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San Onofre Surfing Club

San Onofre Surfer San Onofre State Park San Onofre Surfer


The Oldest Surfing Club In The World
Established 1952.




The San Onofre Surfing Club came about due to neccesity.

After WWII the popularity of San Onofre surfing beach began to boom. The Marines were getting concerned about so many surfers crowding military property and began to give the surfers a hard time.

The Marines would come down to the beach in their Jeeps with guns in hand and arrest surfers, taking them back to the base and confiscating their boards.

It was a bad situation getting worse. So a few Local Surfers, Dr. Barney Wilkes, Al Dowden, and Andre “Frenchy” Jahan met with a general and he saw it their way.

San Onofre Surfing Club would gain access to the beach as long as the club took responsibility for enforcing a few rules. The beach had to be kept clean by the club and they enforced a code of conduct and a closing time of 10pm.

San Onofre Surfing Club
The first San Onofre Surfing Club meeting was held at Old Man’s on April 24, 1952.

Between 1952 and 1973, when the State of California took over management of the San Onofre beach area, the Surfing Club was the glue that kept the scene together; all the while Communicating with the Marines as the interface shifted more to the State of California.

During the Nixon administration a man by the name of Bob Mardian and his family surfed at San O. Mardian was the Assistant Attorney General in the Nixon admistration and smoothed over a lot of problems between the Marines and the Surfing Club that might have arisen so all the surfers loved Nixon.

Then at some point Nixon turned around and agreed that a private club should not have control of the beach but that State Parks and Recreation should be in control instead.

After this the State took over and all the San O surfers Hated Nixon.

The club still has clout with the Park Rangers because their Membership is so big and to this day, San Onofre Surfing Club Members still respect the beach and keep the peace.

The club continues to this day and anyone can join. It is only $20 dollars to join and all funds go to preserving San Onofre in its current historical and natural state. You get an official card, newsletter, and sticker.

San Onofre Surfing Club Logo



If you would like to contact the current San Onofre Surfing Club click here.





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