New Wave Newport!

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The Day-Glo clad, wave-shredding surfers of ‘80s-era Echo Beach helped make Orange County’s surf culture the worldwide force it is today.– Photography By Mike Moir

In 1980 Surfer magazine called the short stretch of sand and surf between the 52nd and 56th street jetties “The Hottest 100 Yards.”  Known as Echo Beach, it’s where brash young men like Danny Kwock, John Gothard, Preston Murray and Jeff Parker brought creativity, color and bold expression (think pink wetsuits and polka dot boards!) to what by the late ’70s had become a bland, black-and-white surfing world. Echo Beach wasn’t just a place, it was an attitude that would influence fashion, media, design and pop culture and lead to the creation of companies like Volcom and Stussy and the evolution of Quiksilver into a mega brand. Photographer Mike Moir captured the scene, and was part of it as well. His images are at the heart of The Eighties at Echo Beach, a new book written by Jamie Brisick and Joel Patterson about now-legendary Newport Beach break.

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