SURFING star Greg Noll – dubbed Da Bull – has been hailed a "true legend" following his death.
The big wave rider helped transform the sport with his surfboards after making a name for himself by taking on more powerful waves than anyone had ever attempted.
Who was Greg Noll?
Greg Noll was born Greg Lawhead in San Diego on February 11, 1937, later taking the last name of his stepfather, Ash Noll.
He moved to the surf town of Manhattan Beach with his mother when he was three and soon developed a love for the water.
As a young man, Noll had a bodybuilder’s physique, and it was that – along with what fellow surfers described as his hard-charging, bull-headed surfing style – that earned him his nickname "Da Bull".
From the early 1950s through the 1960s, he traveled from Southern California to Mexico, Australia and the North Shore of Hawaii’s island of Oahu in search of the biggest waves.
Noll was also an entrepreneur who helped transform the sport with his Greg Noll surfboards, which were among the first to be built from balsa wood, a substance that made them more maneuverable and light enough for most people to use.
In 1964, Noll was credited with being the first person to ride a wave at Oahu’s Third Reef Pipeline.
Five years later in 1969 at Hawaii’s Makaha Beach, he rode what surfers who saw it asserted was the biggest wave anybody ever caught up to that point.
Soon after, Noll famously quit surfing and closed his surfboard factory in Hermosa Beach and moved to Northern California, where he became a successful commercial fisherman and later a sport fishing guide.
Noll was unhappy, he said years later, with what the popular “Beach Party” movies of the 1960s had done to surfing. The films flooded the Southern California shoreline, he said, with people who couldn’t surf.
“That whole Hollywood scene at that particular time was just a mess when it came to doing anything meaningful with the surf community,” Noll told Associated Press in 2013.
By the late 1980s, however, commissions started coming in for custom-made surfboards and Noll opened a little shop in his garage to make them, putting his son Jed, then a teenager, to work with him.
Noll also appeared in numerous surfing documentaries, worked as a photographer on the 1967 film “Surfari” and was the stunt double for James Mitchum in the 1964 film “Ride the Wild Surf.”
Who is Greg Noll's wife Laurie?
Noll, who lived in Crescent City, California, was married to wife Laurie until his death.
The pair reportedly met while Laurie was working as a secretary at his Hermosa Beach shop in the 1960s.
Do Greg Noll and wife Laurie have children?
Noll and his wife had four children together.
They are daughter Ashlyne and sons Jed, Tate and Rhyn.
In 2009, his son opened Noll Surfboards in San Clemente and Noll worked on designing a line of customized boards for collectors that commemorate historical surfing events or honor legendary surfers.
When did Greg Noll die?
Noll died on Monday, June 28 2021 from natural causes, his family revealed.
He was 84.
"It is with a heavy heart the Noll family announces the death of our patriarch, Greg Noll," a post on Instagram from his son's company, Noll Surfboards, said.
"We invite all of our friends and family to celebrate his life by sharing this post and your stories, pictures and experiences through your preferred platform."
Condolences and well wishes have flooded in in Noll's memory.
One commented: "So sorry Noll Family. Your dad was a true legend and paved the way for generations of us surfers."
Another added: "Such an iconic character that has been a massive part in surfing's culture."
Source: Read Full Article