For those of you who haven't heard of George Greenough, pay attention. You owe this man a beer, actually, make that a case. He's responsible for so much of what the surfing world is about today. This legendary off-the-wall inventor revolutionised the surfboard fin for heavens sake! Taking it from the big glassed on lumps that could hardly even turn a log to the nippy narrow high aspect ratio fins we see today.
To say he's a tad eccentric would be an understatement. He's only ever worn shoes 3x in his entire life (and for this reason only flies first class - cos when you pay a bucket load of cash for your seat they don't mind if you don't have shoes on!) He's only ever worn a suit twice. Like I said. A living legend!
He brought us the first view from inside the tube back in the late 60's. Way before the convenience of gopro's he stuck a massive cine-camera on his back and paddled out looking like a one-humped camel....and changed the world in the process. Go find the old 70's video tapes called the Innermost Limits of Pure Fun and Crystal Voyagers, and see what it's all about. He was also one of the water photags in the classic surf flick Big Wednesday, sitting out there in the impact zone at Sunset taking set after set on the head so he could get the shots. Respect.
He was famous for making his own surf mats...the predecessor of the boogie board by at least 5 years. These things were basically blow up mini-lilo's. So zero rails to help you turn, yet George managed to stuff himself into some decent sized tubes and pull off some serious wave-riding on these pool-toys. These things have almost no resistance and go faster than any surfboard ever hopes to travel.
Back in the 60's when everyone else was still on longboarding logs, he was out there on his airmats and 5ft5 kneeboards.....bucking the system. He was a master of fibreglass engineering, design and construction....and came up with innovative surfboards, camera housings and boats.
His most famous board was the fibreglass spoon, which still influences surfboard design today. Minimal foam and seriously keeled out, this thing went places nothing else before it had been able to go. There was only foam in the rails, with the central area just being straight fibreglass. This thing flexed like hell and barely floated, yet he ripped on it thanks to the massive torque it generated. Think Slater of the Seventies.
Despite his immense contribution to the world of surfing, George now just lives a quiet life in Byron Bay, Oz. He hasn't stood up on a surfboard for about 30 years, preferring his mats and his spoons for the ultimate speed trip and deepest barrels. Just walking his own path. Legend.