Laguna Beach original George "Peanuts" Larson, on top of a Dana Point wave in 1939.
Laguna Beach original George "Peanuts" Larson, on top of a Dana Point wave in 1939.
D. Ball photo courtesy of Craig Lockwood

Did Laguna Beach Waterman Legend Ride Biggest Wave Ever Ridden in California?

Did George Saunders Zimmerman "Peanuts" Larson (1916-1986) catch the biggest wave ever ridden in California?

A legend like that helped make "Peanuts" a Laguna Beach original. Now Craig Lockwood--who grew up a surfer kid in Laguna, became a lifeguard in town and got his first newspaper job for the old Laguna Beach Post under editor Betsy Rose and publisher Bud Dessenberg--has written a book titled, appropriately enough, Peanuts.

Lockwood, who has also written locally for the Daily Pilot and Surfing magazine, explores the myth, legend and Southern Orange County's surfing subculture archtype that was George Larson in Peanuts.

"'Peanuts' was, first of all, the quintessential Laguna Beach waterman," says Gene Felder of the Laguna Beach Historical Society. "He'd been if not San Clemente's first lifeguard, certainly among the very first. He became a subject of great admiration and respect in his 20s when he surfed a wave larger than anyone had ever seen ridden in California. This single wave was witnessed by several other surfers whose reputations cast them as wholly reliable and believable observers."

Lockwood talks about his book when Felder's group meets from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday in the Laguna Beach City Hall council chambers at 505 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach.

More details are in the latest Laguna Beach Historical Society newsletter:
Newsletter November 2009.pdf


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