Big Wave Forerunner and
Small Wave Trendsetter
Mickey Muñoz is
a pioneer in more ways that one. Aside from being part
of the original crew that braved the – then elusive
– Waimea Bay in 1957, his newfangled approach
to wave riding led him to trademark his own maneuvers
and stances. Being bred on the long lines of Malibu,
his small wave antics were backed up by his love for
the Hawaiian juice. After all, he’d been making
annual island pilgrimages since 1954.
Courtesy of Sharon Ann Marshall
in New York City in 1937, his family relocated to Santa
Monica, California when Muñoz
was 6. He began surfing at age 10 and soon was the one
to watch during the early days in Malibu’s lineup.
He always had a hankering for trying new things. During
a spontaneous, fun-loving session at Sacres in 1959,
Muñoz set up for
the shorebreak like a matador waiting for the approaching
bull – spawning his patented stance known as the
“quasimoto.” He continued to keep things
fresh and new, soon inventing the “misterioso”
and “el telephono.” Surprisingly, he was
also cast as a stunt double for Sandra Dee in the 1959
Aside from being a stunt man, big wave pioneer and small
wave innovator, Muñoz
was also a stellar competitive surfer during the 60’s.
He finished runner up in the 1962 and 1963 West Coast
Championships and took third in the 1964 United States
Championships. In 1965, he received a prestigious invite
to the Inaugural Duke Kahanamoku Invitational, and then
won the Tom Morey Invitational noseriding contest; claimed
second in the U.S. Championships and that same year
took fourth in the World Championships.
While most of his peers were slugging it out on 10 foot
was spotted experimenting on the 6’8” he
shaped for his son. He also built boards for Hobie Surfboards.
Despite his entrenchment in the budding SoCal surf scene,
Muñoz remained true
to the original stoke of wave riding during the 70’s
and 80’s before resurfacing in the early 90’s
to the legendary icon status he truly deserved. Presently,
to design surfboards and lives in Capistrano Beach.
He has two children.
WALK OF FAME