PLAYGIRL: THE BEST OF PLAYGIRL’S MEN #2
Contents / Models
The Rogers Brothers [Gregg Rogers, Don Rogers], Dr. Paul Keith, Jim Brown, Christopher George, Phil Avalon,Woodroe Parker [Woody Parker], After Love Afterthoughts.
Gene Burton, Jerry Lane, Angie Reno, Terry House, Leonard La Lumiere, Mike Purpus, Ron Henriquez, John Coletti [John Traynor]
Bob Prince-Man for January
John Corvello-Mr. California. Backstage Las Vegas. Al Cavuoto, John Gibson, Biff Manard, Lou Zivkovich Jumbo Poster.
Florence King, Million Dollar Baby-Seventh Heaven Preview Hal Bennett PLUS!
Flamboyant regularfoot surfer from Hermosa Beach, California; a seven-time finalist in the United States Surfing Championships, and the West Coast's most progressive and entertaining surfer of the 1970s.
Mike Purpus was born (1948) in Santa Monica, California, raised in Hermosa Beach, and began surfing at age 10. He placed fourth in the juniors division of the 1965 U.S. Championships; moving up to the men's division, he finished sixth in 1967, fifth in 1968, third in 1969 and 1970, and sixth in 1972 and 1975. (In the 1975 event he won both the kneeboarding and longboarding divisions.) Purpus also won the small-wave event in the 1970 Peru International, placed second in the 1971 Makaha International, and competed in World Surfing Championships in 1968, 1970, and 1972.
The short surfboard, introduced in the late '60s, was a good match for Purpus's kinetic riding style. Not too concerned with finesse or nuance, he rode in a deep squat, with a ramrod-straight back. A hotdogger in the best sense of the word, he taught himself how to switch stance, developed a walloping 270-degree cutback in the early 1970s that was far and away the best of its kind in the sport, and mastered a series of frontside and backside side-slips and 360s.
The blond-haired, mustachioed Purpus established himself as one of the sport's most colorful characters, decked out in a puka-shell necklace and floppy-brimmed leather hat, with brightly colored surf trunks over his full wetsuit. He had a life-size image of Raquel Welch airbrushed on the bottom of his favorite board. In 1968 Purpus made the first of three appearances on ABC's The Dating Game (winning a chaperoned trip to Scotland), and in 1974 he posed nude for Playgirl.
But Purpus had the misfortune of being a surfing harlequin at a time when the sport had become oppressively earnest and solemn. Almost alone among his contemporaries, at least in public, he kept his sense of humor. In a 1970 magazine poll in which top surfers were asked "What other experiences parallel surfing?," the answers ranged from "ballet dancing" to "love" to "being filled with the Holy Spirit." Purpus said, "Riding my Makaha skateboard after getting sauced on a gallon of Red Mountain."
The only California surfer to compete regularly as a professional in the early and mid-'70s, Purpus was a five-time invitee to the Duke Kahanamoku Classic and a finalist in the 1972 Hang Ten American Pro.
He appeared in most of the American-made surf movies of the late '60s and '70s, including Fantastic Plastic Machine (1969), Pacific Vibrations (1970), Five Summer Stories (1972), and Super Session (1975). In 1979 he lent his name to the ill-fated Mike Purpus Hot Lips Surfboards. From 1974 to present day, he's written a surf column for the Easy Reader, a weekly regional newspaper.