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Pivotal & monumental information in Santa Cruz surfing
history: Duly Noted on 1/23/11
“Jimmy Phillips at the Helm”: Jimmy Phillips and his 1961 Dodge sedan surf car are prominently posted immediately as you enter the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum. Stacked with 19 surfboards and filled with 19 surfers from 1962, and unofficial record holder for the Surfer Magazine surf car surfboard stacking photos of that year. The surf car photo in question was donated from Jimmy’s personal collection – “Jimmy Phillips at the Helm”. Photographer -Bob Biddle – a speculation on Jimmy’s best memory and mostly based on the fact that the car was parked across the street from Biddle’s house for the photo.
The Pleasure Point Surfing Association – known for outstanding surfers, and known for great parties…but there is so much more surf history credit to their story that is due. Jimmy, one of the original seven founding charter members, provided the original idea to establish the club, and also served as secretary for three years until a 1965 scholarship to California College of Arts and Crafts forced him to step down.
He provided the impetus for the 2003 reorganization of the club and remained an original charter and reorganized charter member and secretary to this day. Jimmy as art director provided the logo identity which is documented in photos of club members wearing their PPSA t-shirts in “Surfing in Santa Cruz” (page 90), a surfing history book by Tommy Hickenbottom in conjunction with the Santa Cruz Surfing Preservation Society, the Santa Cruz Suring Museum, and sold in the Surfing Museum and many tourist venues in the state.”
The fact of the matter was that the Pleasure Point Surfing Association was
the first well organized (with elected officers following Robert’s rules of
order) surfing club of Santa Cruz since many years of the then defunct Santa
Cruz Surfing Club of the 1940s, and with respect, the loosely organized 1961
Santa Cruz Gremlins Society, (Jimmy’s original idea) and included
historian Tommy Hickenbottom as member and who documents the club’s
existence in his book Surfing in Santa Cruz (page 42). To tell the short
story, the Gremlins’ activities mostly centered on surfing, wearing our
t-shirts emblazoned with the club logo with Jimmys hand drawn reproductions,
hanging out on a rock ledge at 38th avenue called “Gremlins’ Corner”, and
being featured on the front page of The Mid County News which centered on
the Gremlins’ apparently unseemly shenanigans.
The Pleasure Point Surfing Association was notable for spawning a plethora
of other area clubs and because of it’s tight “black ball ballot” membership
requirements based on high quality surfing ability and social activism.
Notably, PPSA established one of California’s and especially Santa Cruz’s
first environmental movements and especially targeted keeping beaches clean,
and a program (which again, was Jimmy’s brainchild). “This PPSA public service
worked in cooperation with the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Department” which is
documented in the Sunday February 23,1964 Santa Cruz Sentinel article that
the club was “improving their public relations via the rake and shovel” and
thus helping promote surfing in a better light to the community. This
Sentinel article is also reproduced in it’s original stated text in “Surf
Skate and Rock Art of Jim Phillips”.
PPSA entered a float in the 1965 Miss California Pageant parade of a giant
PPSA trash can (under Phillip’s art direction), built over a Volkswagen Bug
emblazoned with “Keep your Beaches Clean”. PPSA won first place in the
amateur division as documented by the Santa Cruz Sentinel and Mid County
News. PPSA also organized the first county wide beach cleanups which
brought in and have now been overtaken by larger organizations such as
Surfrider Foundation and Save our Shores and several other powerfully
This PPSA beach awareness movement grew with the Pleasure Point Night
Fighters, a defacto version and branch of the PPSA, and again originating
with Jimmy’s idea. The PPNF under the 1981 leadership of Harry Conti (current VP of Save Our Seas) became highly organized and established the clean beaches program into Pack Your Trash a highly visible and productive movement (named by Jimmy and using his art images) until the current day with vast public popularity. PPNF member Jack O’Neill played an important part of establishing the Pack Your Trash visibility by printing the original batch of bumper stickers.
In 1965 the PPSA held the first and very well attended Surf Fair Trade Expo
in the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium (again Jimmy’s original idea and using his
poster art). Every surf shop made a booth display, live surf music and
dancing, skateboard exhibitions and many other displays and features. All of
the PPSA members went on a one week surfing trip to Mexico with the Surf
Fair profits. For the record, the second PPSA 1966 planned Surf Fair event
was subsequently and unfairly superseded by the Santa Cruz Chamber of
Commerce who held offices in the Civic Auditorium at that time and were able
to schedule a competing event in a previous month, pulling the rug
out from under “our” feet, so-to-speak, by soliciting “our” sponsors and vendors
and thus killing “our” effort. Their “expo” effort failed and discontinued
without the grass roots surfing community and surf business connections as
PPSA had established and enjoyed.
