Senior Editor
Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz. Image: Art Brewer

Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz. Image: Art Brewer


The Inertia

#4. Doc Paskowitz

While he would never agree, Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz can be considered one of the earliest pioneers of the shape of today’s surf culture. He spent nearly 25 years on the road, living in a succession of used campers. It is, quite possibly, the world’s longest surf trip. He and his wife raised nine children in those campers, soaking them in the ocean and their idea of how life should be lived.

He and his family have been referred to as “The First Family of Surfing.” Born in Texas in 1921 to a Jewish family, Doc graduated from Stanford Medical School at the age of 25. After a successful stint as a doctor, he packed his wife, Juliette, into a used camper van and started what would become one of the most interesting surf-centric lives ever. He and Juliette ended up raising nine children in a number of different vehicles, always on the move. His take on education, health, and how humans should spend their time didn’t mesh with society’s standards, and his children were steeped in his ideals – which, for the most part, drew few complaints.

Surfing’s slant on searching for waves can be, in part, attributed to Doc. What became a lifestyle that was slightly molded by the ideals found in such films as The Endless Summer was something that the Paskowitz family was unapologetically living, despite the public’s view of how things ought to be done.

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