“Epoch Bits” is Havoc TV’s bygone surf, skate, and music column. Every Wednesday, we dive deep into the depths of these radical subcultures that forged the way for those of us raised on a surf and/or skateboard.
December 1982 - Glen E. Friedman snaps this shot of Lester Kasal
An excerpt from Thrasher Magazine about the photo, "Lester Kasal five feet over, courtesy of the Five Fingered E. This is the truth in skateboarding's subjective reality, 'cause if you eliminate all of the intagibles like fame, fortune, contest formats, dorkman screaming off in the distance, the crowd, the pay for play syndrome, etc., what you come up with is major air. That's all that matters, since like it or not, make it or not, Mr. Kasal is going for it. The impulse to skate is the only impulse that matters. Choose your own consequences. the modern skater creates his own definition whenever and wherever. Any and all terrains are fair game."
December 1989 - Thrasher Magazine runs its first spread dedicated entirely to snowboarding.
Thrasher published this six page spread on snowboarding in their December 1989 issue. It introduced snowboarding as an "aggro alpine activity" that despite beliefs that snowboarding only occurred in the rainy/snowy season, places like Blackcomb and Mt. Hood attracted a year-round crowd that "all seem to have one common goal: AIR."
December 1982 - Social Distortion records Mommy's Little Monster at The Casbah.
Mommy's Little Monster was Social Distortion's debut album, that almost didn't happen. In 1982, Social Distortion took part in the tour with Youth Brigade - chronicled in the documentary Another State of Mind - and broke up shortly afterwards. However, because of the tour's success, the band reconciled not long afterward and decided to begin work on their first album. They recorded the album in a single session. Mommy's Little Monster was recorded at The Casbah in Fullerton, California, on December 24, 1982, for numerous hours to cut down studio costs, which explains it's low budget production.
December 1969 - The "Swell of the Century" hits Southern California, from La Jolla to Rincon.
Three separate North Pacific storms had merged during the last week of November, 1969, there were near-hurricane force winds blowing from the Gulf of Alaska to Hawaii, one of the longest wind fetches ever recorded. Over the the first few days of December, thirty-foot waves hammered parts of Kauai, the North Shore was partially evacuated, and dozens of homes along California’s coast were swamped by high surf. Weather charts and photos have confirmed that the ’69 swell event was among the most powerful in history.
The Southern California coast put on a show that included giant sets at Rincon that Al Merrick recalled as, “Rincon was like perfect six-foot Rincon, except it was 20-foot Rincon.” And 15-to-20-foot waves at San Diego’s La Jolla Cove (pictured above). Photo: Vandervoort
December 1985 - David Eggers drops out of 10th grade and turns pro.
After amassing 225 trophies as an amateur, 150 of them for first place, including four U.S. titles - Eggers dropped out of 10th grade, signed pro contracts with Gotcha surfwear and Body Glove wetsuits worth an estimated $30,000, set out on the world tour, and in 1986 was world-ranked #34.
He quit the circuit in 1987, began freebasing cocaine, was reported in a local newspaper article to have been disowned by his father, and was in drug rehab by early 1989. Eggers was later diagnosed with schizophrenia, and spent years in treatment for mental illness and drug addiction. He eventually moved to the Salton Sea, where he helped run his father's bar. Eggers died at home of a heart attack, in 2015, at age 45.