Michael Hynson – Endless Summer Surfer

August 10, 2007
Posted in interviews
August 10, 2007 Terkel

Michael Hynson, the featured surfer in the legendary movie The Endless Summer, as well as one of the finest surfboard shapers in the world, offers a warning to those pursuing their passion:

“Fame and fortune do not go hand in hand.”

endless summer

Michael Hynson’s Endless Summer movie has been commercialized since its original screening in 1966. Due to lack of business planning, Michael has not seen a dime from the movie, but continues to take advantage of the name recognition associated with the movie.

After filming The Endless Summer Michael had attained a legendary status in the surfing, yet he saw no financial reward in that legendary status. Passion took Michael around the world and back, but in the end was more of a blinding force than a supportive one.

The boy who grew up in Hawaii but became enamored with surfing in California, is credited as one of the people who brought the surfer lifestyle into mainstream American culture. He was recently featured in a nine-page spread in Surfer magazine displaying his innovative line of Hynson Surfboards.

This is where the magic happens. Michael Hynson’s working garage.

michael hynson surferMichael is a sarcastic, funny, gruff man, reflective of many years of successes and also failure. But he comes across as an incredibly honest man, to the extent that he offers no personal review of his surfboards, leaving that job to those who ride them.

Michael is resilient in his business drive, working his way to the top with a more sound business plan than before, and his surfboards will certainly be a big part of the surfing culture for many years to come.


I would say, don’t go for fame, go for fortune.  Understand?  Maybe you don’t.  I always thought, I was under the illusion that fame was fortune.  Right?  And so without being a glutton, or a weirdo, I didn’t think anything about money.  I still don’t.  I kind of hypnotized myself.  I didn’t need help.  But, it was just the wrong thing to wish for.  Because I got my wish.  I got the fame.  The fortune went somewhere else.  Someone else was thinking about that.  So I couldn’t even get involved in that shit.  But I thought it came hand in hand.  That’s a word of advice from someone who’s been through it. 

It could be said that you created the environment for your passion.  You made it viable to surf for a career.

It’s a lifestyle.  You get obsessed with it.  It becomes a part of you.  You don’t think of anything else.