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Earlier this week, surfing debuted in the Olympics, subtly moving the sport into a new echelon, so hows about a counter-weight to all those visions of the future?
In 1969, Paul Witzig released his second film, Evolution, which documented the first year of surfing after the shortboard revolution. Design hadn't yet settled and boards were still getting shorter, reaching their nadir a year later at the 1970 World Titles, so the surfers Witzig filmed were on an array of boards. What they had in common was a noticeable reduction in size from their pre-'67 length, and they were piloted through sharper turns, performed closer to the curl than had yet been done.
Recall, just a year earlier, surfers were trimming straight, walking their ten-foot boards and hanging toes over the nose. Modern eyes need to keep some context.
Shorter and lighter boards allowed younger surfers to shine, and so it was with sixteen-year old Wayne Lynch who made the cover of Evolution, and became the star of the film throwing his 7'1" John Arnold Involvement around with aplomb.
Paul Witzig only made three films: Hot Generation, Evolution, and Sea of Joy, none of which have been digitised and posted online. Only excerpts appear, such as this section filmed during the 1969 Australian Titles at Mainbreak, Margaret River.