Spotlight: Women and Surf History - East Coast meets West in 1967 with Karen Howard

Spotlight: Women and Surf History - East Coast meets West in 1967 with Karen Howard

It always amazes me that the Surf Industry is so interwoven in the most surprising ways.  I got to catch up and hear some fun Surf History from Karen Howard at the Boardroom Show Oct 7th at the Delmar Fairgrounds in San Diego, CA. You may be familiar with Devon Howard and Brett Howard and maybe a little familiar with their Mom, Karen Adams Howard who was a force in East Coast Women's competition in the mid to late 60's.

Karen shared some photos and memories of the 1967 NE Surf Championships. The original of my Dad and Karen is almost completely faded but thankfully Karen scanned it 10 years ago. Sue Lloyd Hogan got 2nd in that contest, She is in the Pink Bikini. Sue is in the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame. She and her husband Tom Hogan recently sold their surf shop Warm Winds in Narragansett, RI. They were long time G&S Dealers.

Larry and Floyd had planned a road trip visiting most Surf shops on the entire length of the East Coast in 1967 to meet and introduce the West coast Brand of Gordon & Smith and make lifelong friends and business relationships with many shops who are still in existence today.

Karen took all the Photos posted, except the one with my Dad (Larry Gordon)  congratulating her while they visited  Newport, RI, August 19th and 20th, 1967 and these are photos taken by Karen and her sister. Karen placed third in that competition, the trophy was 30" tall. Look at the photo of trophies...2nd and 1st place trophies were even taller! They couldn't take them on the Airplane home without disassembling them in the airport!

The Howard's have been in San Diego since July of 1971 because of G&S. Karen says they came to visit Floyd Smith and his then wife, Linda......  and never left. They are now a Second generation "Surf Family" here in San Diego.  Thank you Karen Howard for sharing these photos with us.

Karens Synopsis of the Day: 

The surf was only 1 to 2 feet on Saturday and the contest was called off at noon for lack of surf.

On the Sunday, the surf was 2 to 4 feet and continued all day. Finals began at 4pm.

Larry Gordon, of Gordon and Smith Surfboards, was one of the trophy presenters.


Senior Men: 1st place Billy Bolender, 2nd place Art Styres, 3rd place Bill Charboneau

Junior Men: 1st place Brod Stoner, 2nd place Clinton Arend, 3rd place Pat McNulty

Open Division: 1st place Dan Murphy, 2nd place David Jenkins, 3rd place Chuck Almeida

Girls: 1st place Janet Murphy from Florida, 2nd place Sue Lloyd, 3rd place Karen Adams


Womens Trophy Table 1967, RI Contest
Sue Lloyd Hogan of Warm Winds, 2nd Place Womens Div 1967
Rode Island Surf Contest Womens Div 1967
Surf Contest 1967 photo by Karen Adams Howard
The Crowd at the Contest 1967 Rode Island
Larry Gordon presenting 3rd place Trophy to Karen 1967