Catching Waves and Crafting Memories: A Nostalgic Journey into Surf Culture of the '70s

Catching Waves and Crafting Memories: A Nostalgic Journey into Surf Culture of the '70s

November 04, 2023

As we ride the waves of modern-day digital innovation, it's refreshing to look back at the simplicity and rawness of past eras—a time when the surf culture was as much about community and camaraderie as it was about catching the perfect wave. This nostalgic trip takes us back to the early 1970s in St. Lucie County, where the seeds of surf culture were beginning to take root, courtesy of local legends like Mike Blake and the legend himself Spunky.

Mike Blake, a name many locals would recognize, now resides in Henderson, TX, but his memories are firmly anchored along the sun-drenched shores of Ft. Pierce, FL. Back in the day, both Mike and Spunky were part of the lifeline of St. Lucie County Parks and shared more than just the 9-to-5 grind—they shared waves, music, and entrepreneurial dreams.

Before "Spunky's Surf Shop" became a local staple, Spunky was dipping his toes in entrepreneurial waters with a quaint setup named "Moonlight Surf Shop," housed in an old icehouse. This was where the surf community began to congregate, and where Mike, after riding the waves on a Hobie Long Board, decided to switch it up and purchase a McMillan Short Board directly from Spunky himself.

The surf scene was fledgling, with perhaps just one other hub for enthusiasts— Sunrise Surf Shop. Which also still stand today! But the competition was friendly; it was the passion for surfing that truly united everyone.

One evocative night, Mike recalls, they lounged in Spunky's modest apartment by the waterfront. The air was filled with the novel sounds of Chicago's latest album, a sonic backdrop that could've been spinning on a vinyl record player or blasting from an 8-track cassette—the era's cutting-edge technology. This was a time between 1971 and 1973 when conversations flowed as freely as the nearby ocean tides.

It was during one of these hangouts that Mike's creativity sparked. He sketched a design as they chatted, a design that held the essence of their shared experiences. Their entrepreneurial spirit had them venture into silk-screen printing. Although only about a dozen were made before they decided to move on from the project, the endeavor remains a testament to their camaraderie and ingenuity.

The surf culture of the '70s may have been understated compared to today's global phenomenon, but it was undeniably rich in community and innovation. Mike's story is a vibrant thread in the tapestry of this culture—a story of friendship, waves, and the timeless music that underscored an iconic era.

Even as we navigate through the ever-evolving landscape of the present, stories like Mike's remind us of the enduring spirit of past times—the simple joys of friendship, the thrill of a new album, and the shared pursuit of a wave worth remembering. So here's to the memory lanes we stroll down, lanes that lead us to the sandy beaches and salty air of a surf scene long past but never forgotten.

This article was informed by insights shared by Mike Blake and crafted with passion by the Spunky's Surf Shop team. Do you have any tales or memories of Spunky's Surf Shop that you'd like to pass on? We’d love to hear your stories! Get in touch with us at