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Aug-23-2012 14:52printcomments

Famous Surfer 'Tubesteak' who Named 'Gidget' Passes Away at 77

He passed away in San Clemente Wednesday, according to The Orange County Register

Kathy Kohner (Gidget inspiration) and Terry Tubesteak Tracy
Kathy Kohner (Gidget inspiration) and Terry Tubesteak Tracy © Surfing Heritage Foundation Courtesy:

(SALEM) - There are a handful from surfing's earliest days who are still among us, and sadly today there is one less. Terry 'Tubesteak' Tracy passed away at the age of 77. He was a fixture on Southern California's beaches for generations.

In his lifetime Tubesteak inspired people; his personality was used in the creation of the Big Kahuna beach bum role in the 1959 movie, movie 'Gidget'. Cliff Robertson played Tracy's Kahuna character, and it only came about after 'Tubesteak' loaned a surfboard to a young lady named Kathy Kohner (Gidget) in trade for a peanut butter sandwich. Tracy is who came up with the nickname Gidget. I have read before that he looked at her and said, 'Hey it's a girl, no it's a midget... Gidget!'

Those who recall the classics like 'Big Wednesday' by John Millus, know that Malibu was an amazing place in the early 60's and before... It still is of course, but there are a select few in this state who were stoked way before The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean made surfing take its commercial turn.

Tubesteak actually lived in a beach shack in Malibu back during the days of Miki 'Da Cat' Dora and other Malibu heavyweight legends. It was Dora who gave Tracy the nickname that stuck.

Special thanks to San Jose Mercury News

The Orange County Register.

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Grammar Teacher August 23, 2012 7:18 pm (Pacific time)

Please, check your stuff for errors.

Tim King: I did and they are corrected and I thank you.  I think I missed too many lessons cutting classes to go surfing in high school, I suspect Tubesteak would approve of the latter, thanks for the lesson.

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