Growing Up in O.C.: Champion Joyce Hoffman on the Idealistic Days of Surfing

Joyce Hoffman at Sunset Beach, December 1966

Joyce Hoffman
b. 1947, lived in Capistrano Beach
1965 and ’66 surfing world champion

Surfing was nothing like it is today. It was idealistic and magical back then, without the crowds and stuff. Holy cow, it was sure fun. You had to know how to swim—it was the days before leashes.

There weren’t that many women surfing. Back then, I’d be the only female. I didn’t think anything of it. Sometimes the guys were less than thrilled to have you out there with them. Some guys thought it was their deal, and what were you doing out there? But some guys were almost protective of me. If someone gave me a hard time, they’d protect me. Like any other new developing activity, everybody was trying to figure out how it’s going to have to be, and who is going to be a part of it and who isn’t.

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