deals. DR. DON SMALL: I started surfing when I was a state lifeguard at San Clemente in about 1951. I had seen Miki Dora surf, but I only met him in the brig of the SS Lurline when we both were caught trying to stow away to get free passage from Honolulu to Hilo, Hawaii. For the last fifty years I have been a medical
were all flat, very heavy, no V bottom, no belly. BILL VAN DORN: By the time Miki was about ten, he was skinny as hell and always in the water. Gard liked Malibu better, but he’d come down to San Onofre, and bring Little Gard and Ramona, too. I got the feeling, though, that Ramona wasn’t that enthralled with Gard anymore. She’d begun to have problems with his drinking and stuff. STEVE PEZMAN: The summer Miki was fourteen, Gard just drove away and left him at the beach, which is consistent with
celebrity; like no other surfer he was there to optimize the situation. He was in position, and being in position, as every surfer knows, is the most important thing in surfing.” According to Steve Pezman, the surf media’s original interest in Miki was based largely on his being the epitome of the California point stylist. But the focus quickly became his personality. “He styled himself as evil incarnate while everyone else wanted to be perceived as good. We reveled in him being that dark side
what he had refused. MARCIA MCMARTIN: It may sound trite, but Miki was really the love of my life. He rarely said I love you—maybe once or twice; he was not a demonstrative man, in that sense—but on this trip, somewhere in France, he actually asked me to marry him. That really surprised me. But we’d had a lot of wine, so I said, “Ask me in the morning,” and well, of course, he never did. If he had asked me in the morning, I probably would have said yes. 3 Linda Cuy, who passed muster as a