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Synopsis

The Vietnam War or Endless Summer? Thanks to the persistence of the draft board, the decision was a no-brainer for hotshot surfer, Mike Hynson. The producer of Endless Summer, Bruce Brown, however, still had to be convinced. He had a long list of surfers besides Hynson that he was considering for his movie. Even though Hynson lived above Brown’s garage and they’d discussed the film since its inception, there was one deciding factor that would determine the chosen two. Before anybody flew off around the world on the legendary surfing safari they had to come up with the $1,400 airfare. Now Hynson had another problem, how was he going to produce that kind of cash that quickly? So he hightailed it over to the only person he knew he could count on, his boss, Hobie Alter. Hobie had always come through for him in the past, but in the back of Hynson’s mind he still worried that Hobie had never really forgiven him for stealing six of his surfboards years earlier.

On the edge, that’s the way Hynson lived his entire life, from his formative years as a Navy Brat in the forties and fifties bouncing between Hawaii and San Diego, to his timing and innovation that kept him at the forefront of the surfing industry throughout the sixties. He helped found the legendary WindanSea Surf Club in 1962, planted the seed in Tom Morey’s head for the Boogie Board in 1965 at the first professional surf contest, revolutionized the sport forever two years later with his faster, more maneuverable down rail board, and transformed a surf demo into Rainbow Bridge, a cult-film shot in Maui in which he recruited Jimi Hendrix to write the score and perform on stage at the base of Haleakala two short months before his death.

All the while, Hynson was also involved with the infamous Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a religious and idealistic band of hippies who emerged from Laguna Canyon as multi-million dollar, international drug smugglers. Hynson respectfully recounts his close friendship with Johnny Griggs, the true leader of the Brotherhood, and details the group’s rise and fall, including fearing for his life on his first smuggling trip to Katmandu and the years Timothy Leary spent with them in the Canyon.

The flip side of Hynson’s bad boy persona was the “golden boy” of surfing and he could have had any woman he wanted. That all changed in 1962, down at WindanSea. At first sight he thought she was a mermaid. In reality, her name was Melinda Merryweather and she was a Ford fashion model from New York visiting her grandmother in La Jolla. Over time she became the driving force behind his inspiration. Hynson recounts the long-term, long distance pursuit of the love of his life, woven simultaneously through the danger and intrigue of smuggling psychic tools and creating a pure experience for the soul surfer.

In essence, Mike Hynson—Transcendental Memories of a Surf Rebel reads like a who’s who of fifties and sixties culture—Duke Kahanamoku, Hobie Alter, Bruce Brown, the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, Timothy Leary, Jimi Hendrix, and is an authentic and gritty portrayal of Hynson’s adventurous frolic spanning three decades— questioning, exploring, breaking new ground.

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