Era-defining surfing photographer Mike Moir, dead at 77

Without Mike Moir, the Echo Beach era may never have even happened.

Mike Moir is gone.

We lost a good one.

If you haven’t heard, legendary Southern California-based surf photographer Mike Moir has passed on. Apparently Mike had been struggling with some health issues of late, but this still came as a surprise to the local surf community.

Before anything, Moir was a surfer.

He grew up surfing during the longboard era of the late fifties and early sixties before starting to mess around with a camera pointed seaward, primarily in and around the Huntington/Newport wave zones.

Moir’s understanding of surfing made for an easy jump to surf photographer and he was soon being published regularly, primarily in Surfer Magazine where he later became one of the publications hardest working “Staff” photographers.

By the time the mid 1970’s rolled around Mike Moir was conveniently positioned in Orange County just as things began to dramatically change in surfing.

From the HB pier, down through Newport and even occasionally posting up at Salt Creek, Moir began to take notice of these changes and sensed the obvious movement at hand.

The black wetsuit/white surfboard hangover was giving way to bright colors, shorter boards and different lines, some of which would eventually grow into what became known as Echo Beach, which was not only an actual physical location (54th street, Newport Beach) but also a bona fide cultural influence that reached well beyond Southern California.

Mike Moir cover of The Eighties at Echo Beach
Mike Moir’s iconic cover shot of Danny Kwock at Newport on The Eighties at Echo Beach.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say without Mike Moir, none of that may have even happened.

Mike Moir was old school in the sense that much of his best work came during a period of time when photographers were hand winding and hand focusing within the every limiting confines of 24 or 36 exposure rolls of Kodak.

Digital was a long way away so every click was money ether coming in or going out and Mike was one of the best at maximizing his time and effort. It’s easy to assume that when one of Mike envelopes showed up his photo editors knew that they had some very usable photos included.

More recently, Mike Moir had discovered social media and to the delight of most of us he regularly posted some familiar work but also many of the b-roll stuff that may not have made the cut. Which usually including some unseen gems.

Up until just a few weeks ago, Mike Moir could still be seen at local events with a camera around his neck. From an Alex Knost art show to a book signing to a HB Walk of Fame presentation, he was omnipresent.

Unfortunately, the platforms which at one time supported him are no longer around to publish his work as print surf media disappeared a few years ago. Mike Moir didn’t care he just loved pointing his camera at something he saw as compelling.

Which really brings to light the very real compassion Mike Moir had for his craft.

Up until the day he left us, he did it for the love of the art, not the money.

You will be missed Mike Moir, especially by a bunch of young groms from Newport, but your impact on surf culture will never be forgotten.

Safe travels Mike Moir.

It's Nathan FLORENCE, idiots.
It's Nathan FLORENCE, idiots.

New Surfer Magazine spits on only rule of surf journalism; misidentifies Nathan Florence as Nathan Fletcher


There are not many rules in surf journalism. It is, generally speaking, a literary Wild West where there can be spelled their, roll can be spelled role and Selema Masekela can. Now that I think upon it their are no rules, save one.

Thou shalt not misidentify professional surfers.

A photo of Ace Buchan marked as a photo of Jodie Cooper, for example, would have required the head of the caption writer. Him being paraded out into the parking lot, stripped of Billabong shirt and guillotined in front of cheering editors, associate editors and editors-at-large.

While print publications have all but died, along with their editors, associate editors and editors-at-large, fidelity to knowing a Conner Coffin from a Parker Coffin has remained.

Or remained until the re-animated corpse of once-proud Surfer Magazine was jumped to life by The Arena Group and turned into an Inertia-inspired house of horrors. The “Bible of the Sport” might have been forgiven for hiring a Tennessee resident who enjoyed “strong coffee” to cover surfing from the shadow of the Smoky Mountains.

It cannot be forgiven for calling Nathan Florence Nathan Fletcher.


Nathan Florence Nathan Fletcher.

OMG Surfer. Pull it together.

Kaz Sawyer doing Vivek Ramaswamy extra dirty. Photo: Instagram
Kaz Sawyer doing Vivek Ramaswamy extra dirty. Photo: Instagram

Influencer Kaz Sawyer plays dirty surf prank on presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy

"To teach a man poo stance is rude no matter how much one opposes his politics."

Now, we all know that wake surfing is not surfing, though the mainstream media does not know that. I suppose various non-surf journalists must not be blamed. Kelly Slater, the world’s greatest surfer, made one giant wake surfing pond and called it Surf Ranch. He made another one in Abu Dhabi and called it Surf Mazraea.

In any case, Orange County influencer Kaz Sawyer just played the dirtiest of surf pranks on Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy.

Sawyer, who can often be seen on his social media channels surf checking with a Slater Designs board, took the tech entrepreneur-cum-politician out in Miami.

