On a recent trip to California, I was urged by friends to visit the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center (SHCC) in San Clemente.
Upon arriving I was unsure of it’s location, away from the sprawling waves of Trestles I’d pictured it near, however once I stepped inside it was unlike any other surf museum I’d seen. It resembled more an exhibition you might see in an art museum, with sprawling high white walls, great lighting and some of the more classic surf memorabilia in the world.
One of the main things that caught my attention however was a corner of the exhibition dedicated to legendary psychedelic surf artist Richard ‘Rick’ Griffin. Rick is famous for his work with artists such as Jimi Hendrix, The Eagles, Frank Zappa and The Grateful Dead, however many are unaware of his influence on the Surf Industry, chances are you’ve seen his work on many of your favorite Surf Movie covers and not even known it!
Among his legacy are Blazing Boards (Chris Bystrom), Wave of the Future (Chris Bystrom), Tales from the Tube, Pacific Vibrations and 5 Summer Stories.
Rick also designed artwork for Rolling Stone magazine and worked closely with Surfer Magazine to create the iconic surf cartoon character “Murphy. Tragically Rick was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1991, aged just 47.
If you are a Griffin fan, or are simply looking to learn more about surf culture the surfing heritage and culture museum is a must. On display are many of Ricks original artworks as well as articles depicting his colorful life.
The museum is located at 110 Calle Iglesia, San Clemente C.A 92672 (949) 388- 0313