The photo would later land on the front page of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, and it soon traveled to newspapers from Reno, Nevada, to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where mainland surfers were transfixed by the group’s smooth conquering of the giant wave (Downing would later tell the Star-Bulletin that only Brown, pictured on the far left, made it out. “That was point break at Makaha,” Downing said. “Where Woody was, he was on the perfect place on the wave. ”).
Sport historian David Davis comments similarly in a Deadspin piece from 2014 titled “The Photo That Took Surfing Worldwide. ” In it, he writes that the photo drew a generational line in the sand between surfing’s past and present. “Surfing was no longer going to be dominated by the traditional methodology of Duke Kahanamoku, standing regally on his massive redwood board as he glided to the beach at Waikiki, the dulcet sounds of the ukulele as background music,” Davis writes. “No, surfing was poised to head in a new direction.
Read more here: Surfer Mag