September 29, 2022

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Hermosa Beach Walk of Fame 2020: John Teague Pioneer and Contest machine

John Teague was named his era’s very best beach front split surfer by fellow Weber group surfer John Joseph. Image by Leroy Grannis

John Teague received or placed in just about each and every contest he entered

by Mike Purpus

Shortly right after John Teague, and his family moved to Hermosa Seashore from Tennessee in 1958, he began browsing on canvas surf mats rented from Juicy James, on the Strand, at 14th Avenue. Two several years later on, at age 15, he acquired his very first surfboard.

“It was a Lyman Surfboard. I can even bear in mind my initial wave. It was shoulder superior, and I dropped in late, on an angle to preserve from pearling. I took two brief steps, and scarcely conquer the segment, and went down the line.” 

Teague’s prepare was to surf 14th Avenue each individual day. But the new kid’s plan transformed.

“Tom Evans was a significant, signify looking neighborhood with these chisel shaped enamel. He advised me to go surf someplace else. I kept coming again, till just one day he grabbed my surfboard and took a bite out of the nose. Then he spit the foam and fiberglass at me and said he’d acquire a bite out of me if I came again.” 

“The subsequent working day, I began surfing 2nd Avenue and the Redondo Breakwater with John Joseph, Carl Carillo and Frankie Edwards. They were the hot locals of South Hermosa and great fellas. Frankie was the only Black surfer on the coastline. Frankie and I went to faculty together at Redondo Significant College.”

Teague’s idols ended up Donald Takayama, Lance Carson, and Henry Ford, whom he saw in the early surf movies at the Pier Avenue Junior Superior University auditorium.

His next board was a new Bing. When he broke the nose off, he took it to Skeg Surfboards to be fixed. The owner was Mr. Slycke, a Redondo Higher substitute teacher. 

“They were getting for good to restore my Bing, so the salesman explained I could borrow a employed board. I took a new a person. Mr. Slycke came charging down to 2nd Street and waited for me to get out of the h2o. I imagined he was going to chew me out. As an alternative he complimented me on my browsing, and told me to hold the board.”

John Teague producing Hermosa appear excellent. Picture courtesy of John Teague

Teague’s first contest was The Huntington Beach United States Browsing Championships. He conquer three-time Earth Champion Corky Carrol in their initial heat and went on to complete third in general. A few months later on, he won the Santa Monica Mid-Winter season Surfing Championships. The pursuing summertime he received The Intercontinental Surf Pageant Surfing Championships in Hermosa Beach.

The Surf Festival final that yr, bundled David Nuuhiwa, and Hermosa Wander of Fame inductees Chris Bredesen and John Joseph. 

Joseph recalled that KTTV’s Invoice Walsh confirmed up late and requested the finalists to reenact their warmth. Bredesen, the only finalist not to have begun drinking, was plainly the remarkable surfer through the reenactment, leaving the Television viewers to speculate why Teague gained the contest. 

Teague was the surfer no one needed in their heat. We all realized if he was acquiring a good working day he could defeat anybody. 

With Teague’s induction, all 5 customers of the 1982 Dewey Weber surf workforce are now on the Hermosa Seaside Surfer Wander of Fame. The other folks ended up Dru Harrison, Daryl Dickie, John Joseph, and myself. “

“In beach front breaks, we could maintain our possess with any other staff in the globe, and Teague was our most effective seaside break surfer,” Joseph stated.

 “I positioned in every surf contest I entered for the upcoming few of many years, up and down the coastline,” Teague recalled. “Then it occurred, at the United States Surfing Championships at the Huntington Seashore pier. They created all people wear these cumbersome Bell Crash Helmets. They reported it was for our defense in scenario we hit the pier.

“The surf was 10 feet, and we have been surfing blind mainly because the helmets would fill with h2o and slip down more than our eyes.”

“I understood Bell was shelling out massive bucks to Huntington Beach front. I came to recognize that surf contests weren’t fun any more. Surf contests were by no means been about money or trophies for me. They have been about owning fun, and retaining my peace of mind.”

About this time, his wife Marsha died in a automobile accident, leaving him to increase their two youthful small children

John took his 1st journey to Hawaii in 1964. He rented close to Sunset Seashore and surfed a new surf place named Velzyland following Hermosa shaper Dale Velzy, with just about no one else out. He returned to Hawaii every single winter season for the subsequent decade.

Teague shaped and airbrushed surfboards for Eddie Underwood in the mid-1970s, and worked construction, right up until he grew to become a accredited electrician. 

All through his daily life, he has also been a painter. His signature operate is reverse paintings on salvaged windows.

“I paint the foreground 1st and then the background. It’s the reverse of the way artwork is taught,” he explained.

His paintings have been exhibited at Cannery Row, and each and every calendar year at the Hermosa Beach front Art Wander.

When requested to recall his scariest working day surfing, he flashed again to an Oct session in 1960 at Killer  Dana Position. He stated sets ended up 12-feet and he bought swept through the pier on every wave. 

“I identified out true rapid why they identified as it Killer Dana,” he claimed.

When questioned his favourite places he stated, “I bear in mind beloved days, all above the South Bay and up and down the coastline. I don’t forget the people possessing the most exciting, besides me.” SWOF

John Teague showcased in a Skag Surfboard advertisement in the early ‘60s. Image courtesy of John Teague