A worthy attempt by PPNF to hold a similar Surf Fair expo event at the Civic
in 1985 was sadly shut down early in the event morning by the SC Fire
Department because of a county wide power failure due to a terrorist bombing
at the Moss Landing PG&E plant. Power was restored at 8PM and the bands
played their sets to a handful of faithful supporters in an otherwise empty
No less important than these astounding historical facts was the fact that
the Pleasure Point Surfing Association won the title in the First Annual
Northern California Surfing Club Invitational organized chiefly by Steve
Scofield (president) Bob Biddle and Denny Moung officers, with the Santa
Cruz Surfing Association in cooperation with the Santa Cruz City Parks and
Recreation Department November 28 and 29th 1964. PPSA won the title over
many powerful California Clubs including East Cliff, Pedro Point, Hope
Ranch, West Wind, South Peninsula, North Side. On a side note, Jimmy tied with Stu Fredericks for Senior Men’s Division on the first contest day, but
failed to place in the top three places on the second day. Incidentally this
winter Steamer Lane contest is now unofficially run yearly as the O’Neill
This is pivotal & monumental information in Santa Cruz surfing
Santa Cruz Surfing Museum: Thanks everyone who has contributed time, art, items and money into keeping Northern California’s first Surfing Museum alive!
Ways to Help Preserve Pleasure Point:
Pleasure Point Roadhouse
Pleasure point.santa cruz, California
Pleasure Point web page
Look at history link
Roadhouse video 3min. clip:
Roadhouse video 6 min clip:
The County’s update on Historic Resources
Aug 14 Historic
Aug 14 Park
The National Trust online has an article on the Roadhouse, Feb. 14, 2007
search for Margaret Foster,
go to Feb. 14, 2007
A history by Phil Reader of the Roadhouse
SC Sentinel Roadhouse story 11/20/06
Mid County Post story 3/6/07
Information on the update of Historic Resources.
Mid County Post story October 30, 2007
County of Santa Cruz Historic Resource
see page 70
Santa Cruz County Code
16.42.080 Historic resource designation.
Ways to Fund Preservation
Is there any way I can buy a PPNR logo tee shirt? I’m in NY but would like to do that to support your efforts…
Please see Limited Edition Gear: SHOP http://saveourseas.spreadshirt.com/ for PPNF Shirts.
You can order the Pack Your Trash .. Pack Your Butts
butt …. I think the PPNF tee shirts are only available to current members of PPNF ..
So when you join .. send in your registration form and dues I think is $50.
you will receive the coveted PP Night Fighters t-shirt!! Cool..
They told me they didn’t have any and they they hadn’t done that work in a while…
Any other thoughts?
This is the site to purchase your PPNF merchandise ..
see my comment above about the Pleasure Point Night Fighters T-shirts,
as to my knowledge you can only receive the PPNF t-shirt when you become a member of PPNF an that is a very elite group of surfers .. in addition you must live at Pleasure Point for 6 yrs that is the charter law there is only 3 that I know of …
not sure but I think I read this someplace!!
1 be an elite surfer
2 be a local resident for 6 years and
3 voted in by all current board members…
Please see Limited Edition Gear: SHOP http://saveourseas.spreadshirt.com/ for PPNF Shirts.
Am writing from Gold Coast, Australia and I used to hang with the gang at Pleasure Pt in late ’60s. I googled Jimmy Phillips to seek his whereabouts. Any way to make contact with him?
We hope you have seen his new books – they are awesome!
try jimmy here
Tired of all the trash left by out of towners at our Oxnard and North Ventura beaches. I was wondering if we can start a colab with PPNF and print some “Pack Your Trash” cheepe posters to put up at our beaches? I do have a “P-Y-T” t-shirt and you would be supprised how effective it is
Yes YES YES! Just the name inspires action! I had the same thing happen with my shirt the other day!
Let’s get you some art to get out there to let people know what they can do with their trash!
Thanks. Trash on the beach is one of the few things that gets my goat. Appricate you folks.
The Pleasure Point Night Fighters are in a “wintering” mode at the present…several years of mourning the death of our renown vice president Phil Matthews. We are honoring him in words and deeds on the Point…in a quiet mysterious way, growing our roots deeper as time passes and of course Preserving and Protecting the Point.
We are noting and remembering those who are following the Creed of the Club and will bring these people into the Fold when we arise again like the Phoenix. Long live the Pleasure Point Night Fighters…our Founders Jim Phillips and Harry Conti, President Kevin Butler, our Vice President Jenny Brill our Treasurer Laura Anderson and our secretary Betty Bullaro and myself Sargent of Armz Marty Mechanic Schreiber.
I am a late eighties PPNF sponsored by Jeff Ganz . My original shirt had the PPNF LOGO OF WAVY LETTERS – I wore that shirt to a holy rag surfing it from freezing water of Montague Island Alaska to the warm finger of the Indian Pcean current at Muizenburg, Cape Town South Africa. I would like to replace my shirt if anyone there can vouch for my honerey membership. And I have a GREAT story to relate about this august league of extraordinary surfers to which I hope I am still considered LOCAL if you email me back
Aloha – what logo exactly are you looking for – maybe we can help…
Wonerful Christmas Day kick in it with Harry and Paul – stay on the high side lads.
My old truck finally died, and the 80’s-vintage PPNF Pack Yor Trash “geek-with-the-busted-board” bumper sticker went with it. Used to live on 32nd Avenue when I was in college.
Are these still available for sale? I need a new one!