Ramaswamy, though trailing in the polls by a wide margin, has made a name for himself by being a plucky li’l fella on stage. He happened to be in Miami, in fact, for the third Republican debate. Pundits called his performance “unhinged.

Sawyer, maybe wanting to rub dirt in the open wound, decided to take Ramaswamy out on the waters. “Teaching the future President how to surf,” he wrote.

The gag, on the surface, was to have Vivek Ramaswamy “surf” in a business suit. The dirtiest of surf pranks, though, more subtle.

“First I taught him some of the basics,” Sawyer voices over.

Those “basics” a tutorial on poo stance.

Vivek Ramaswamy’s stance is so poo that it has been rated PG-13.

It is so poo that the World Surf League is considering naming him honorary 2015 World Champion.

To teach a man poo stance is rude no matter how much one opposes his politics.

Shame on you, Kaz Sawyer.

Erik Logan (pictured) still missing.
Erik Logan (pictured) still missing.

Surf world in mourning as former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan remains off social media even after disgraced Selema Masekela returns

Time for a digital wellness check.

The surf world has fallen into a deep funk and there doesn’t appear to be any end in sight. On June 26, 2023 then-World Surf League CEO was in Brazil, “reflecting on an incredibly rewarding journey with the WSL Academy,” taking his many social media fans for quirky behind the scenes tours. Shortly thereafter, fired. The World Surf League announced the move in the most terse press release ever, simply stating, “Erik Logan is no longer with the company.”

He flew back from Brazil, at some point, and launched a third, or fourth, act as a motivational speaker after cursing at a John John Florence meet and greet.

Topics he is willing to discuss for a fee are:

-Riding the Waves of Passion and Profession: An unforeseen journey through Discovery, Loss, and Rediscovery

-Beyond the Degree: Life’s Unexpected Teaching on Success and Leadership

-The Art of the Turnaround: Lessons in Resurrecting Businesses and Cultures

An absolutely thrilling return to public life and yet his one-time portal to the wider world, the Instagram account @elo_eriklogan has remained dark.

The aforementioned surf world had hope, ten days ago, when extreme sport personality Selema (formerly Sal) Masekela made a stunning return to the platform. The 52-year-old was recently thrust into the spotlight when his beloved movie star girlfriend Lupita Nyong’o declared he had done her dirty, deleting every picture of the two of them dressing alike. Masekela quickly switched his Instagram comments off and went into hiding.

Thankfully, self love is abundant in his heart, and, days ago, the man who only uses superlatives to describe surfing, snowboarding, mountain biking came roaring back.

Single and Ready to Mingle


Ready to crush the back nine without any baggage save massive ego and humiliation.

The surf world immediately went to check on Erik Logan’s account, assuming his would be live too as Masekela had been publicly embarrassed by actual media instead of just surf media.

Still nothing.


How is he supposed to promote his speaking career? How is he supposed to get those endorphin spikes that Masekela is currently bathing in?

Is it time for a digital wellness check?



Lee (pictured) shredding.
Lee (pictured) shredding.

San Francisco surfer mysteriously dies while in lineup at Ocean Beach

“They ruled out heart attack, they ruled out stroke, there were no injuries..."

A mysterious tragedy struck San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, days ago. Longtime local, and father of two, Kirby Lee was in the lineup, enjoying an unseasonably calm day. Light winds, “tiny” waves according to another local. The meteorologist called it 3 – 5 foot. Next thing anyone knew, Lee was unconscious in the water. A fellow surfer paddled him to shore where CPR was administered until the firemen arrived.

Fire Department Capt. Justin Schorr said Lee was “pulseless and not breathing.” They rushed him to UCSF Medical Center, where he was put on life support. Yesterday, he was taken off.

Cause of death?

Lee’s sister told SF Gate, “They ruled out heart attack, they ruled out stroke, there were no injuries, nothing on the outside of this body that indicated he had been hit by his board and knocked unconscious, nothing. We asked the doctors so many times. It sounded like they were very thorough. It’s a mystery.”

Lee grew up in San Bernardino, teaching himself to surf in Orange County as a teenager. He did his undergraduate studies at San Diego State and UC Santa Barbara and got a degree in biopsychology. Next came a master’s in pharmacology at Boston University before a received a doctor of pharmacology at UCSF where he remained an associate professor.

He lived at Ocean Beach, with his family, and loved when it got big. Friend and fellow surfer Sam Awad said, “I would sit with him and many times I would go inside to get more of the smaller waves. He had great patience and would always wait for the larger sets to come through and pick off some of the biggest, longest and best-shaped waves. Kirby had no fear and seemed always calm in heavy surf.”

Lee surfed all around the world but was very much a part of the tight knit OB community.

The mystery of his death, no visible trauma, no understandable cause, a baffling puzzle.