Poorman’s Radio Days: Poorman Surfs Naked!

Wipe out! Photo courtesy of Poorman.

I’ve done some pretty crazy stunts during my radio career, but one of the craziest was in 1983. At the time, I was the KROQ surf reporter on the Ramondo and The Blade Show. Their morning drive radio program was pretty popular and they were approached by Playgirl magazine to do a feature story entitled “The Faces Behind the Voices.” The late, great Playgirl was the male equivalent of Playboy with written soliloquy supported by photos of semi nude and completely nude dudes.

Each of us on the morning show were asked how we would like to be photographed. Ramondo, whose real name is Raymond Bannister, decided to have his then-girlfriend Pam dress up as “Nurse Pamela;” she posed with a giant syringe, ready to give him a shot in his bare butt as he lie face down on a doctor’s examination table. Richard Blade was a little more conservative in his choice of photos. He wore a scant pair of underwear in a very serious, some might say elegant, “sexy” pose in the darkened interior of Santa Monica’s 321 Club. Then it came time for me, the “man with no filter” to let Playgirl know how I wanted to be photographed. In typical “Poorman,” terrible decision-making style, I decided to take the challenge to the extreme. I would surf naked in broad daylight at the Newport Beach Pier. (What an idiot!)

To do this, I scheduled the Playgirl photographer to meet me at Blackies, the name of the surf spot at the Pier. I recruited legendary HB surfer and future KROQ surf reporter “Rockin’ Fig” to help me pull this one off. We gathered in the parking lot prior to paddling out near the 24th Street jetty. We strategically positioned the Playgirl photographer with his telephoto lens on the beach ready to capture the action. I figured I had one chance to risk catching a wave naked without getting caught and arrested by either the Newport Beach Police Department or the Newport lifeguards.

Fig and I paddled out into the lineup in cloudless sunshine. The surf was breaking 2-3 feet and glassy. The water was a chilly 57 degrees. I wore just a pair of swim trunks while Fig put on a full wetsuit. I removed my trunks, handed them to Fig, and waited naked for the perfect wave. It was high noon as I paddled into and caught a massive three-foot peeling peak, stood up in a light breeze, and surfed that baby for all it was worth! The glorious feeling of the slight breeze cooling my glistening, naked body and privates while doing cutbacks down the line was wonderful! The Playgirl photographer, in perfect synchronicity, captured the action. Miraculously, there weren’t any Newport Beach cops or lifeguards anywhere in sight. Thankfully, Rockin’ Fig returned my trunks while I was in the water rather than punking me and taking off.

As you can see from the photo, I really did surf naked, but you can’t really see anything. Obviously, the “shrinkage” factor was in full effect!

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