By Corky Carroll
The La Jolla area is literally teeming with colorful surfing legends. It would have to be considering that it is the home of the infamous WindanSea Beach. When I was a little kid there was a saying when talking about surf spots: Doheny for beginners, San Onofre for intermediates and WindanSea for experts.
So, with that thought in mind I embark on a look at one of the most colorful of the local locals — the notorious Bill “Pink Bod” Andrews. Pink Bod was one of the kids in the original WindanSea Surf Club back in the mid 1960s, a top surfing talent on the Southern California scene and known cool guy in the surfing world. Here is his story in his own words: “I was born in Chicago, and, in 1951, we moved to a house on the corner of Sterry Street and the Pacific Coast Highway in Playa del Rey.
“My mom spent a lot of her youth in Hawaii, where she became an accomplished swimmer and bodysurfer.
“She passed her skills on to me in the summer of 1951, and as cool as swimming and body surfing were for me, the activity that really stoked me was the move up to riding a surfboard like the local lifeguards did.
I wanted a surfboard for Christmas in 1951 — DENIED!
“My father had no idea what a surfboard was, and my mother was not gonna help me lug a surfboard which weighed a minimum of 50 pounds to the beach even though it was less than a block away.
In 1953, my grandparents bought a house at La Jolla Shores, and we moved to — gasp — La Mesa.
“I spent almost every weekend and summer vacation with my grandparents at The Shores until 1958; then my grandparents moved to an apartment down the street and we moved in.
“For the years before we moved to La Jolla, even though I lived in La Mesa, I considered myself a La Jolla local because of the grandparents’ house.
“However, as a self-described local, I had a few things working against me:
- I actually did live in La Mesa and my grandparents would not help me with the yarn I spun saying my parents abandoned me and I was able to live with my grandparents between foster parents.
- I was not tan — and would get sunburned beyond any current SPF allowable level (Pink Bod).
- I did not own a surfboard, and even though most of the kids at The Shores didn’t own one either, they knew someone who did, and could occasionally borrow the board.
- I did not own a canvas surf mat — my grandmother bought me a plastic raft with a transparent viewer — she was sold on the fact that the viewing window made it easier to see the magnificent coral reefs and tropical fish. So said the salesperson at the Post Exchange.
- I was a much better baseball player than a water sports player.
- My grandparents’ phone number was GL9-1068 – Oh the horror! Not only was I from La Mesa, but then, a GL9 prefix was a “new” La Jolla number. The real locals had a GL4 number. If I had used my La Mesa phone number it would not have been any worse!”
Stay tuned to this same “CORK channel” for the continuing saga.
Corky is a five-time U.S. and three-time international surfing champion, currently offering surf adventure trips to surf with him at his home near Zihautanejo, Mexico. Send comments to