It's no coincidence that when surfing took off in popularity in the early 1960's in Southern California, Volkswagen vans were there at the start. Never was there a more perfect vessel to pile into with a few friends and surfboards and skip work and head down to the beach and go surfing. And after spending time with longtime VW event organizer Rich Kimball, I dare to say, there still isn't.
We were lucky enough to spend some time with Rich at his home in Tustin, California, as he showed us his fleet of VW's and extensive collection of parts, paraphernalia, and old photos. He shared his stories of how active and passionate the early VW enthusiast community was in Southern California and his own story of finding his passion for surfing as a kid at San Onofre State Beach. It's only fitting that he's the longtime organizer of coolest underground VW surf meet up around, Big Wednesday.
It's an event that celebrates the shared spirit of the VW and surfing community; a love for freedom, individuality, and having fun. The unofficial motto is Skip Work and Surf (preferably in your VW.) There's no cost to the public and there's no publicity or marketing. The surfing contest is open to anyone who brought their board in a VW and the car show trophy (for coolest car) is determined by the whims of the moment. The trophy's are handmade by Rich himself and food is provided for all with a donation jar on the side. It's a far cry from a regular auto or surf industry event .
It's no wonder people line up the night before and the line gets longer every year. This event remains true to the pioneering spirit of surf and gear-head culture in Southern California and that deeply resonates within our current day culture.
It was an honor and a pleasure to spend time with and share Rich's story with you all. We hope you enjoy our film.