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Hunting Beach Riots

People now have no clue how big beach culture and surf culture were in California during the 1970s and 1980s. History was re-written when surf shifted in the early 1990s (1991-1995ish-to be exact). But in Southern California Surf Culture, 1986 and the riots at the OP Surf Contest are infamous. There was a smaller riot in 1983. Both involved guys trying to remove girl’s bathing suits. One was a sanctioned bathing suit contest and one was more or less unofficial. After 1986, there were no more bikini contests allowed at Huntington or pretty much anywhere on the SoCal beaches for awhile.

“At first we were all laughing. It was fun getting so much attention and the crowd was huge. Guys were hollering at us but we were competing in a bikini contest so everyone wanted to look hot, right? But then someone wanted us to take our tops off and it was getting more intense. Then they talked about making it wet t-shirts. The guys were crowding in closer and more of them were shouting. My boyfriend finally made his way to the stage. Another guy grabbed hold of him and asked what his problem was or told him to wait his turn–something like that. He said I was his girlfriend. The guy said that was too bad because I had entered the contest and they were going to see how far we’d go to win. My boyfriend let him know that wasn’t going to happen. When the guy asked why, he told them because I was under 18. The guy was going for it anyway and before I knew it, all hell broke loose.” -Nicole Anstedt


Huntington Beach, 1983