Oceanside CA- Rusty Miller, one of the first surfers to make a living at the sport, visited the Oceanside Surf Museum, on Sunday, to share stories and promote his new book, ‘Turning Point’.
Miller, a native Southern Californian, was the 1965 United States Surfing Champion. His book is full of photos from the simpler times in surfing although the photos are not of people surfing. The photos are of the people who were part of the Turning Point in surf history, from long boards to short boards. Miller shared stories of friends such as, Rolf Arness, 1970 World Champion surfer and son of Gunsmoke actor, James Arness. Miller spoke of attending ‘ The University of the Seven Seas’ and his surf travels to Greece, Beirut among other world stops. Miller explained his belief in surfers as ” being closer to nature because they read a wave as being the pulse of nature.”
“This book came as a result of a wet North Coast New South Wales, Australian winter and a damaged knee. My wife, Tricia, and I trawled through the 40-year-old black and white negatives and color transparencies. They’d been tucked away in boxes all that time; unopened, unseen. As we scanned in the negatives we realized we had stumbled upon a surfing anthropological find; a dusty archive of images depicting some of the most significant, interesting and creative characters in the history of surfing. Most of these photos have not been seen before, nor their stories told: Wayne Lynch at Lennox while on the run from the draft, rebels Miki Dora and Russell Hughes on the fence in Byron (what were they talking about?) and big south swells rolling by.”
Miller moved to Hanalei Kauai, Hawaii in the late ’60s and further West and South to Byron Bay, Australia in 1970. Rusty started the first alternative newspaper in Byron Bay, The Byron Express, in 1973. He is a surfer, photographer, musician, and with his wife, Tricia, publishes Rusty’s Byron Guide. He has taught surfing in Byron since the early 1970s. Tricia Shantz is a Social Geographer/Researcher who is a Consultant in the fields of urban and social planning and community development. Rusty and Tricia live in the hills behind Byron Bay. Both are passionate about the environment and social construct of their community.